- Is your classroom noisy?
- What types of sounds are common in your classroom?
- If your classroom were noisier or quieter than normal, how might that change
your learning experience?
- What is an audiologist? Why might an audiologist be interested in school
- Why are noisy classrooms particularly challenging for children with hearing
- How does the hearing of young children differ from the hearing of adults?
- What is the suggested maximum noise level for a classroom, in decibels?
- Why does Nelson describe a noisy classroom as creating a “kind of a snowball
- How does the Kinard School differ from many older schools?
- What did scientists learn about the connection between hearing and learning
from a school in Germany that was near an airport?
- Which do you think would pose more problems for students: noisy reading
classrooms, or noisy math classrooms? Explain your reasoning.
- Do you think people sound angry when they talk with a loud voice? Design an
experiment to compare how people react to loud voices and quiet voices?
- People often describe loud, relentless noises as “noise pollution.” How does
noise compare to other forms of pollution?
- If you had to create a budget for your school, would noise control be a
priority? List the pros and cons of spending money to make classrooms quieter.
- Why do organizations like The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
create guidelines for noise levels in schools? Can you think of other types of
guidelines that contribute to the construction of schools and workplaces?
- Can you hear a speaker better if your eyes face her or if your head is
turned so that one of your ears faces her? Explain your reasoning.
Should the government regulate noise in classrooms? Why or why not?
- Write a business letter to your principal explaining how he or she might
improve acoustics in your school.
- In a noisy environment, like the school lunchroom, tell a story to a friend
in a soft voice. When you’re done, have your friend write down what she or he
heard. Next, you be the listener. Now, show each other your stories. What
information was lost to the background noise?
- Sound levels are measured in decibels, which increase on something called a
logarithmic scale. That means, in this case, that an increase of 10 decibels
doubles any given volume. So, a 20-decibel noise sounds twice as loud to a human ear as a 10-decibel noise does. And a 30-decibel noise sound twice as loud as one that measured 20 decibels. Now, consider a whisper in a library, which
weighs in at 30 decibels, and a train whistle, which measures about 90 decibels.
How many times louder is the whistle compared to the whisper?
- In the same way, compare a 140-decibel jet engine blast with a 95-decibel
subway train. How many times louder is the engine than the subway? How many
times louder are the engine and the subway compared to a whisper?
- A heavy truck sounds 64 times louder to human ears than does the noise of
rustling leaves. Rustling leaves produce about 30 decibels. How many decibels
does the truck produce?