Favorite attention grabbers

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by ash_sk8s, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Jun 23, 2015

    What are some of your favorite and effective ways of getting the children's attention, especially during circle time? My co-teacher has a really hard time with circle so I am trying to compile a list of things that may help her!
     
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  3. jeepgirlsrock

    jeepgirlsrock Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2015

    I watched a teacher use "1, 2, 3, hands on head [then students put their hands on their head], eyes on me, nothing in your hands immediately"

    I found that we had to practice this QUITE a bit and constantly go over expectations -- "When I say this, I need you to be using your listening ears for my voice. Put down what you're working on, put your hands on your head, and I want to see everyone's beautiful eyes!" And I know some kids will take some time to get used to this and it is quite long. I also like "Hocus Pocus, Everybody Focus" then the little ones will have to be reminded that when they say "Everybody focus" that after they say 'focus' they are to be on a level 0. When you do this a few times, tell the ones who follow along very well "Oh my goodness!! [Student name], give yourself a big brain kiss for following directions so well!" Then have the entire class give them a positive cheer. Hope this helps!
     
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2015

    It depends on what the students are doing at the time. I work really hard at the beginning of the year establishing procedures for large group, so "typically" I don't have to do any attention grabbers because they're already ready. I have visual cards with pictures of "sitting" and "quiet" and at the beginning of the year we practice "make your body look like this". After a little while, I'll hide the picture behind my back and say "hmm..I wonder if anyone knows what their body should look like without seeing my secret picture".

    If it's a crazy day and we're getting a little loud, I like to start singing a song, typically ABCs or counting 1-20. I also do a game called "I'm in my box". I cover my hands over my head and say loudly "I'm in my box" and the kids echo, then "nobody knows" with kid echo and then whisper quietly "just where I am". The goal is that by the time we get to the end, every child is in their "box" without talking. Sometimes we say "BOO!" loudly as we get out of our boxes, but if I need them focused I'll just keep whispering and say "time to get out of boxes and say good morning".

    I also do a game called "rocket ship", where I just squat down on the carpet and say "Circle time is blasting off in 10, 9, 8, 7, ......" and then when I get to 1 we jump up and come back to criss cross.
     
  5. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    Jun 24, 2015

    First of all, I think training is key. If there is an easy cue that circle time is starting, I think that helps a lot. We have carpet circles and the kids know that when they come out, it's time to sit down. I get most of them that way. Then I like to start off my circles with something engaging and familiar. We have a hello song that we usually do and everyone, or nearly everyone, is sitting down and listening by the time we've made it through all the kids. Then I do a song where they "dance in the middle of the circle" to help get the wiggles out. Once that's done, they are usually at attention and ready for a short book or activity. If something is bombing, I typically change track or end circle time before things melt into chaos. Anything that involves them and/or gives them something to do or hold with their hands is usually successful. But like I said in the beginning, it's all about training. My kids are 27-33 months and I am blown away by how long they can sit. That was longer than I intended. The main points, I think, were training/routines, songs, and anything physical and/or engaging are where I've found the most success. And keeping things short. :)
     
  6. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Jun 25, 2015

    Trust me, my children are well-taught the expectations at circle. But, they are still 3, and when one or two are talking, which is basically inevitable, my co-teacher keeps asking them to be quiet so she can start circle. All the waiting for the one or two to stop talking obviously makes other children start to get impatient and lose attention as well. I just want to help her learn quick, effective ways of getting attention to start circle.

    Also...I have my own ways of doing circle, which are generally quite effective IMO...and even though my co sees me do circle, she doesn't seem to pick up on what I do that works...so just like I need to teach my kids, I need to help teach her as well!
     
  7. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jun 26, 2015

    Hmm....well I'm not sure how your co-teaching looks, but is it possible for just you to do circle time? My district doesn't do co-teachers, but I know of a few teachers in other schools where 1 teacher does large group and 1 does small group. If that's not possible and she's required to do circle time too, I would make a book for her on a ring that she can keep by her during large group of different attention grabbers, songs, activities, etc.. You can also make a ring of picture expectations (sitting, quiet, raising hand, etc.) so that she can easily flip to a picture to show students what she wants. I'm sure you've already done this, but you might want to just have an honest conversation with her and explain that even if a few students are talking, if she goes ahead and starts group time that typically she'll be able to reign those talkers in. Since you don't have an issue when you do group time, you could make a box/bag that has special stickers or stamps in it and she can give them out at the beginning or end of circle time to students making right choices.
     
  8. Evabop

    Evabop Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2015

    I help my students transition to the carpet by playing a song, "On the Rug," from Shawn Brown's transitions album. It's a fun song to sing, and it gives directions on how to sit during circle time. I usually play it right after our clean-up song. (Side note: Shawn Brown's clean-up song is the best imo.)

    If they start getting antsy or distracted, I pause whatever I am doing, and lead them in some stretching and breathing exercises. This brings oxygen to the blood in their brains, making them ready to pay attention and learn.

    From day one I teach them to repeat my clap pattern. If I ever need their attention during the day I just clap a pattern really loudly, and most repeat the pattern and pay attention. It's also a fun game to allow them to make their own clapping pattern. It excites them to hear the entire class copy their pattern.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  9. eyeteach

    eyeteach Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Make sure circle time does not go to long! That is a great day to lose the children's attention.
     
  10. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Oh I know! We are very strict on a 15-20 minute circle. Absolutely no more!!!
     
  11. youwillrise

    youwillrise Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2015

    sometimes i like to change my voice in some way...usually using a whisper.

    or i'll start tapping parts of my body and waiting for the children to follow. for preschool, i would just do the motions. for toddlers, i do the motions and sing a song describing the motions.

    "tap, tap, tap your head. tap, tap, tap your head. tap, tap tap your head. now tap your belly...etc etc"

    and it usually helps to focus them into whatever is coming next. for toddlers we dont do a lot of sit down circles. we do mostly active music and movement, however, we do try our best to do a felt story, book or learning game in whenever we can. definitely need some good tools in the pocket for those moments.
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 27, 2015

    Use a small chime...I got mine off Amazon and trained the kids to look at me whenever I would ring it.
     

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