When I student taught, my supervising teacher always sang a 'good morning' song after the announcements were done. The kids would sing the song with her and wait for her to tap them on the head. (The head tap only happened if their desk was cleared of morning work and they were sitting nicely in their seats.) Once their head was tapped, they would keep singing while they walked over to the carpet. By the time the song was done, everyone was calmly sitting, watching the teacher and waiting for the lesson to start. This simple start to the day showed me the power of using simple songs to capture the attention of the entire class and to create smooth transitions.
A simple two-line song would do the trick for grabbing the attention of your class in a matter of seconds. Something like:
Teacher: "What is it time for?"
Students answer: "Time to stop and listen"
With an approach like this, students have two opportunities to hear that they are supposed to stop and listen. The first is when the teacher sings his or her line. The second is when the students around them respond. This helps eliminate a few of the "Johnny, I already asked you to be quiet once!" moments that happen every day.
Another version of this that I especially liked using was to clap a special clap and have the students clap it back to me. I could do this two or three times if the room was especially noisy or if we were outside on the playground without having to yell above the noise.
One bonus with these two strategies is that the kids feel like they are pretty special for knowing the special clap or song, especially when they are around other classes or their parents. This makes it even easier to get their attention when on a field trip or during a special event at school.
Here are a few other great ways to use music in the classroom:
#1: Start the day off in a calm way
#2: Clean your room in 3 minutes
#3: As a free and easy reward
#4: To lower your stress
#5: To keep the room quiet
#6: To Teach a set of facts
#7: Create smooth transitions
#8: Grab students' attention without yelling
And don't forget to check out other easy ways to grab your kids' attention.
What's your trick for getting your students' attention?
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What's a"Super Teacher?" Any teacher that's trying his or her very best to create effective teaching moments and provide a positive classroom environment. We Super Teachers aren't perfect teachers by a long-shot, but we are always striving to become better teachers. Read more Super Teacher Tips here!
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