Classroom management can be one of the most challenging and yet essential pieces of creating successful learning environment. Today’s Teaching Trick is how to use “Attention-Getters” to recapture students’ attention. These catchy phrases can be used anytime you want students to refocus and are especially useful when students are getting noisy or off task.
Attention-getters work through a call and response system where the teacher says a set phrase and students respond with another set phrase. The key to using them is to introduce the concept and rehearse a few times. Then, utilize the phrase as needed throughout the lesson. Remember to be consistent in the use of the same attention-getter, and don’t combine it with other mechanisms like bells, knocking on the board, or turning off the lights. Combining attention-getters defeats the purpose of establishing a cue that calls students’ attention immediately.
After a period of time (at least one to two months), you may want to introduce a new attention-getter to keep things fresh and interesting. You can always keep students on their toes by periodically calling out the old attention-getter!
Here is a list with some fun attention-getters for you to try out:
- Teacher: “Hocus Pocus”
Students: “Everybody Focus!”
- Teacher: “Peanut Butter &”
- Teacher: “1, 2, 3. Eyes on me.”
Students: “1, 2, 3. Eyes on you.”
- Teacher: “Mac & Cheese”
Students: “Everybody Freeze!”
- Teacher: “Abbra”
- Teacher: “I scream. You scream.”
Students: “We all scream for ice cream!”
- Teacher: “Chicka Chicka”
Students: “Boom! Boom!”
- Teacher: “Zip it! Lock it!”
Students: “Put it in your pocket!”
- Teacher: “To infinity…”
Students: “And beyond!”
- Teacher: “STOP!”
Students: “Collaborate & Listen”
Share your favorite attention-getters in the comments below!