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Attention Getters

Compiled By: luvinlife

This is a collection of tried and true attention getting techniques to refocus students' attention in the classroom.

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Posted by: Miller

I raise my hand and they have been told that when they see me raise my hand they follow along and close their mouths to pay attention. I can quiet the whole grade level in about 10 seconds. My admins saw it and did it school wide. We can quiet the whole school in about 15-20 seconds.

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Give Me 5
Posted by: cdeteacher

Students put their hands up and pay attention.

Eyes on speaker
Be still
Hands free

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Posted by: audriana

We've had school wide signals at the last couple of schools I worked in.

My current school, we just raise two fingers (kind of like a peace sign)

At one school I worked at they made and "L" with their thumb and finger. I guess it meant look and listen, but all I could think of was "loser" I had a hard time with that one!

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Posted by: friendlypoofy

I use different things, because some work better than others depending on where you are in the room and what the activity is. I teach the kids to freeze and fold empty hands when I: raise my hand, jingle the windchime, hit the chime, flip the lights. At the beginning of the year I teach one each day and we play the freeze game. They walk around and talk, until I do the signal. After we've learned them all we continue to play the freeze game once a day with all the signals - its fun! :) We do this for a few weeks so they get really good at it. After we play I tell them what I noticed - good and bad (how quick or NOT quick they froze, if their hands were empty, if they were being safe, etc.) - without mentioning anyone in particular.

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Posted by: Artbex

I used the windchime this year and it worked better than anything I have tried for quick response. Then they look and listen. I think I'll also try the hand raised like Miller does. That would be great on field trips.

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Posted by: babyruth

I am going to try Give Me Five and I made this to hang in my room. Hope it helps. I may make each on a different page.

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rain stick
Posted by: wishin2go

A few teacher I know use a giant rain stick for their quiet signal. It's a beautiful sound and loud enough for the kids to hear. I like verbal signals because I always have it with me!

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Posted by: Tatum

I say."1,2,3, eyes on me."
They say, "1, 2, eyes on you."

this works very well every time.

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Posted by: trexteach

This year I've purchased something that kind of looks like a stopwatch that makes different sounds. A teacher this year had one that included a tarzan yell. The kids loved this--actually, I did too.:p I'm anxious to try it out myself.

This past year I mainly did...
"If you can hear me clap your hands twice..."
If I still didn't have the attention of a few, I'd say...
"If you can hear me clap your hands three times."
The good thing is those who were busy would hear the others clapping and it would get their attention right away. I've also changed it up a bit by saying something like...
"If you can hear me stand on one foot." or
"..........................twirl around two times."

I like to have fun with my kids, so not only did they have fun doing these things, I got their attention quickly.

Oh, I forgot. Our fifth grade team also did something we learned with the kids at camp.
The teacher says, "And a hush fell over the crowd!"
The kids would respond..."Hush!"

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Posted by: Hello9348

For middle schoolers, I am going to use two quick beeps of my whistle. My non-quiet methods of getting their attention failed, so hopefully this will work.

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Posted by: MrsM79

There are a few that I've used consistently...we have a school wide rhythm clap that the students respond to almost immediately..I also will start to snap my fingers VERY quietly...think a whisper snap, lol...the kids start snapping with me as soon as they hear it.. I like the wind chime and rain stick ideas too!!

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I sing
Posted by: MrsJ

to the tune of "shave and a haircut, 2 bits!" I sing, "Stop, look and listen" and they respond, "OK!" It works so well that sometimes one of the students will sing it for me when they see me ready to gather them together!

Also, to get them ready to walk quietly in the hallway, we recite (in a whisper voice) "My hands are hanging by my sides, I'm standing straight and tall. I'm looking straight ahead of me, I'm ready for the hall!"

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Call Backs
Posted by: Socks

I've used this for the last few years:

McDonald’s Theme
I say: Ba da ba ba baa …
Students say: I’m lovin’ it!

