Auditory Attention Getters for Classroom Management

attention getters for classroom management Stocking a fun collection of attention getters is an important component to an effective classroom management system. In my previous post I shared some strategies for effectively getting student attention. (And it wasn’t saying “Shhhh!”)

One of the strategies I suggested involved using a variety of “sound effects.” A few people asked me for specific suggestions, so here is a list of my favorites! [Read more…]

Shhhh…Replace Shushing with Effective Attention Getters!

Replace shushing with effective attention getters

“Shhhhhhhh! Boys and girls (shhhh), today we are going to review how to add with regrouping (shhhh.) We learned this last week (Aiden- shhh!) and I want to review it because some of you seem a little confused (shhhhhhhhhh.)”

Is there a snake in the room? A leaky tire? Or just a room full of chatty children with a frustrated teacher TRYING to teach?

I have a confession to make: I am a shusher. Not only do I “shhhhh” in the classroom, but I “shhhh” in the movie theater, I “shhhh” during meetings with adults, and I “shhhhhh” in situations where shushing really isn’t my responsibility! (Like other people’s children at church. Oh dear.)

This is a bad habit I have worked hard to eliminate in the past few years. However, in my effort to stop my own shushing, I have come to realize how much we teachers shush in general! Sometimes it’s so bad it almost becomes part of a teacher’s sentence structure (like the example above.)

Here is the problem: “Shhhhhh!” doesn’t really work. It certainly doesn’t work when we shush all day long! Children get immune to the shushing. In fact, children grow immune to any attention-getting device that we overuse.

That’s why I collect attention-getting ideas and mix them up throughout the day. The children are quick to learn the different signals, are much more likely to respond with quiet attention, and actually find it fun to “stay on their toes.”

Here are a few of my favorite attention getters! [Read more…]

What’s Wrong with Round Robin Reading? (And some alternatives…)

What's wrong with round robin reading

“Boys and girls, we are going to take turns reading. Follow along so you are ready when your name is called!”

It’s called “round robin reading” (or “popcorn” reading – that sounds more fun) and has been around since the beginning of education. In 2009 it was reported that 59% of K-8 teachers use this reading strategy in their classrooms (Opitz and Rasinski).

Why do teachers use this format?

It’s a well-intentioned practice. Teachers know that one of the main ways to gauge a reader’s fluency and decoding skill is to listen to the child read. It’s also a strategy employed to keep children “on task” during reading time. Unless students know which portion of the text they will be reading aloud, they have to “stay on their toes” and follow along so they are ready when their name is called.

If teachers don’t have other methods for keeping students on task while they listen to readers, “round robin” seems like the only option. It also offers a perceived accountability in contrast to silent reading. (Is that kid really reading? If I call on him he will be!)

What’s wrong with it? [Read more…]

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