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Attention Signals
Old 07-20-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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What type of attention signals do you use with you class? I know a lot of teachers use the "give me 5" or switch the lights on and off, but I'm looking for something new. Does anyone have any ideas?


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Call and responce Silly but it worked...
Old 07-20-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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A friend of mine used to do this one


Teacher: Hear Ye Hear ye

Students reply: All eyes on the Queen
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...the Queen
Old 07-20-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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I love it!

-1...2...3...eyes on me
-Counting backwards from 5 - by the time you get to 1 everyone is quiet, in their seat, looking at you. The kids like to do it before 1 and they get a point...
-Thumb up and standing silently
-Clapping - shave and a haircut, class responds clapping 2 bits - that's the bum, bum, bum-bum, bum and they clap bum, bum (I hope that makes sense)
-Depending on what is going on - the simple statement, "I'll wait." And doing just that - until everyone's eyes are on you.
-stopping mid sentence
-playing music and controling the volume - turning it quieter and quieter until no one can hear it and the room is quiet too.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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"And a hush fell over the crowd" (said by teacher)
"Hussshh!" (said very quietly by students)

"Quiet on the set!" (said by teacher)

"If you can hear my voice, clap twice." (teacher says quietly) Then continues w/ "If you can hear my voice (says in an even softer voice), snap twice." Teacher can continue next by saying "If you can hear my voice (in a low whisper), put your hands on your desk (or lap)." ... I typically only have to say the first line and have the students undivided attention, but if our entire grade level is together I might continue w/ all of it.
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two suggestions
Old 07-20-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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I have used a bell in my classroom and teach the following:
1 ring: freeze and eyes on the teacher, ready to listen
2 rings: quickly find your seat
3 rings: push in your chairs and set in the carpet area


Also, I have a management spot where I do the "management talks". At the beginning of the year I use a hula hoop on the floor where my management spot is...this is where I would talk to the class about their behavior, give consequences, etc. If I have to go over to the spot during an activity or lesson, they loose time from recess or whatnot. Eventually, as they as me walk towards the spot, they would quiet down and get back on task without me having to say a word. The idea behind a management spot is that you don't contaminate the teaching area. (Envoy classroom management- non verbal techniques)


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Old 07-20-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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Quote:
-Depending on what is going on - the simple statement, "I'll wait." And doing just that - until everyone's eyes are on you.
I do that a lot. I usually do it when they are getting very loud. I tell them at the beginning of the year that the longer I have to wait, that just makes our lessons go longer, which cuts into our recess time. Usually as soon as I say "I'll wait" they settle right down. I've even heard the kids whisper to each other "Hurry up, she's waiting!"

I also do "Give me 5" and "1-2-3, all eyes on me" and they reply "1-2, eyes on you." This year I'm also going to do the rhythm clapping where I clap a rhythm and they repeat it.
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this really works...
Old 07-21-2006, 06:37 AM
 
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I've tried all kinds of things from raising my hand and quietly waiting to using a train whistle. Eventually, the kids get numb to it. A very experiences colleague of mine suggested this (and I've used it ever since): After asking them to get quiet and they don't, put your hand in the air and count to a 2 second beat using your fingers. Don't say a word. My kids know that for every finger I raise, that's 1 minute off thier recess for the day or the next day if we've already had recess. When the first student sees me counting, they are quick to bring it to the attention of everyone else. It gets quiet very quickly and I let them know how many minutes they lost. I keep track on the board so they see how their behavior affects their day...and that there are consequences. This may sound harsh, but there are only 2-3 days in the entire year when I have to take away the whole recess...and usually it is only about 4 minutes. I also give them the chance to earn back time by showing good behavior in the halls, special areas, etc...
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Idea
Old 07-21-2006, 06:57 AM
 
