October 17, 2013 by Andrea
Okay, so most teachers would agree that you need attention getters in the classroom. Whether your students are completing independent work or doing an interactive activity, when you the teacher need their attention, it can feel like a hassle to get every student to stop and give you their eyes and ears.
My first year I tried the countdown, and I would count down (loudly) Cinco, Cuatro, Tres, Dos, Uno, Cero! and I would expect zero voices (no talking) after Cero was said. Yeah, that worked for about 2 months with my 6th graders. My school had an unofficial attention getter of Give Me Five where the teacher or administrator would raise their hand and say Give Me Five. All of the students would then mimic the hand raising and get silent. This method just felt too elementary to me, so I never used it.
By my second year, I had heard the advice that the students need to be apart of the attention getting process. I soon saw the wisdom in this idea. I’ll admit that I first saw what I’m using now first on Pinterest. Here is the link. http://iteachduallanguage.blogspot.com/2012/06/de-nada-empanada-spanish-rhyming.html
Every few weeks I change to a new one, or when I feel that the current one is getting old with the students. We started out the year with Hola Hola Coca Cola and are currently on ¿Qué te pasa, calabaza? for the fall season. I’ve found that my student really like using them! I say Hola Hola and the students say Coca Cola and then I expect silence from them. Now and then I have to say it twice or wait a few seconds, but they do understand the expectation. Just some advice, don’t use the phrases Nada Nada, Limonada and De nada, Empanada back to back. The first part sounds too similar and the students confuse themselves with which one to use.
Do you have an attention getter? How is it working for you? Give these a try if you’d like!