Friday, April 3, 2015


Do you remember playing that game in the swimming pool with your friends? It’s a good example of a call back that you can use in your classroom to focus the children’s attention. Whenever the teacher says something, the students respond. Call backs are a “gentle” way to say “pay attention and look at me!” 

Here are a few that teachers have shared with me. I’ve actually used many of them when I volunteer in schools, and they really do work. It might be helpful to introduce one each Monday and use it throughout the week. Write it on a sentence strip and use a picture clue to help put it in the brain. If you’ve got other call backs that work in your classroom, please email them to me and I’ll post them on my blog. 

Teacher says: Criss cross.
Children respond: Be your own boss. (Cross arms and sit up straight.)

Teacher says: All set? (Snap fingers twice.)
Children respond: You bet! (Snap fingers twice.)
*If they are not ready they respond “not yet.” Keep saying “All set?” until the entire class is responding “You bet!”

Teacher says: Hands on top.
Children respond: Everybody stop! (Put hands on head and freeze.)

Teacher says: Macaroni and cheese.
Children respond: Freeze please! (Freeze and look at the teacher.)

Teacher says: Ready?
Children respond: Spaghetti! (Stand up straight.)

Line Up Tip
Teacher says: Locket. (Pretend to lock lips.)
Children respond: Pocket. (Pretend to put the key in their pocket.)

Teacher says: Hips (Put one hand on your hip.)
Children respond: And lips. (Put index finger on lips.)

Teacher says: Standing straight?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Hands to self?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Mouth closed?
Children respond: Check!
Teacher says: Ready for the hall?
Children respond: Check!

It’s also fun to play the “Marco Polo” game as you wait for children to get ready to go home, clean the room, and so forth.

Teacher: Marco
Children: Polo

Teacher: Okeedookee
Children: Artichokee

Teacher: Peanut butter
Children: Jelly

Teacher: Mickey
Children: Minnie

*Challenge children to create their own call backs.