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A colleague/friend shared this with me and I've used it with 4th and 5th graders (she originally used it in 1st grade). I tell the students, "Put your finger on your chin." or "Put you finger on your left ear." or "Put your finger on your nose." Sometimes I use all and more just to make sure I have their attention. As soon as they touch that part of their body, they are quiet. It also lets me know who isn't listening because they are either still talking or don't have a finger where it belongs. I do this a lot when getting in line to leave the room. I tell them that if they can't stay quiet, they would be in the hall with their finger on their chin/nose/ear. I get a lot of quick head shakes that they don't want that to happen. It works like a charm!
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ha ha!
Old 07-21-2006, 08:04 AM
 
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i too love the queen response...but how can it be used in other classrooms when I am the queen?
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great ideas!
Old 07-21-2006, 08:13 AM
 
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what great ideas! i'd like to do all of them; but that might be confusing!

what i do (pretty much already been listed):
*turn off lights for immediate (ha!) freezing
*count to 5 while holding up fingers--every second after 5 becomes minutes owed
*talk softer and softer until they realize they can't hear you so they have to be quiet
*my teaching partner uses the "if you can hear my voice, clap 2 times..." and i planned on stealing that this year


new idea:
*my son's 1st and 2nd grade teacher had a wind chime at the front of the room (just so like her personality!) and she gently brushed it "twinkle..." when she needed the students' attention--it was beautiful! i planned on using that next year, too. my only problem is finding the perfectly perfect windchime!


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great ideas
Old 07-21-2006, 08:25 AM
 
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What neat ideas! I love "the queen one" too. I think I'll add that one to the bag of tricks. "Show me that you're ready" is a common one for me. We talk a lot about what good listening looks like and we practice...empty hands, eyes on me, body ready. But every once in a while feeling like a queen would be fun! Thanks!
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Love the Queen one!
Old 07-23-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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TEACHERLVNV,

I absolutely love the Queen thing your friend uses. It just fits my personality. AND by the way, Tia, I am the queen!!!!

I don't go so much for that "If you hear my voice, clap . . ." even though I've seen it work very effectively for others.

I once heard a teacher use a xylophone - just one stroke down the bars. It worked magically, just like the windchime thing. I loved the sound of it, but sometimes that wonderful, little tinkle sound would be lost on my students (ex. playing a math game, etc.)

Sometimes, I use switching the lights on and off when students are working together because it is one thing that gets immediate attention. However, I once heard that it wasn't a very good strategy, but I can't remember who said it or why.


I also like "A hush fell over the crowd . . ." I guess I just like the ones where the teacher speaks and the students respond. It's such a control freak thing!!!!
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my 2 cents
Old 07-23-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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Everything listed I've done too...

Here's one I don't think I've heard-

I blow a train whistle and the kids go SHHHHHHHHHH and put their arms out and slowly put them down like steam coming out from a train...they love that!

I also do the "Freeze" with a twist...all students must stop what they are doing and put their hands on their heads. They stay in that position until I tell them "As you were." Very effective because you can't keep cutting or pasting with your hands on your head.
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Here's one that we used
Old 07-23-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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When the group is too loud, you get their attention by saying, loudly "EYES!!"

They respond: "OPEN MA'AM"

I said : "EARS"

They said "LISTENING MA'AM" (We practice this many times during the first day of school, and before you know it, the first couple of times, you don't even have to go to the EARS part. They're already quiet and listening)
It works great!!
Of course, if a Male Teacher/Principal/Counselor wants to use it, they respond
with OPEN SIR, and LISTENING SIR

KELLY
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Call Backs
Old 07-23-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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I've decided I'm going to do the call backs this year. Here are a few that I've found. I'm looking for more. I will add the hush one to my list.

Teacher says first thing -- Students say the 2nd thing:

Meanwhile -- Back at the ranch
Chitty Chitty -- Bang Bang
To Infinity -- And Beyond
Who you gonna call -- Ghostbusters
Are you ready kids? -- Aye, Aye Captian
Zip Zip Zap -- We're all that!
Hey Hey -- Ho Ho
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my favorite new one
Old 07-24-2006, 05:04 AM
 
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That I learned last year was a call and response:

Teacher: I like to move it move it. You like to
Kids: MOVE IT (Then they freeze!)

