I have a wonderful group of 4th graders who, for the most part, are extremely well behaved. The only problem I have is that they are a bunch of Chatty Cathy's!
I found this idea a while back and I so wish I had known about it back in August. It would have saved me a lot of stress and frustration!
All I do is tape an index card vertically on the upper right hand corner of their desk every Monday.
The card is labeled like this:
If they talk during class I give them 1 tally mark next to the appropriate day. 1 tally is their warning. If I have to tell them to stop talking a second time they get another tally mark. 2 marks = 5 minutes out from recess, 3 marks = 10 minutes, 4 marks = 15 minutes, and 5 marks they lose their entire recess. If you make it to the end of the day with no tally marks you get a sticker beside the day of the week.
If you make it to the end of the week with nothing but stickers you get a small prize (pencils, erasers, etc.).
At first I was worried that 4th graders would think the whole sticker thing was babyish, but they love it! The best part is I don't have to stop my lesson to reprimand someone for talking; I just walk over and put a tally mark on their card and then keep going.
It may not work in every class but I love it!