Attention Grabbers for Teachers (that don’t involve using your voice)

One mistake we can often make as teachers is relying heavily on our voice to get our students attention.

Students learn to tune it out, we get frustrated and perhaps speak louder and that isn’t a winning combination for anybody.

Here are a few alternative ways to get your students attention and keep it.

Teacher Tip: Look at this list as a menu and stick to just a few that you use regularly so students know what they need to do and what you expect.

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    • Use an instrument such as a bell or tambourine. Some teachers like to have a doorbell
      • Clapping patterns
        • Use a secret code word e.g. ‘Pizza’ – when giving instructions, students are not to move until they have heard all your instructions and you say the secret code word.
          • Counting backwards from 5, 10 (this is great for incidental counting practice in the younger grades too!)
            • Action patterns (e.g. tap your head twice, clap twice and repeat) or slow, detailed action patterns that require no sound are useful if you are trying to calm the class down
              • Teacher and students completing a phrase/call and response (we have included some inspo below)
                • Switching on and off the lights
                  • During a whole school PA announcement, asking students to immediately freeze and put hands on heads or an alternative action

We know how much teachers love a good call and response. Plus, it is great to mix up our repertoire from time to time. So, we have included this list to help you.

Finally, remember CONSISTENCY is the key to success. It allows for you and your students to both be on the same page.

Getting our students attention in order to deliver learning experiences is only one aspect of classroom management.

We often like to ask preservice teachers and new teachers which teaching area they would like extra support in. Along with parents, managing a classroom is one of the most daunting parts of being a teacher. No one wants to feel outnumbered 30 to 1.

Let us tell you; YOU ARE GOING TO BE FINE! But, to make extra sure of that, we have put together a FREE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP, where you’ll learn strategies to feel prepared and ready to meet a class of students.

This free workshop is a small taster of our course, Transform Your First Years, specifically designed to support new teachers like you!

Sign up HERE to get instant access to our free workshop!

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What to read next:

6 things we want New Teachers to know

Strategies to minimise teacher pressure

Ways to establish a classroom community

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