Your class are engrossed in activities. There’s chitter chatter and the buzz of excitement all around. Now, you want the whole classes attention and quickly. What do you do? These class attention grabbers are loved by the kids and best of all they really work.
Code word — Having a code word that the whole class know is a great way to get them to stop, look and listen. Ensure everyone knows the word of the day (you could change this daily, weekly or termly) and the rules for when they hear it. When it’s time to stop their activities shout the code word at the top of your voice. Making the code word something ridiculously random like “TOAST”, “DANDELION” or “HIPPOPOTAMUS” keeps things fun, or you could link the code word to your current topic.
Music maestro — Choose a song and explain to your class that when they hear it, that means: “Stop what you’re doing and be ready to listen.” If you need their attention quickly mid way through the lesson, you could just play the opening to the song with the promise of playing the full song at the end if they have a good lesson. If you need them to stop and tidy up you could play the full song and tell them that they need to be tidied, ready and in their seats by the time the music finishes. You could change the song dependent on your topic or give the children the choice.
Catchphrases — Shouting the first line of a catchphrase and getting your class to complete it is always a winner. The catchphrase could be anything. I’ve heard “Macaroni cheese, everybody freeze!”, “Alright, STOP, collaborate and listen!” and “Ready to rock? Ready to roll!” Ensure the children know that when they hear the first line of the catchphrase they must respond immediately and stop what they are doing.
Whispers — Outline the instructions to your class at the start of the day. When the time comes to stop your class choose one or two children to whisper the instructions to “Time to tidy up, pass it on” or similar. They must then pass it on to their friends who must ensure that others are told — whispers only! The instructions spread around the class quickly and quietly and your class won’t make a peep!