She also did one with Vogue-- her little kinders would put their hands up for vogue and freeze. Super cute.
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:-)
Old 07-24-2006, 05:21 AM
 
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You all have such good ideas!!

I do call and response and change them throughout the year with our favorite books. If the kids hear something that is particularly catchy they ask if we can use it. Some of our favorites were:

Chicka chicka-- boom boom
And the bear-- SNORES ON
Peanut butter Peanut butter-- jelly jelly

can't remember any others right now....
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a friend of mine uses
Old 07-24-2006, 06:03 AM
 
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looks like
sounds like

at the beginning of the year they brainstorm what good listening looks like, then what it sounds like....
what does a good liine, look like? sound like?

they do this for every situation.....
her class is always very well behaved!
Kym
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:12 AM
 
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I have a rainstick that i use that works really well, but it's not always where I'm at.
I do a lot of call backs:
Spongebob-Squarepants
"Are ya ready kids?"-Aye, Aye, captain
Boomer-Sooner (i'm an okie)
you can come up with any kind of call back.
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Disappointed
Old 08-01-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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In all due respect, my roommate and I, (we're both teachers) are shocked at the idea to have students refer to a teacher as a queen. I'm not trying to be rude, just some food for thought. Think of the negative message it may send.

Respectfully,
K
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Negative message?
Old 08-06-2006, 06:32 AM
 
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I've thought, and my husband has thought. Negative message? I'm not getting it. What, I'm different than the students, I have more power than the students, I'm in charge. That's the message I want to send.
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The Queen
Old 08-06-2006, 06:47 AM
 
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I think that the kids would get a kick out of calling the teacher the queen. I think that most students (even younger ones) would have fun with this one as long as the teacher uses it in good fun. I really think that the older students would think this is funny! My class last year would have had a blast with it - I am sure that I would have been called "the queen" in other places around the school and that they would have had to let the other teachers at my grade level know that their teacher was "the queen"!

In our school we use a clap. Everyone from the custodians, to the principal tothe teachers use it. That way when the students hear it, they know it is time to give their attention to the speaker - no matter where they are in teh school or what they are doing. It seems to work quite well.
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No worries!
Old 08-06-2006, 10:34 PM
 
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That's great that you like it, everyone is entitled to their own opinions! The college where we (my roomate and I) got our teaching degrees from was so focused on working as a team with parents and other faculty to the point where it's odd to think of ourselves in a position of power. Our professors also focused heavily on the fact that it won't be our (the teacher's) classroom, but the teacher AND the kids' classroom together, and that it's all of our responsibilities to be respectful.

I guess the queen idea just reminded me of "worshipping" or "ownership" of people or a territory. I can see the humor in it as well, I'd just feel odd incorporating it into my own classroom! I hope you and your students continue to enjoy it and that you have an AWESOME school year!

-K
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"Shushers"
Old 08-07-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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I use the "Shushers" signal to get their attention. It came from Ron Clark, former National Teacher of the Year. Good idea that truly works wonders.
The first week (1st 2 days) I mention that three people will have a very special job and I want to watch them for a few days to determine who should get the job of helping me get everyone's attention.
What I'm really doing is looking for one or two 'obnoxious' - 'showboat'-'loud mouths' .........they don't know this though. These listed students appear to NOT be paying attention, but guess what? They are! They make the best "shushers."
I tell them that when they hear me say "Shushers" their job is to say "ssssshhhhhhh" loud enough for everyone to know to be quiet, yet not 'spit' all over others. This makes them giggle and they seem to take pride in the job as well as always hear me! Go figure?
Works like a charm year after year. 3-4 years now actually.
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