Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Last week I published my updated Teaching Procedures and Routines Packet (which btw, was the #1 selling product on all of Teachers Pay Teachers last week...consider me proud). 
It lists all of those nitty gritty things that need to be taken into account in order to be effective in the classroom. High on that list, in terms of importance, is “getting the students’ attention.” You’re going to be in charge of getting an entire room of little people to stop what they are doing and turn their focus to you so that you may share your pearls of wisdom. 
That’s not always easy.
But, if you plan ahead, you’ll have a collection of ways to magically get a room to go from noisy and chaotic to attentive.
In my classroom I always use the catchphrase, “ready to learn.”
We talk a lot about what “ready to learn means.” It means they are looking at you. It means they are listening to you. They are focused. Their hands are not fidgeting with found objects. Their bodies are still.
This needs to be defined. It needs to be modeled. It needs to be expected. Once you have established what it means to be “ready to learn,” you can add in different ways in which you will signal to the class that you need their attention and they need to be ready to learn.
The secret is to find a balance. You need to keep things fresh so that the children don’t get bored and zone out when you are clapping patterns and calling for a response in song, but at the same time you don’t want to mix it up so much that they aren’t clear on the expectation. I recommend introducing 1-2 new methods a week, keeping a few standbys and changing up the others.

To make this task easier, I suggest you have a list of attention getters at the ready. I keep mine in my teacher organizer binder, but you may prefer to hang it on the wall near the door or your group area.

And definitely be sure to place a copy in your Emergency Sub Plans - your sub will love you for it and the day will run much smoother in your absence.
I have created a resource that includes a list of attention getting ideas. It was designed as part of my Blackline Design Collection.  You can access and download it here: {Attention Getting Strategies List}

What do you do to get your class’s attention? 

For more tips and ideas on organizing and managing your classroom please check out my Clutter-Free Guide. This post is part of:
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