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Monday, August 16, 2021


Getting children's attention takes a little 
"hocus pocus" and one of these ideas.

Hint! I would choose one of these at a time and use it for several weeks. When you do the same attention grabber repeatedly it becomes an "indicator" in the brain to help children know it's time to look, listen, and learn.

Tootsie Roll

Tootsie roll, (Roll hands around each other.)
Lollipop. (Pretend to lick a lollipop.)
We’ve been talking, (Open and shut fingers.)
Now let’s stop! (Make sign language sign for “stop.”)

Teacher says: Is everybody happy?
Children repeat: Yes, ma’m. H –a- p – p – y. Happy! (Clap on letters.)

Drum Roll, Beethoven, Toot-a-Roo
Teacher says: Give me a drum roll. (Children pat legs like a drum.)
Teacher says: Give me a Beethoven. (Children pretend to hold a cello and hum Beethoven’s 5thSymphony.)
Teacher says: Give me a toot-a-roo. (Children cup hands around mouth like a trumpet and salute.)

Play a Game
Simon says...
Put your hands on your knees.
Wiggle your nose.
Touch your toes...

Magic Clap
Explain to the children that you have a magic signal that only your class will know about. Every time you clap your hands, you want them to repeat the clap and look at you. Practice this by clapping patterns, such as:
clap, clap ~ clap
clap, clap, clap ~ clap ~ clap
After children have repeated the clap and are focused on you, give directions for the next activity.

Give Me a Clap
Lead children in a cheer or a clapping pattern. Make it a game and challenge by saying, "Can you do this?"
If you can hear my voice, clap your hands one time.
In a softer voice say:
If you can hear my voice, clap your hands two times.
In a whisper voice say:
If you can hear my voice, please look at me.
Continue lowering your voice until children are focused on you.

Make Rain
Hold up palm as you say, “Let’s make rain. Do what I do.”
Tap pointer finger on palm for several seconds.
Tap pointer finger and middle finger.
Tap pointer, middle, and ring finger.
Tap pointer, middle, ring, and pinky on palm.
Clap hands together loudly, then reverse movements.
Tap pointer, middle, ring, and pinky on palm.
Tap pointer, middle, and ring finger.
Tap pointer and middle finger.
Tap pointer finger on palm.
Slowly bring palms together and put in your lap.

Criss-Cross Applesauce
Cut the label off a can of applesauce and glue it to a piece of paper. Tape the paper to a stick and whenever you want the children to sit "criss-cross applesauce" hold up your sign. That's a good example of visual literacy because before children read words they read pictures.
*Thanks to my friend Pamela Pounds for this fantastic idea.

Student Heroes
5-4-3-2-1-zero (Hold up hand and put down one finger at a time.)
I’m looking for my
student heroes. (Make goggles with thumbs and fingers and place around eyes like glasses.)

*Call the names of children who are sitting quietly.

Check out this video to learn more attention grabbers and transitions.