A few years ago, our school implemented "voice levels" as a way to help at assemblies, in hallways, and within our classrooms. This has really helped with consistency across the grade levels and made the first few weeks of school even easier when introducing these concepts.
In our school, if a teacher needs to get students' attention, he/she will hold up our hand in the shape of a zero. If kids are working in small groups and are getting a little noisy, I would hold up two fingers to remind them it was "Voice Level 2". When we create presentation rubrics, we always include "Voice Level 3" as an area to focus on. In the beginning of the year, when we are making our Daily 5 Anchor Charts around expectations, Voice Levels 0, 1, and 2 always make an appearance.
I have loved seeing so many clever ideas roaming around other teachers' websites!
Here is one I particularly loved because of the clip art:
And this one is very straight-forward as well, plus I think the colors help make an impact as well:
I have loved thinking of Voice Level 1 (whisper) as "Spy Talk"! In the past, I have used the fingers-on-the-voicebox trick~ if it vibrates, it's not Voice Level 1~ but the idea of talking like a spy is soooooo much more fun!
This year, I ask my Teacher's Assistant to help be my Voice Level Monitor. If they feel it is getting too noisy, they will assist me in showing the appropriate voice level with our finger(s).
I also made a small flip-book display that I hang near our white board. When a project begins, I or the Teacher's Assistant will flip the card to show what our voice levels should be for the activity.
To make these cards, I backed them on black construction paper, laminated them, and hole punched the top in tow places. I then placed binder rings in the holes and hung them from two pushpins on my bulletin board. It has been nice to have this extra reminder to point to if a particular group is having trouble :)
Here are the files for the cards and the poster (I recently changed over my font, so it looks slightly different). Here is the file for the sign at the beginning of this post with our 5 voice levels.