Middle School Attention Getters

Discussion in 'General Education' started by CatfaceMeowmers, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. CatfaceMeowmers

    CatfaceMeowmers Companion

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    Aug 10, 2015

    :help: This is probably the only issue I'm having as far as planning my first classroom. And it's a silly thing to get hung up on: attention getters.

    I will be teaching 6th grade math. I am torn between attention getters. Here are my options:

    -I will stand at the front of the class and raise my hand. This is the signal to stop what you are doing and turn your attention to me: eyes are on me, mouths are closed, ears are open, and hands are empty.
    -When working in groups, I will announce, “I need your attention please.” I will raise my hand. This is the signal to stop what you are doing and turn your attention to me: eyes are on me, mouths are closed, ears are open, and hands are empty.
    -This should take no longer than 5 seconds.

    OR

    "Class class" they respond "yes yes" However I say it, they say it. This is from Whole Brain Teaching, which I kind of tossed out the window. When I tried it while I subbed (mistake on my part) it was a complete joke.

    OR

    Some sort of funny phrase and they complete it. For example, I say "Peanut butter" they say "Jelly time" something cute like that.

    OR

    Pretty much anything in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78eiLtQjmss I adore waterfall fingers...

    So...I have so many choices but I want to make a decision asap! Are some of these too elementary? Is the hand raising on too simple? @____@ :help:
     
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  3. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2015

    Hey! I am right there with you and I have a few to add to your list. I use a call bell and tap it and the students have 5 seconds to finish their thought and/or sentence. I count down on my fingers and after that they are done talking. It's a light tap.

    Then, I use the bell to get them 100% quiet. If they hear that they know that I need their attention now.

    I hope this helps.

    I sometimes use 1,2,3 Eyes On Me and they say "1,2, Eyes on You" and get quiet.
     
  4. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2015

    I think this is one of those things where what works best for you depends on your personality and the vibe of your classroom. My personal approach is definitely most similar to your first idea. I might say "alright, let's listen and get started" or "we need all voices off" or "all eyes on me" and that works for me. One of my colleagues likes to use the bumpity-bump bump one from your video, and that seems to work well for him. I do occasionally use the rhythm clap, now that I think about it. I don't think you have to commit to just one attention getter.
     
  5. CatfaceMeowmers

    CatfaceMeowmers Companion

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    Aug 10, 2015

    I figured I could do 2 or 3, but I know I have to drill it constantly for it to work. I think standing in the front of the class and holding my hand up just isn't me. Though I want a serious classroom, that seems too "serious" to me, in a way. So I'll try to work with 3 and see where that leads me :) Thanks.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 11, 2015

    Attention getters are really hard to figure out for middle school. What will work for 6th graders will not work for 8th graders. It will be too childish, so I don't know if what I use would be appropriate for 6th graders.

    I just say "Ladies and gentlemen, I need your attention in 3... 2... 1."

    If I don't have everyones' eyes by then, depending on the number of students out of sync, we will do it again until it's perfect, usually taking away time from a fun activity.

    If it's one or two people holding up the class, I will give those two a consequence.

    I personally tried it without a countdown, and it seemed like it happened too fast for kids to notice, but they really notice when I start counting down. Some only hear the countdown part.
     
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I will sometimes use a countdown for cleaning up at the end of an activity. Otherwise I use a variety of "tools" for attention getting. I teach the behavior I'm looking for early in the year - silence, hands free, ears open- then I use noise makers I've collected from all over the place. I have a drawer full of plastic musical instruments, hand clappers, drums from other countries, bells, etc. I collect unique things from souvenir stores and dollar stores. Honestly, sometimes they get quiet just to see what kind of weird thing I just made noise with!
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I taught 8th grade for one year and have been high school ever since. I usually just call out "okay I need your attention please". If that doesn't work, I'll use a very sharp "hey". I rarely have to do that but it is very effective when I have a class that is just too loud.
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I guess I'm not into "attention getters". When I need my class's attention I stand at the front of the room and say "I need your attention please". If a kid keeps talking I call out their name and that serves as a warning. If kids are up out of their seats for a lab or activity I'll say "You have five seconds to get in your seats and be quiet and still, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" Last year I was in 8th grade which like Peregrin said is light years away from 6th grade. This year I'm in 7th so I guess I can get a little more playful. I have to see how I feel with my classes. (I did like "hush went over the crowd", "waterfall fingers" and "match me")
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2015

    This is what I do as well. If the students are involved in a noisy activity and can't hear me, I'll turn the lights off--this is the signal that they need to listen.
     
  11. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    When I was student teaching in middle school I observed a lot of classrooms. I think it really depends on the style of the teacher. One of the teachers ran a stone-silent, neat as a pin classroom. Whenever students were working in partnerships and he needed their attention back, he would just say in a normal speaking tone, "let's come back together" and that did it. Even I felt like I couldn't breathe too loud in that class, though!
    Another teacher was on the opposite end of the spectrum, with classes that would get quite noisy. She used "If you can hear my voice clap once....if you can hear my voice clap twice..." etc. until everyone was listening.
    A lot of teachers fell somewhere in between, but not many of them did anything special to get attention.
    Personally I think anything is fine as long as your students know what it means and respond to it.
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I like to use a countdown. Depending on the activity, I count down from 5 or 3. They know that they need to be in their seat, quiet, and looking at me by the time I say "zero", or they get a check next to their name.
     
  13. CatfaceMeowmers

    CatfaceMeowmers Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I think I really should incorporate a countdown of some sort. That way, it gives them time to react. I talked with a lot of people and it's not like I have to pick just one. I can do as many as I want, but I don't want to keep jumping from one to another. Thanks so much for all of your comments!

    I can use a countdown and make sure I NEVER have to get to zero, that could be a goal. :)
     
  14. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Aug 13, 2015

    My new personal favorite is

    "Cells, Cells"

    and they respond, "They're made of organelles!"
     
  15. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2015

    I change mine all the time. What ever you decide, you need to practice practice practice. My latest one is I say "Squirrel" and everyone sits straight up and looks like me--(think the dog in the movie, Up). It is pretty funny.

    I actually got the idea from a student. We were brainstorming code words I could us to get their attention and this was one of the ideas.
     

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