Sunday, August 26, 2012

Can I Have Your Attention, Please?

Wow! This week has been tiring. And although I've had lots to write about, I haven't had the energy!!! Ay caramba.

Anyway, I want to talk to you about something that is a bit silly slash embarassing.

Whenever first year teachers ask me about advice that I have for them, I ALWAYS say, "You need to have an attention-getting strategy!" I have said it a hundred times. I have even added that I didn't have one last year and that is part of the reason that I didn't feel confident about my classroom management skills.

I went into this year with my attention-getting strategy in mind - I wanted to do the Class/Yes from Whole Brain Teaching. I haven't bought into the whole WBT situation but I felt like this was a pretty standard thing to try out.

So I went in on the first day, taught the Class/Yes thing to my class................ and then didn't use it for the next 3 days. I felt really self-conscious about it for some reason, even though I teach 6 year olds!!

On Thursday afternoon, day 3 of school, I was already just as frustrated as I was last year. I hate the feeling of standing in front of the class and just hoping that they'll stop talking. Or talking over them and then no one hears you whatsoever.

So I decided - on Friday, I was doing it! I was going to Class/Yes all day long! There was no stopping me!

So I did it. And it was AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAZING. I never had a hush fall over the crowd like I did on Friday. Go me go!

It made our Friday schoolwork SO much more pleasant and wonderful!

For example, we made our first math quilt!
I absolutely loved making these last year, but my love for them increased 1000% when I had everyone's attention to teach the folds and cuts! My second graders (who made these last year - but starting in December) were trying to do the fancier folds and cuts that come later in the year so I had to stop them, haha!

We also did a super fun estimation activity with oatmeal squares!

A side note - one of my friends came out from New York this weekend and we did lots of touristy things in the city! It was a beautiful day yesterday and I had so much fun!
What attention-getting strategy (or strategies) do you use? If you need some ideas, there are a bunch of options here!


  1. Those transitions on that link look fun! I printed out a set for tomorrow!!! Thanks for the quilt shout out! I need to prep that! August will be over before I can even learn their names! I may just start with September! Take Care!

  2. Oh my gosh, I think you read my mind. I too haven't really bought in to doing WBT all the way but wanted to try class/yes. But I've been feeling self conscious about it for some reason. I basically just clapped a pattern last year and had the kids repeat after me, but they started clapping and continuing to talk :-/

    I'm glad to hear that class/yes worked for you! Your not using the scoreboard though right? I read that class/yes is successful because of the scoreboard because if they don't say it back you get a point. Do you use a different system or do they just buy in because its fun?

    Adventures in Room 5

  3. I love wbt. This is my first year to fully implement all aspects. I started last year with class yes. Here is a freebie with some other options.

  4. I use the Class-Yes with my 4th graders as well as Hands and Eyes! It does really work! They also love when they get a 10 finger whoo!

  5. I just started using a rainstick to get the kiddos attention. Although I'm still working on the whole knowing where it is at all time aspect, it works like a charm when I know where it is! I'm glad to hear Class/Yes worked for you without all of the whole brain teaching because I'd love to start incorporating aspects slowly!

    A Place to Thrive

  6. I sometimes think people walking by my room might think I'm a bit hokey, but WBT works like a charm!!

  7. Hooray! I love Class-Yes. Although, I have to remember to jazz it up throughout the year or my 4th graders get bored. We just started today and we were Class-Yessing all day long. I still use a bell and count down occasionally when I want to give them some time to come together and I use the quiet hand...ya know, when you hold your hand up and kids see you and do the same until everyone is quiet. I like mixing all three depending on the activity but Class-Yes is my go-to. So happy it worked out for you!!

    The Teaching Thief

  8. I did this totally fun but thoroughly embarrassing attention getter last year with my firsties. I had to sing it, to the tune of "dynomite", no less. It went like this:
    "i put my hand up in the air sometimes,
    I stop walking, I stop talking.
    Mrs. Mathews wants to see my five,
    So I stop walking, I stop talking."

    I dont know if I'll be singing it to my fourth graders this year, though!



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