Remind your students as to what they should look like and sound like while they are working independently. This will eliminate the interruptions while YOU are working with your small group!
Teach this poster and display it in your room either on the walls near the space where the students are to work independently or print it out and place it on the desk where students are working independently.
Teach your students to self-regulate and control the noise level by using the voice-o-meter. Laminate the poster and place a sticker on the "meter" or use a dry erase marker and place an "X" to indicate the students' vocal level.