Have An Attention Getter
Whether students are working in groups, excited about a project, or just plain chatty, the classroom can get noisy sometimes. Having an effective way to get everyone’s attention and have the class focus back on you is a must. Attention getters are a great way to do just that!
An attention getter is a verbal or non-verbal signal you use to get your students’ attention. It can be something as simple as ringing a bell, or something more interactive such as you saying, “Winner, winner” and the class responds with “chicken dinner!” There are thousands to choose from. Pick one that matches your personality, as well as your students.
Let’s look at a few tips for implementation:
- Choose just one! No matter how hard it is to choose, you only want one attention getter in your classroom. Having more than one can be confusing for both you and your students.
- Never move on until every student is silent and eyes are on you. This is the biggest mistake teachers make when using attention getters. The teacher says her part, the students say their part and then immediately they get back to their work while the teacher begins talking. Remember, the point of an attention getter is not only to get them quiet, but also to focus their attention back on you.
- Practice makes perfect! It is important to take the time to practice this attention getter early in implementation. Constant reminders and requiring students to practice multiple times each day the first few weeks will help to ensure fidelity.
- Be consistent. Don’t try to get your students’ attention any other way. If you want their attention, even if it is quiet in the room, use the attention getter. Remember, consistency is key!