I use "peanut butter" and they say "jelly". From day one I tell them that when I say "peanut butter", they say "jelly" and then stop, look and listen to me (for directions, important info, anything). My aide and I do it several times a day in the beginning until they've mastered it, which doesn't take too long. In the beginning though, I may say it 2-3 times until everyone does stop and listen. To get ready at circle time, I also say the 5 Rules for Good Listening: Hands are still, feet are quiet, lips are silent, eyes are watching, ears are listening. We continue with other songs for the different circle time activities (weather song, calendar song, and story song). They know they are to be ready by the end of the song. I also use the "I like the way so-so is ready". Sometimes, when they just seem to not be focusing with any of our usual attention-getters, we just get up and move by doing one of the many "brain break" videos available on Youtube! Of course we do those every day but you need extra ones some days! : )
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