Monday, June 4, 2012

May I have Your Attention, Please?!

When I need to get my students' attention, whether it be after working in groups, after a Think-Pair-Share, when I'm launching a new Daily 5 component, or when I need to make a transition, I like to use something different and fun.

One of the many aspects of my job that I absolutely love is that I get to visit almost every classroom in our elementary wing sometime during the school year.  When I visit a class to assist with an activity or to teach a model lesson, I'm not always aware of the routines and procedures that the classroom teacher has in place for getting student's attention and for making fast and efficient transitions.  So, I always bring a few new tricks with me to keep students alert!

Last summer, I stumbled upon the Musical Wand website quite by accident.  I was immediately intrigued by these metal designs that produce a beautiful sound, much like a wind chime, when you tap on them with a pencil, pen, etc.  Debbie Diller uses them, and I thought, if it is good enough for her, then it is good enough for me!  I took a chance and spent a mere $4.95 on one. There are many. many designs from which to choose!    Here is the one I bought:

 I attached a colorful silk ribbon to the top and hung it on a hook by my desk.  I used it with my intervention groups and took it along with me when I "push- in" to classes.  It was a cool conversation starter and kids loved it- they liked the different tones you can produce depending on where you tap it, and they caught on really fast that when they heard the chime, their eyes were to be on me and they were to be quiet.

Another thing that I do to signal to students that I need their attention is what I call a "Compound Cheer".  It is loads of fun, students love it and often beg me to do it just for the fun of it.  It has endless possibilities and applications.  Here's how it works:  When I need to get my kiddos' attention I will start by saying:

Teacher:  I say "cup" you say "cake:
Teacher:  "cup"
Students:  "cake".

I'll repeat this a few times until we can chant it super fast.  I try to think of fun compound words or two syllable words to use like:  snowflake, ice cream, hot dog, french fry, etc.

There are few more ideas I wanted to share with you, but this post is already too long for a Monday!

Have a marvelous Monday and if you have a sec, leave me a comment to share you favorite way to get students' attention!


  1. That wand is a cute idea! My favorite way to get my classes attention comes from the Whole Brain Teaching program. I say "class, class, class" and the kids reply, "Yes, yes,yes" and stop what they're doing and look at me. Sounds silly but it's my favorite and it works wonderfully. The kids have to reply however I say it, so if it in a really deep voice, they reply in really deep voices. If I say, "Classy class class" they reply "Yessy yes yes" Doing those little things keeps it fun for them. :)

    ❤- Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  2. Great idea, Stephanie! I like the idea of changing your tone of voice. I have been known to sing directions- opera style... I'm not a singer, but my kids love it!

  3. Such cute ideas! This is what I do; I say, "Please stop!" And then I say thank you to one or two students, using their names. Then I say, "Please look!" And, again, I say thank you. Finally, I say, "Please listen!" And I thank one or two students. They love to get the recognition.

    Lori (
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  4. I love the stop-look-listen idea and how you positively reinforce individuals! I really try to focus on the positive behavior like you do and give those students the recognition and attention instead of to the ones that are not listening/following directions. Thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...