Tricks of the Trade Thursday: Attention-Getters and Transitions

Hello friends!
Was that an AWESOME Teacher Appreciation sale or what?!?
Thanks to all of you for your support, advice, and encouragement - you have made me a better teacher. 

My bud, Becky, from Compassionate Teacher, 
and I are back for another week of...
"Tricks of the Trade Thursday"
If you missed last week's post on creating bulletin boards, 
you can check it out HERE.
Anddddd...as a thank-you to all who linked up, I have chosen a WINNER to choose THREE items from my TpT store. 
And the winner is...
#3 Collaboration Cuties!
Collaboration Cuties
Congratulations Amanda and Stacia 

*Thanks to everyone who linked up!*
To keep spreading the joy, I will be choosing ANOTHER blogger this week to choose three items from my store.

Now...onto today's post:
Today we're covering two very important topics - they are key if you want to teach effectively in the time you have. 
Link up your "Tricks of the Trade" for getting (and holding!) your students' attention as well as minimizing wasted time during transitions. If you post, please grab our button and link back to this page!

Here are some of my
"Tricks of the Trade"
Bug Eyes
Grasshopper Face
This has become my trademark at my school :)
It was a spur-of-the-moment comment that has stuck!
When I want the students' attention, I call out "Bug Eyes!" and they have to stop what they're doing immediately and stare at me with "bug eyes" (eyes wide open, mouth closed, brain focused)
Rational: When bugs sense a predator is near, they FREEZE and FOCUS on their surroundings - exactly what I want my kiddos to do :) Here's a picture of my kiddos giving me "bug eyes"
This idea was actually bought by the Mailbox Magazine! 
*I did a happy dance when I got that letter!* 
It was published in the June-July edition for
the Intermediate grades :)
Got a unique idea? Click here to submit it! 
I've had 5 ideas bought - that's $100 in Mailbox Money! :)
Ring the Bell
This was the best $5 I have ever spent.
Well maybe not THE best, but it was definitely worth it :)
I use this when my students are doing loud group work and are spread out around the classroom. I usually use it when I'm giving them time updates (i.e. You have five minutes left) 
When I ring the bell, the students have to freeze, turn and look at me, and stay silent and focused until I say "done."  If I have to ring the bell three times in a row, they class loses a "star,"
The room next to mine is a 7th grade one and sometimes the teacher will come in and say "I heard that little bell of yours quite a bit today - rough day?" :)
"Peanut Butter"..."Jelly!"
Another fun thing I've tried is an interactive attention-getter. 
When my students are working and talking, I will walk to the front of the room and say "Peanut butter." They have been trained to stop what they're doing immediately, look at me, and respond, "Jelly!" Then I have their attention and can give them the announcement. Again, they are to remain frozen and focused until they hear me say "Done."

Here's a Pintrest link to lots of great attention-getter ideas:
Cute and unique attention grabbers
Raise a Finger
I use this when I have multi-step instructions and I teach them to listen to ALL of the instructions before moving. For example, let's say we've been working in pairs and it's time to clean up. I want them to 1. compliment their partner, 2. put away their project, 3. walk back to their seats, and 4. get out materials for the next subject. If I just say "first compliment your partner" then 17 voices speak at once - and I can't even fault them because they're following my direction! So I explain everything in steps and have them raise a finger for each step. This way they can see and hear everything I expect them to do and they have a tangible reminder of what they need to do.
Timing our Transitions
 
When I give my students instructions and set them loose to get ready for the next subject, I start my timer. When every student is ready, seated at their desk with their materials, and their thumb in the air, then I stop the timer. I start and stop the timer all day long and, at the end of the day, I record the total "Wasted Time" on the board. Each day we try to "beat" our time from yesterday. If we have a day where we "waste" less than 5 minutes, then we get to play a fun game at the end of the day. The kids love to beat the stopwatch!

Check out Becky's Tricks of the Trade!

And she is SO close to 100 Followers - let's push her over this exciting milestone :)

Well now it's your turn! 
What are your TRICKS OF THE TRADE?
Link up between now and next Wednesday.
I will be randomly choosing a blogger who links up to pick 3 items from my TPT store!

4 comments :

  1. Three ideas that I want to use tomorrow-
    Bug Eyes
    Timing Transitions
    Raise A Finger

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I'm your newest follower and I will go on over to Becky's blog as well.

    Jeanette
    Third Grade Galore

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love bug eyes, what a great idea, so fun that Mailbox bought it! I time my transitions at the beginning of the year until my kiddos are trained.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Jeanette. These are realy nice, I really like the timer with game time at the end of the day.

    thanks
    matt
    Digital: Divide & Conquer

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love all your tricks! How awesome that you were featured in The Mailbox! Way to go Jessica! Those bug eyes are fantastic!!
    Joanne
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    ReplyDelete

Questions? Thoughts? Leave a note below: I LOVE comments! I like to reply to comments via e-mail (so we can start a blogging friendship). Please check your settings to make sure you are not a No-Reply Blogger. Contact me with questions.