Why you need a volume-o-meter


Whether you are teaching students English or helping your child at home, it is important to create a positive learning environment.

If you want to encourage your learner to build their confidence while speaking and reading, telling them “Shhh” every five minutes won’t help.

There is a much more effective solution of controlling the volume without stifling the flow of the lesson: a volume-o-meter!

Check out our Free Resources page to get yours for a limited time only.


What is a volume-o-meter?

A volume-o-meter is a visual cue that lets your student know how loud they should be during each activity.

For example, if the child is reading aloud, you will want them to read clearly.

For class discussions, you might crank it up to loud but for reading comprehension questions, you might opt for quiet

How does a volume-o-meter work?

There is an arrow that you can move to signify the optimal volume.

If the level of voices is too quiet, get the attention of your students and move the arrow towards the right (louder settings). 

If you need to decrease the volume to encourage greater focus for a writing task / examination, move it towards the left (quieter settings). 

Where can I get a volume-o-meter?

For a limited time only, you can download a FREE volume-o-meter from our Free Resources page.

Choose from six different templates (two versions of the volume setting descriptions and three different colors). 

To assemble it, print out the dial and arrow and cut them out.

Using a split pin, attach the arrow to the bottom center of the dial so that it can move easily.

How can I use a volume-o-meter with my learner?

It’s really important that you introduce the student or class to the volume-o-meter and explain how it works.

Be consistent with how you use it. For instance, you might use:

  • silent ninja volume for a spelling test 
  • spy mode for writing tasks 
  • table talk for pair or small group work 
  • loud crowd for class discussions or reading aloud.

What if my student ignores the volume-o-meter?

If you make it fun and something that is part of the lesson or daily routine, they will respond positively to it!

Make sure you always get their attention before moving the arrow. You might even assign a class helper to move it or give it a sound effect.

Adding a fun action, such as a ninja pose or miming a magnifying glass for the spy mode can be popular with young learners.

Remember to praise the class for following the volume-o-meter, or if they need a reminder, point to it and wait for them to adjust their volume.

Did you find this blog useful? Follow our Teaching Ideas playlist for more helpful classroom management strategies.

Check out our blog on How to Use Gestures to increase learner engagement even more!

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