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  #1  
Old 06-24-2013, 08:14 PM
mariecurie mariecurie is offline
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Countdown

I'm reading Lemov's Teach Like A Champion, and he talks about using countdowns to get the students' attention and to "work the clock." Is it age-appropriate in middle school for the countdown technique? Have you had success with it in, for instance, 8th grade?

For example, "pencils down and eyes on me in 5...4...3...2...1."
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2013, 08:23 PM
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giraffe326 giraffe326 is offline
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I did this in 5th grade with great success. I'm sure it'd work in middle school as well.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:27 PM
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HistTchr HistTchr is offline
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I never taught eighth, but I taught ninth for years and think that strategy would get old kind of fast (at least for me!). To be honest, I usually just say something to the effect of, "Can I have your attention?" and that does the trick. (You just can't start talking unless the room is absolutely silent, though. Otherwise, students will think that you will teach over their talking, which could definitely cause classroom management issues.)
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:40 PM
AdamnJakesMommy AdamnJakesMommy is offline
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I teach 7th grade, and I don't think this method would work for me or the kids.

I usually set the time limit, give them warnings (5 more minutes or 2 more minutes, or 30 seconds) but actually counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 is highly distracting. Had my teachers done that to me, I would have just quit right at 5 seconds because I'd panic. Usually when I say "alright guys, about 30 or so more seconds---they hamper down and I will see them focus and finish in about 30-45 seconds.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:41 PM
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Miss84 Miss84 is offline
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Counting down? I agree with the previous poster-it will get old, fast. I've never used this method, even with the 3 year olds.
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2013, 08:50 PM
mariecurie mariecurie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistTchr View Post
You just can't start talking unless the room is absolutely silent, though. Otherwise, students will think that you will teach over their talking, which could definitely cause classroom management issues.
This is a great point that I need to remember. I've been so guilty of not following through on it while subbing!
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:10 AM
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chebrutta chebrutta is offline
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In 7th, I hold up my hand and say, "I need your help." We practice until they know to raise their hand, stop talking, and put their eyes on me. As soon as it's silent, I put my ha d down, say thank you, and start talking.

My only concern with the count down is that there's no physical signal from the teacher... I think a lot of my kids would just be completely tuned out to my countdown and miss it. I think it could work very well as long as there was something for them to see out of the corner of their eye to signal that you're starting the countdown.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:23 AM
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geoteacher geoteacher is offline
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I teach 8th, and I do use this technique, but it is not the only one that I use. I agree that it would get old if I used it all the time. Two things that I took away from that book (at least I think it was that one!) were to wait for absolute silence before speaking, and to stop moving when I had something really important to say.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:40 AM
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Maryhf Maryhf is offline
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I use a countdown only occasionally and mostly when we are cleaning up from one activity and ready to begin another. I do use "noisemakers" of a variety of sorts as attention grabbers and that works pretty well for me.
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2013, 09:53 AM
Croissant Croissant is offline
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I teach 6th grade. My number one attention getter is give me five, and it works. I posted a thread here last summer asking if it would be too elementary for 6th graders. I don't remember what the concensus was, but my kids respond quite well to it.

I do still count down sometimes, not as an attention getter so much as a reminder or a warning. For example, if they're working on a independent assignment and I realize there's a lot of whispering going on, I'll say something like, "I need the conversation to stop, please. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." I also count down at the very beginning of class rather that doing give me five. I don't want to over usemy attention getter. If I use it for every little thing, it will lose it's significance.
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