I only have a few more days left in March, so I am going to launch several blog posts in a row. I want to give you as much information about building attention in the classroom as I can. I just came across a blog at www.mindsinbloom.com that had some great attention keeping tips.
You can check out the full list of 20 ideas HERE.
Some of my favorites were:
Desk Switch: Students have ten seconds (count down from ten) to find another desk to sit in that is in a different part of the room than his or her normal desk. Students stay in that desk for the rest of the lesson. Why? Two reasons, first switching desks gets them up and moving. Second, sitting in a different place in the classroom will give them a different perspective and wake up their brains a bit.
Position Switch: Have students turn their chairs around and sit straddling the chair with their hands resting on the back (girls in dresses can sit side-saddle). While good sitting is important, a few minutes of sitting differently can keep kids alert. Another idea is to let kids sit on their desks with their feet on their chairs (which they will love!)
Throw students a foam ball when calling on them to answer a question.
Choose a fun word, such as “Shazam!” or “Bazinga!” Every time you say the word, students must use both hands to hit the tops of their desks two times and then clap two times. Say the word several times throughout the lesson. It will wake everyone up!
With younger students, teach with a puppet or give a voice to a stuffed animal.Throw in a joke every now and then.
If a lot of kids look sleepy, stop talking and write a simple command on the board such as: “Put both hands on your head.” The silence should alert day dreamers that something is going on. Follow up with two more written commands. Make the last one something with sound just in case a few kids haven’t caught on, such as, “Clap three times.” Continue with your lesson.
Wear bright colored clothing. If you want to keep their attention, you should be the most interesting thing in the room.
Kandi McMahan, M.A., CCC-SLP