Tips to Get a Student's Attention in the Classroom
Gain the attention of students by communicating in ways that interest young people. Use a consistent method to take control of your classroom, such as a sound, silence, signal or structure. Build shifts of thought into your teaching, avoiding one topic or one perspective for too long. Share the importance of paying attention by highlighting the potential payoff of quality learning and better grades.
· Call your class to order by ringing a bell, playing music or chanting a fun cadence the class responds to. Teach the students a hand-clap pattern, and use it to garner their attention by clapping in that way and having them repeat it until the whole class is paying attention. Preempt confusing chatter by immediately speaking after each period bell rings.
· Ask an interesting question, and wait for the response. Show a picture and wait a few moments before speaking, using the awkward pause to gain the attention of your class. Use intentional eye contact with disruptive students, locking your gaze upon them until they recognize you.
Speak in a normal voice and say, "If you can hear my voice, please quiet those around you so we can continue." Wait before speaking again, hinting that class will not progress until order has been established.
Hold up a jar of treats, such as candy or small toys, and remain quiet until the kids calm each other down. Reward those who help bring the room to attention.
· Change the lighting in the room by flipping the switches back and forth or darkening a lit room. Raise your hand, signaling that the rest of the class is to raise their hands until every one has quieted down and given you their attention. Play a mirroring game, asking students to repeat the hand signals or faces you make.
· Explain the purpose of each lesson you teach and its relevance to your students' lives. Write important words on the board, using pictures and diagrams to further illustrate key points. Hand out manipulatives and supplemental material for advanced students who may finish their work early.
Assign students to seats that put them next to others who won't distract them from their work. Move unruly students closer to your desk, and partner them with others during group activities. Supply what they need to complete their assignments.
Instruct students to take notes during lessons, and randomly check their notebooks to grade this. Give a manageable amount of work that each student is capable of completing. Scan the classroom and frequently reinforce positive behavior. Pass out prize coupons to students who follow instructions.
· Write key words or pictures on the board or overhead projector while teaching. Illustrate an important point with an activity, such as having students draw a picture that represents their understanding of what you've just shared. Show a comic strip that pertains to the lesson and ask everyone to assign a caption to it.
Change the way you call upon students, such as "If you have a watch on, stand up. This next question is for you." Look for those in your class you normally get overlooked, and give them the chance to offer their thoughts.