I'm a firm believer in classroom noise! The good, productive, on-topic student voices that occur when learning is abuzz in my classroom. But even, students forget to self-monitor their own noise level no matter how productive and on-task it is.
I wrote a blog post about this a few years ago and it practically went viral. The original website from *that* post however, has been disabled and there is a new one...this one.
That .ORG not .COM
It's clever, attractive and sure to engage your students in self-regulating their volume. Because the application utilizes the microphone on your laptop (you must click "allow to use microphone" when prompted), students must work together to collectively bring the noise level down "so the balls or eyeballs can rest."
Like anything new, you will need to allow students time to get this new thing out of their system, but once that is over, and the novelty wears off, the balls (or eyes) on the screen will be a reminder to be cognizant of their voice level in the classroom. This does not need to be used forever, it is a scaffold. Once your students get self-regulated with monitoring their voice levels, you can pull this scaffold away.
You have the choice of bouncy balls, bouncy emoticons, bouncy bubbles or bouncy eyeballs. My personal favorite are the eyeballs...and just in time for Halloween!