Yelling is one tool often use to get their attention. However, is it the most effective?
These are some ideas to get their eyes on us:
- Counting 1 2 3 is another, less louder and more helpful.
- Using a bell or hitting furniture is helpful too. It is less noisier that yelling but it still noise. That can be annoying.
- Flicking the classroom lights is another way. Probably, it will cause some giggles and screams at first (there are always class clowns)
- Clapping a specific tone can work. I have seen it. IT works
- A grade teacher that I know use the song “If you are happy” to get their attention and settle them down. It’s a great idea but I think it absorbs time. They sing the whole song.
- A friend uses a scout sign. She makes the sign and waits for the class to do the same. As I recall, the index finger means responsibility and the middle finger means respect. (I can be wrong) The two of them have to be together. Once the class settles, she draw a circle with the sign and says thank you.
- In a course I am taking, our teacher uses one very similar. She raises her hand and waits to everybody to the same. If you are talking, you should shut up and raise your hand. Once it’s quiet, she just says thanks.
- On facebook, someone add this one: I use “Please be qui…” and they all shout then :”iet” . Oh , it’s awesome when we are outside in the school’s garden and I take the microphones and I start doing that , and they all , hundreds of students shout out :”ieeeeeet” ! And the parents get amazed !
Regardless of your chosen tool, there are three steps to take into consideration to implement it:
- Explanation. You have to say loud and clear that “Every time I do this, you (students) do this“
- Practice. Do it right after explain it. They have to see the movement to get. For example: Raise your hand high to ask a question and act it out. So, the student don’t do it half way like greeting someone. (It happens a lot, especially with the shy students)
- Reinforce. Every time that it is supposed to happen, do it. Keep it in mind, don’t forget to do it (It’s your reinforcement too) Don’t delay it due to lack of time. Don’t quit after 2 or 3 days. It’s necessary a month to become an automatic thing for your students and you too.