Whether you're a first-year teacher or a seasoned pro, effective classroom management is a critical piece of any successful classroom. Share what works.

Attention Grabbers

Serena Murillo Elementary teacher in New Mexico

I am student teaching, and finding it hard to find what works for me when getting the attention of the class when they are doing activities such as group work. The teacher I am working with does a clap pattern thing, which the kids have to repeat, and it works great for him! However, I feel very unnatural doing it so I wanted to try other things. I have tried turning off the lights and all eyes on me, but I am not sure I love that idea either.
Any suggestions would be appreciated! I hate just trying to yell over the kids. I am in a third grade classroom.

Serena

Update: Since this post was originally published, many of the tips submitted by commenters were collected together into a presentation. Click here to access the presentation: http://www.edutopia.org/groups/classroom-management/737576

Comments (72)

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that z nice but how we can

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that z nice but how we can control 6th n 7th grade ?

Program Director at a Boys and Girls Club

My advice would be to be

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My advice would be to be patient and be flexible. Wait to move on until everyone has given you their attention. If you have tried an attention getter and it didn't work, be willing to try something different. Here is my blog post on attention getters if you are looking for details: http://corduroysbutton.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/i-say-chocolate-you-say-....

My favorites are "If you can see me, make the silly face I am making" and "I say chocolate, you say cake! CHOCOLATE! CAKE! CHOCOLATE! CAKE!"

Elementary Teacher, Maryland

Attention Grabbers

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Serena,
I have been teaching almost ten years and have to admit I still can not get comfortable or feel that the repeating clapping technique is successful for me. I have tried many ways as well and from year to year I have to find new ways that work for each group of students or individual classes.

I have to say I love the idea of the timer. Its a great idea for group work but I feel that I would also have to have a follow up to get them to freeze and come back together as a class. I normally in a few low voice say if you can hear me touch your head, if you can hear me touch your nose and if you can hear me clap twice. By then usually everyone is with me and we can come back together.

The books and resources that have been suggested will most certainly offer great ideas and strategies as well. It is always helpful to talk with others and get new ideas.

Best of luck!
Heather

One of the attention getter I

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One of the attention getter I use is: I say, "Hocus Pocus" and the students say "time to focus'. We change up the tone of our voices to get a little smile in before working.

You could also try some sort of instrument to chime, ring, or drum to get their attention. Since this class was once someone else's you might want to introduce your new attention getter sign; and practice using the your new method. The students need to get used to your method and who knows maybe the classroom teacher will adopt your style for the rest of the year.

I teach children with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorders, VE K-12

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I buy used books on Amazon all the time for very small amounts. Even though they say "used" the books are in great condition. No rips, no torn pages, no notes.

First Grade Co-Teacher teaching in D.C. @ all-girls Charter frm Oakland, CA

Things I use...:)

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We use a couple of calls that are universal throughput the school.

1) you say "bump bump ba bump bump" and they say "bump bump"
2) I do this a lot "If you can hear me touch your head....if ou can hear me touch your nose...if you can hear me..clap once...twice...three times
3) I also sometimes use the whole brain teaching startegy...."When I say class you say yes...class...yess...class.yess...however I say class you say yes..." and you can make it silly or straight forward or however you want it to be.

The best thing I would suggestion is to state clearly and firm your expectations. Reset the classroom culture and let them know what you expect. If they dont listen then thats when you can use differnt consequences. I find that they catch on very easily. :)

Hope this helps!!

So Many Choices

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Maybe its a good idea to try different things until you find one that fits you. You may not find one that fits you in day or even weeks but you have to stay patient and wait and see which one works for you as a teacher

So Many Choices

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Maybe its a good idea to try different things until you find one that fits you. You may not find one that fits you in day or even weeks but you have to stay patient and wait and see which one works for you as a teacher

Sub Teacher from Whittier, California

Running out of ideas

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I am a brand new substitute teacher in which has been a very rough week for me especially in areas of classroom management. As far as attention getters I've tried from doing a handclap patter, to "eyes on me", to being still and not say anything...you name it. Some work, some don't. The ones that do work but just for awhile then the class starts getting disruptive. What am I doing wrong? Am I using too many attention getters? I really need help in this area, thanks!

Second grade teacher from Baltimore, Maryland

At the beginning of the

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At the beginning of the school year we discuss the different rules and signals we use to keep the community safe. Two things work very well at my school. The children freeze right away when I show the peace sign or turn the lights out. I also find it helpful to set goals when they do group work and ask them to share at internals. This helps them to keep focused and work at a good pace.
Examples
You should have atleast 3 sentences by 10:15.
Group 1, could you please share what you have so far?
Steven

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