A fourth grade teacher used this:
He said: Stop! ...
The students said: Collaborate and listen!

I had these in a file:

Teacher Says
==>Then students call back

If you don’t climb the mountain...
==>You can’t see the view

Doing your best...
==>Means you never stop trying

When you believe in yourself...
==>Anything is possible!

Let your efforts...
==>Rise above your excuses

A mistake is a chance...
==>To try harder

Every choice you make counts...
==>Make choices you can count on!

Be satisfied...
==>With nothing but your best!

If you can’t make a mistake ...
==>You can’t make anything.

Hi ho! Hi ho! ...
==>It’s off to work we go!

Are you ready kids? ...
==>Aye, aye, Captain!

We’re all that ...
==>And a bag of chips!

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Posted by: shuntyswife

I say "I need your attention" in my regular speaking voice. It works for my 5th graders. I hate to raise my voice and they know it so they are quick to pay attention.

Due to a certain teacher I know I cringe every time I hear "Give me five"! She incessantly screams it over and over again at the top of her voice. I don't think she got the memo that you are supposed to make them listen after the first time.

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Posted by: diehla

I say: 3 2 1
students: clap

This works pretty well but I like some of these other ideas. I also have a kids wooden train whistle that I might try this year - maybe to bring their attention to a certain activity everyday.

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I use
Posted by: freckleface

I say: Peanut Butter
Class answers: Jelly! That gets them quiet right away!

Sometimes I use the windchimes, sometimes the lights, and I have a bear that yodels! That always surprises them!!

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who am i talking to
Posted by: mrs.hobbs

I say who am I talking to and they all say ME!

123 eyes on me they say 1 2 eyes on you

(like when you knock on a door) I say dent de de dent dent and they say dent dent (something like that noise)

I really like the McDonald's thing and the bag of chips thanks for the ideas-socks:D

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Posted by: conolley

Last year I raised one hand counted down from 5 and gradually lowered my voice so that by one I was at a whisper. It worked well for last year's group!

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compound word shout and others
Posted by: janne

I say "I say pop, you say corn"
I say "pop"
Students say "corn"
I say "pop"
Students say "corn"

I do this with all kinds of compound words, racecar, doghouse, icecream, oh the list goes on!

I also do this:
I say "Q-U-I-E-T"
Students say "Quiet, Quiet that's what I'll be!"

Turning the lights off works well.

Sometimes, I just make silly noises, or shout out something silly like "banana bread". The kids always stop what they are doing and look at me!

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7th and 8th graders...
Posted by: Barbryan

are still little kids at heart and love attention! I ask for quiet, and then thank the students who are looking at me and listening. "Thanks, Ryan, for listening. I see Caitlin looking, thank you..." and suddenly, they all want to be the one named! It reminds me of the old Romper Room looking glass!

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Posted by: it'sjustme

My 3rd grade did this last year.... I got it from a Kindergarten Teacher.

Teacher: Hocus Pocus

Kids: Everybody Focus

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Posted by: historyrocks

I teach junior high - when I need their attention or when they are getting a bit too loud - I sort of count backwards starting from say 64 and then I begin dividing each number by the beginning of the year they all get this puzzled look on their faces, the room gets quiet and all eyes are on me while they try to figure out what I'm doing. At the end of each year - I always have several students who write something about the number 64 in my yearbook.:)

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attention getter
Posted by: mary3rd

I use a wireless doorbell that I got at Home Depot. I keep the button in my pocket and the doorbell on top of a closet out of sight. The first time I use it, it's so funny to see the kids look around to find where the chime is coming from. I'm careful not to overuse it, so the kids know that when they hear the doorbell, I need immediate attention.

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"If you can hear my voice..."
Posted by: MrsJ

When my little ones are particularly wound up at the rug, I say in a soft voice, "If you can hear my voice, touch your nose. If you can hear my voice, touch your chin...and so on, until they are all focused on listening to my next request- it really quiets them down in a positive way. I just say thanks, good listening and then can proceed with my lesson.

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