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November 13, 2013 Listen Up, Students! Attention Signals That Work By Alycia Zimmerman
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    The mythological super-teacher can silence a room of pandemonium producers with just a look. However, I've yet to meet a teacher with that particular super-power. All of the super-teachers I know use carefully practiced signals to call their students to attention. Regardless of the particular attention signal they use, the common thread is the consistent expectation that every student stops, looks, and listens. 

    Watch how teachers from every grade in my school demonstrate how they get their students' attention, and get tips from their answers to some of the frequently asked questions about effective attention signals.  Mobile users, please go to:


    How do you get your students' attention when your classroom is buzzing? Do you sing, chant, use a call-and-response or clap pattern? Do you stick with one attention signal all year long, or do you use different signals at different times? How do you get your students' attention in "quiet-only" settings like museums or libraries? Share your attention signals and solutions with us in the comments section below. Thanks!


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