Attention Getters For Middle and High School

Discussion in 'Behavior Management Archives' started by DramaRocks, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. DramaRocks

    DramaRocks Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2006

    Hello everyone,

    I'm about to start student teaching this Monday, and I had a question. My 12 week assignment is split between a middle (6-8) and a high school (9-12), because my licensure will be PK-12. (No programs with theatre in the elementary schools around here....) I wanted to ask advice on what are some good attention getters for these two grade levels? For example, I am not going to flick the lights on and off for my high schoolers; I think they are a little too old for that and the action will be condescending. (I guess I can do that if they are out of control and are acting like elementary students!)

    For middle school, I was thinking of raising my hand and waiting for all the other students to look at me and raise their hand too (without talking). I saw a teacher do this, and it seems to work... and I don't think the middle schoolers will feel like I'm belittling them with that. What do you guys think? For high school- I'm really clueless! If anyone can come up with something that can incorporate drama- even better!!

    Thanks a lot! :D
     
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  3. miss_muffet

    miss_muffet Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2006

    I'm in high school and the teacher just usually says "hey guys, up here" or something. My english teacher gets her gradebook out and starts subtracting participation points if people don't stop talking. That definately works. Whatever you do, don't start dancing on the tables. One of my teachers did that and it was disturbing.
     
  4. DramaRocks

    DramaRocks Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2006

    Dancing on tables?? Wow! That is definitely interesting! Must have been a different kind of teacher, but I can see that getting some attention! :eek:

    Thanks for the advice. I'm actually in high school now and was wondering what I could do. I guess there's no sure way at this level, and I tried the hand raising thing in middle school & it worked with them. So far in high school, I've just been telling them that "I'll just wait for you to get quiet before moving on," and it worked today. I'll have to see what happens next week. :p
     
  5. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2006

    Usually I say" The more time it takes you to stop talking the less time we have for P.E. (This I use for middle school) They usually get quiet quick and they tell the ones talking to stop it. I have been using. "I'll wait" and just stare at the ones really talking it up. They get embarrased and stop talking. They hate the Serious STARE. These are some of the things I do and it usually works for me...everytime, but some classes are different you have to feel them out and work at it.
    I never turn out the lights or any of the primary stuff. I treat them with respect by saying,"ladies and gentelmen I need you attention" They liked to be noticed and not treated like little kids, so I usually address them this way.

     
  6. usfmeghi

    usfmeghi Companion

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    Mar 24, 2006

    Oh.. wow.. glad i stopped by.
    This is exactly what Im struggoing with. I have a tough class and nothing seems to work.. the bells, asking them to be quiet,.
     
  7. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2006

  8. khettinger

    khettinger Rookie

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    May 4, 2006

    I teach middle school. I use the hand raising with a signal word and the students respond very well. On days when they are particularly chatty, I add seconds to the "time box" on the white board, which results in time they have to stay after class. I usually only have to add a few seconds- middle school students hate missing their passing period.
     
  9. melle

    melle Rookie

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    May 11, 2006

    I just stand in front of the class and say in a nice, loud, "could be sarcastic but it's not" tone of voice, "Hey, guys, listen up!" If a few kids are still straggling in terms of talking, I then look at them, put on my best dramatic fkair and boom, "It's my turn for attention! Me!" Which usually dissolved the class into giggles and gets them watching me. I am known for my flair for the dramatic/humorous. Kids want to be in my classes because they NEVER know what they're going to get. I'm interesting, not boring. They like that. My classes are some of the hardest on campus, but I rarely have failures, even from kids other teachers have problems with. Of course, the kids hate me because I'm hard and my classes are hard - but they want to be in them because they are not BORING. I sing, I dance, I tell them about my dogs, my kid, my life. I relate EVERYTHING to EVERYTHING, making the most outlandish (and yet strangely probably and practical) connections I can get away with (it helps to be teaching lit classes, writing, and art history, I get to be artsy-fartsy.) If I get bored, I TELL them, and threaten a quiz. I may do this loudly, "I am SOOOooooo bored right now. I need to be entertained. I think I'll pop a quiz." (very effective to get other students to shut up talkers) or I'll just tell them, "This conversation is boring. You are boring me. That's really dangerous." Or, alternately, "You sooo did not read last night, and now you are boring me with this ridiculous drivel when I know you can be SO much more interesting than that. Did somebody in here READ EnterTAIN me!") etc. etc. You get the picture. If a lesson isn't working, it's probably a crappy lesson - I'll chuck it then and there and say, "OK, I'm bored, CLEARLY you're bored, let's just drop this and..." and move on to whatever else we need to do or I want to do. It's all about presentation and flexibility. Be CREATIVE!! Have fun. Your kids are going to be with you if you are there for them, it's as easy as that. My students know that when I'm "bored" it means that they are off task and I'm concerned (it's a joke, clearly, as whether or not I'm bored is SO not the point) My students know this. They appreciate my drama, my humor, and my obvious enthusiasm, and respond very well. Try it!
     
  10. DramaRocks

    DramaRocks Rookie

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    May 11, 2006

    Thank you for your suggestions and insight, melle! You are totally right... boring lessons are snoozers not just for the students, but for me, too! So why not admit to it and move on?! :) I like how you handle things, and I think I'll be able to get away with the same thing. I'm going to be a drama teacher, and I'm sure all of my students are expecting me to be a little off the deep end! Thank you again!
     

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