I was wondering what everyone did to get the attention of their students. I am looking for something new. The one I previously used was mandated by my old principal. New principal, new signal. Any ideas?
I use chimes in my classroom. I find that it is a more soothing sound than clapping or a bell. In the past, I also used the "If you can here me clap once" trick, but I found that to be rather annoying.
I have a train whistle that the students love. Sometimes we do hand claps, or depending on what we are working on a timer. Most of the time it is the whistle. Oh, I do sometime hold my hand in the air. That is our signal if we are in a large group situation.
I put my hand in the air. If this fails to work I go sit at my desk. I don't sit much during the day so it is pretty obvious. All of a sudden I will hear "She's waiting". All of a sudden it is quiet!
It works for me!
In a Kagan Cooperative Learning class I took last summer they suggested putting your hand in the air and slowing saying "Stop...Look....Listen" as you are saying this the kids should be 1) stopping where ever they are or whatever they are doing, 2) looking to you for instructions (and for a while I waited for all of their hands to be in the air too before I continued-then towards the middle of the year they tappered off with that but where all looking at me-for the most part), and 3) listen to instructions. Once you are good at this Kagan says the process of "Stop, Look, Listen" should get the kids quiet in 5 seconds-in a perfect world! But I sometimes would look at the clock and they get quiet pretty quick because I would have them owe me those few seconds they were wasting. I know-mean, mean, mean!
Last year I used a little bit of everything. I sometimes would raise my hand and wait, sometimes a bell, and then my husband bought me these cool croaking frogs from Thailand. I think the biggest thing is not to start talking until it is absolutely quiet.
It may sound kind of silly when I type it out, but here's what I do.
Raise my hand and say (rather loudly), "On 5, you are getting quiet."
Then a little quieter, "On 4, everyone is heading back to his or her own seat."
A little quieter yet, "On 3, you are getting ready to listen."
Even quieter, "On 2, all eyes on me."
Then quietest of all, "On 1, . . . . (start giving instructions)"
Of course, I don't always say the same things, but the point is I raise my hand to get their attention and get a little quieter each time as I count down. Sometimes everyone is ready to listen by the time I get to 4!!!!!! It works very well for me and my 4th and 5th graders.
I use Music in my classroom. Students work or whisper talk in group work until the particular song (length determined by time needed) ends then all know that it is time to be silent. It has worked really well at keeping the kids on task, for getting their attention when their time is over, and getting focused back on me. It also helps in blocking the "extra" noises that seem to distract some kids (i.e. other groups talking, the lights humming, outside sounds, etc.) The students really enjoy hearing some of my "oldies" as well since most finish their task a little early and can focus on the music. Hope this helps!
I've used Aretha Franklin's, Respect, to cue my students when it is time to line up for lunch, activity, recess, etc. I will secretly tell a student to "hit play" and the music comes on. As soon as my students hear the song they immediately stop what they're doing, push in their chairs and quietly line up. If they're not lined up when the song is over (which never happened), they have to move their clip as a consequence.
The song is fun and upbeat and it's funny to see the kids lining up quietly but yet somewhat dancing with their head bobbing too.
We practiced this a lot during the first couple of weeks of school.
No no no....I've never had to wait till the song was finished. As my students had the routine down pat, we'd be out the door before the chorus started..ha. Sometimes I personally wanted to hear..."what you want...baby I got it..."
I love the Respect idea! I was just curious about your clip system. I am considering using a system like that with my 5th graders, and I'd love to hear about what your consequences are for when they move clips.