Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Attention Getters: Classroom Management Series

This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.

When I graduated from college, I worked as a classroom aide for the 1st and 2nd grade level team. There was one first grade teacher who amazed me. The room would be all aflutter with little people chatting and moving and everything else that comes with being 6 years old. And then this teacher would just start talking. She would literally say, "Boys and Girls...(insert whatever she needed to tell them)" and the entire class would freeze, look and listen. Just by talking in a normal tone at a conversation volume. WHAT?

I still don't know what kind of voodoo spell she cast over them to make that magic happen, but I assure you, I have never seen it replicated anywhere or at anytime.
It's just not normal. I gave up trying to figure it out and instead worked on creating an arsenal of attention getters that have the same effect.

My "bag of tricks" includes the following:
  • I say, "1-2-3 eyes on me." They repeat, "1-2 eyes on you."
  • I clap a pattern. They repeat it.
  • I say in a soft voice, "If you can hear me clap once." This is followed with, "If you can hear me stomp once and clap twice." And so on.
However, my go to trick. My numero uno. The key playa-playa in my teaching game is....

Me: "Class"
Them "Yes"

And then there is you. You are either nodding your head in agreement or else you are thinking, "huh?" I'll explain.

The "Class / Yes" thing is from the artist formerly known as Power Teaching. It now goes by the name of "Whole Brain Teaching." I've been using it for 5 years and it is phenomenal. I love all aspects of it, but I especially like the "Class / Yes" attention getter. Check out the video below from a 1st grade classroom to get a sample of what Whole Brain Teaching has to offer and then visit their site.

How do you command attention in your classroom? Leave a comment to share your ideas!

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