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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Attention Grabbers

Attention Grabbers

Related Tags: Classroom Management
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73 Replies 31311 Views
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

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love4teaching's picture

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.

D. Schulte's picture
D. Schulte
I teach children with autism.

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Jamelia Pugh's picture
Jamelia Pugh
First Grade Co-Teacher teaching in D.C. @ all-girls Charter frm Oakland, CA

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!!

Jamira's picture

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

Jamira's picture

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

Gio Samayoa's picture
Gio Samayoa
Sub Teacher from Whittier, California

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!

Steven Rookwood's picture
Steven Rookwood
Second grade teacher from Baltimore, Maryland

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

Steven Rookwood's picture
Steven Rookwood
Second grade teacher from Baltimore, Maryland

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

Colese Brown's picture
Colese Brown
Kindergarten Teacher from College Park, Georgia

I teach kindergarten, and for my students I find that singing a part of a song that they are familiar with is a great way to get there attention. I start by singing part of the song and I stop to let the rest of the class finish the remaining part of the song.
Another great strategy would be to have your students pretend like they are in a marching band (when I had second grade I tried this one!). To get everyone in the band to pay attention, you would blow a whistle very quickly for two short times. Because I did not want to blow a loud whistle, I would say, "Deet, Deet!" The students would stop what they were doing and stand at attention (like in the army). I would say it again, followed by a long "Deeeeeet". I would follow up by saying, "Snap! Attention!" The students would respond by saying the school name. Both of these are fun and engaging attention grabbers.

Ms. Dieujuste's picture
Ms. Dieujuste
I am a first grade teacher from Miami, Florida.

I love to laugh and love to make my "little ones" laugh as well. So to get their attention i clap twice loud and then say "Knock-knock" after which they wil reply with "Who's there?". Then I proceed to tell them a knock-knock joke that also has the next activity we will do included in it. I use it from time to time and it works but the simple "If you can hear me clap once..." works just as fine as well!

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