4 Unique Ways To Get Your Student's Attention

Getting your students' attention can be challenging sometimes. I truly believe that when I have a difficult time getting my class' attention, it's because I haven't been consistent enough. With that being said, here are a few tricks to help you get your students' attention... and have them listening to you.

4 Unique Ways To Get Your Student's Attention

1. Instead of speaking, type your directions.

Because I am blessed with a projector and smart board in my classroom, sometimes I get to type my directions. This works out to my advantage, because typing forces me to be more succinct. I'm also a quick typer, so my kids get their directions quickly. This forces them to read and process the directions before following them. Extra reading practice + voice saving tactics = teacher win! I got this idea from the amazing Mr. D, who is absolutely AMAZING! Do you follow him on Instagram? You must!!

2. Use a magic word.

When I want students to listen to a whole set of directions, I make sure to say, "When I say go..." or, "When I say the magic word, which is _______..." before adding any other direction. I like to give a small but dramatic pause after saying the magic word too.

You can keep one magic word all year (like "GO"), or you might change it up every day/week/month. It can be a vocabulary word or a nonsense word. The big thing here is that you tell kids when they will be released to follow your direction BEFORE you give it.

3. Stand higher than usual.

Whether you decide to stand on a chair, on a table, or on a classroom stage, adding some extra inches to your stature can be a powerful tool. Just do it safely! If you fall, it's NOT on me, got it!?

Okay, seriously, though... when my students are in the middle of working and I realize I need to make an adjustment, I stand up on something a little higher than my usual height and say, "Can I have your attention please?" Once everyone is looking, I can say the direction. Then it's off the chair as usual. I don't recommend abusing this one, because it will lose its novelty quickly if you do.

4. Be consistent and use modeling.

Really, what it comes down to is modeling. If we regularly model our quiet signals (after a break, after a long weekend, before or after a sub comes, when it's a full moon and Valentine's Day and the 100th Day of school all at the same time...), we are setting our kids up for success.  Modeling isn't enough for the students though; we need to regularly model and practice those signals with our students. Read more about how to do that here.

I hope these ideas help you snag your class' attention quickly! I know how this time of year can drag on, but you've got this! 

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