At the start of the year we establish a “Listening Look.” This shows that they are focused on the speaker. In my classroom a listening look includes hands clasped together (so as not to be touching/fidgeting with anything), eyes and ears on the person speaking.
I certainly don’t expect the class to be in this position throughout every lesson and conversation, but instead save it for important messages and guests. For example, if the principal came in to tell them something I would say, “Boys and Girls please stop what you are doing and give Ms. ___ a listening look.”
I also use it to signal heightened importance or to redirect them if it is getting a bit chaotic. It's much nicer to say, "I need a listening look" and have a hush fall across the room than to point out that it's too loud...too crazy...too whatever.
The poster at the top was something I purchased during my very first year of teaching. Boyfriend took residence in 2 states, 4 schools and 8 classrooms before being retired last year. We now create an anchor chart and I use a photo of my actual class sporting the listening look.
It's effective. I like being able to say, "You should look like your picture."
Because on that very first day of school, when the Kodak moment takes place, the kiddos are on their bestest behavior in their finest of clothes. Never will a listening look appear more serious or perfect. It sets the bar high. :)