Attention grabbers are a great way to improve your classroom management. To get your students' attention, simply say, "Hocus Pocus!" and have the students respond with "Everybody Focus!" The students will respond to these fun cues and will quietly wait for the next set of directions. If needed, say the first attention grabber quickly followed by another attention grabber. Want to shake things up? Whisper the attention grabber or use a silly voice. Have the students match your tone and intensity.
Some of these phrases are from books/movies/songs and can be tied into the classroom reading lesson, especially in younger classrooms. When reading a book, remember to pick a repetitive phrase or quote and make that your new attention grabber. Encourage students to come up with attention grabbers. "Five Little Monkeys . . . ?" "Chicka, chicka . . .?"
Use your spelling words to create new attention grabber phrases. Or, use the spelling word itself: the teacher says, "Spell (say the spelling word) and students reply by spelling the desired word together. Encourage 'synchronized spelling' by calling out, "synchronized Spelling, (say spelling word)".
Does your student need to practice his/her braille skills (braille display) or keyboarding skills? Provide the teacher part of the phrase and have the student braille or type the student response. This can be done as an individual activity or a group activity. If a group activity, students can race against each other to see who can finish first without any errors. When the student is done brailling/typing, hands in the air! This can be a silent activity, so students that shout out when they are done could be disqualified for that round. "Get it, got it . . . ?"
Technology Keyboard Commands
Students who use a screen reader can practice navigating commands using attention grabbers. Teach the commands to navigate to the beginning/end of a sentence, to move by character, word, line, paragraph, etc. Initially start by providing only the teacher part of the phrase and having the student add the student response. Mix it up by leaving out the teacher portion of the phrase and have the student navigate to and fill in the teacher portion. Mix it up again by leaving out a word or by adding the wrong word. Want to include spelling? Mix it up by misspelling a word and having the student find the misspelled word and correct it! To practice moving from the beginning/end of the document and moving by paragraphs, take a longer reading assignment and periodically add an attention grabber into the document. Students can navigate to the attention grabber, cut the phrase from the document and paste the phrase at the end of the document.
Have the student come up with his/her own attention grabber. You can guide the student by giving a topic, such as using a favorite ad jingle, favorite cartoon or movie, song, or book. Here is an example of a commercial jingle: McDonald's tune, "ba, da, ba, ba, ba"; "I'm lovin' it!"
Attached is a list of attention grabbers to help you get started.
Picture credit: The picture associated with this post came from bloglovin'.