Each year I seem to settle into one signal to regain my students’ attention throughout the day. Last year, I would say “class, class” and they would respond “yes, yes.” I fell into a routine of using the same attention signal all year long and my students started to dread the “yes, yes” response. Honestly, after the first month or two, they very seldom responded or if they did it would be with very little enthusiasm. I knew I had to change it up because my classroom climate was diminishing.
I started to brainstorm ways to positively rebuild my classroom climate. I was loving the energy our morning greeting was creating as my students entered the classroom and I wanted to continue that energy throughout the day, so I came up with 40 energetic Attention Getters that could be displayed so I could easily pick from different ones throughout the day.
These attention signals all start with an action initiated by me (the teacher) and are followed by a reaction from the students. Using this attention signal routine helped me create a structured and energetic way of engaging my students. It immediately had a positive influence on my classroom culture.
I promise these Attention signals are so easy to implement during the school day and they are a positive way to regain or redirect students’ attention. Many of these strategies follow a call and response pattern where the teacher gives a specific phrase and students respond in unison with the desired response. For example- the teacher calls, “E.T.” and the students respond, “Phone home.”
I made the Attention Getters so they could easily be turned into a banner, a bulletin board, a ring, or put on a clip board for an easy at-a-glance reference. It doesn’t matter how you decide to use them, the important thing is they are located where you can quickly choose a variety of Attention Getters throughout the day.
Here are some more examples of these fun Attention Getters:
Teacher says, “Freeze!” Students stop in place and say, “Everybody, clap your hands!” then clap 7 times.
Teacher says, “Brush your teeth.” Students use pointer fingers as pretend tooth brushes and say, “ch, ch, ch, ch” in a rhythm.
You can grab these structured and energetic ways to engage students and influence your classroom culture by clicking on the image below.