How to control a noisy/disrespectful K-5 lunchroom
Our lunchroom is out of control and we need advice to control the 1) noise level, 2) reinforce good behaviors, and 3) consequences for breaking the rules that do not involve taking away recess. We have three lunch periods of two grade bands each. Each lunch period is approximately 130 kids total. Lunch is 20 minutes and takes place before the recess. We have on average two adults providing supervision.
King County Washington
This is certainly an issue that many schools experience. It is noted that the school schedule has students going to lunch before recess. One consideration that has promise (and won't cost the school money) for addressing all three issues is changing the school schedule so that students to go recess before lunch. This allows them time to be active after being still in the classroom all morning and before eating lunch. Research on this approach indicates there are less behavior problems and fewer discipline referrals. While not conclusive, there is some evidence that children also eat more of their lunch because they are not in a hurry to go outside.