Fun Attention-Getters to Refocus Students’ Attention

Part of the Teaching Trick Tuesdays Series

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:

  1. Teacher: “Hocus Pocus”
    Students: 
    “Everybody Focus!”
  2. Teacher: “Peanut Butter &”
    Students: 
    “Jelly!”
  3. Teacher: “1, 2, 3. Eyes on me.”
    Students:
    “1, 2, 3. Eyes on you.”
  4. Teacher: “Mac & Cheese”
    Students:
    “Everybody Freeze!”
  5. Teacher: “Abbra”
    Students:
    “Cadabra”
  6. Teacher: “I scream. You scream.”
    Students:
    “We all scream for ice cream!”
  7. Teacher: “Chicka Chicka”
    Students:
    “Boom! Boom!”
  8. Teacher: “Zip it! Lock it!”
    Students:
    “Put it in your pocket!”
  9. Teacher: “To infinity…”
    Students:
    “And beyond!”
  10. Teacher: “STOP!”
    Students:
    “Collaborate & Listen”

Share your favorite attention-getters in the comments below!


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