10 Ways To Capture Your Students’ Attention


Getting your students’ to pay attention to you at any point of time is an exercise in patience. In this world of continuous distractions and interruptions, it is also of the most common and biggest challenges that teachers face. Here are a few tricks that will help you draw your students’ attention even when they are engaged in other activities.

shutterstock_327193781. Poster Board 

Make a noise level monitor using a piece of poster board. On the left side label it 1, 2, 3 etc and on the right side, list the type of noise acceptable for each.

For example:

  1.  No talking
  2.  Whispering
  3.  Normal talking

2. Give Me Five1 (56)

Teach your students that when you hold up one of my hands with palm facing out like a stop sign. The fingers represent…

  1.  Stop talking
  2.  Back against the chair
  3.  Feet on the floor
  4.  Hands in lap/on desk
  5.  Eyes on the teacher

If you teach this in the beginning of the year, children will learn it in no time!

claap3. Clap Patterns

Clap in a particular pattern and repeat it till all the children in your classroom stop doing what they are doing and repeat the same clapping pattern. You can also change the clapping patterns occasionally.

quietspray4. The Sshh.. Spray

Take an empty and clean spray bottle, attach a colorful and funny label, and you are ready to go. It’s useful when the class is a bit too loud, and it’s a great non-verbal cue. Sprinkle the spray into the air when the class is noisy, children will keep quiet without any guidance from you.

5. Soundshutterstock_175581170

Use any kind of sound maker as a signal for students to be attentive. You can touch a wind chime, ring a bell, play a quiet music or shake a shaker to grab their attention.

6. Call And Response

You can use call and response signals like,

  • Teacher says, “One, Two” – Students’ response, “Eyes on you.”
  • Teacher says, “Eyes” – Students’ response, “Open.”
  • Teacher Says, “Ears” – Students’ response, “Listening.”Happy Teacher, Enthusiastic Students
  • Teacher says, “If you can hear me clap once, if you hear me clap twice.”
  • Teacher says, “Hear Ye Hear ye” – Students’ response, “All eyes on the queen.”
  • Teacher says, “Ready to Rock?” – Students response, “Ready to Roll.”
  • Teacher says, “Hey” – Students respond with “Ho.”
  • Teacher says, “Macaroni” – Students respond with “Cheese.”
  • Teacher says, “Marco” – Students respond, “Polo.”
  • Teacher says, “One fish, Two Fish” – Students response, “Red Fish, Blue Fish.”
  • Teacher says, “Silent Guitar” – Students respond by playing air guitar.
  • Teacher says, “Silent Wiggles” – Students respond by dancing around.
  • Teacher says, “WWW Dot” – Students response, “Zip It Dot Com.”
  • Teacher says, “Hocus, Pocus” – Students response is “Everybody focus.”

light flick7. Flick The Lights

Use the light in your classroom to grab the attention of your students. Turn the switches of lights on and off and ask your students to be quiet at your count of five on-offs of the light.

8. Count Down/ Count Up

Teach your students to look at you when you start counting numbers. When you find your classroom noisy, start counting the numbers and observe your students; they will gradually stop being noisy and look at you.

9. Secret(Fun) Word

The secret word can be SALAMI. This is the signal for Stop and Look At Me Immediately. A funny word, but it works!

10. Question

Asking interesting questions and sharing interesting facts in a noisy classroom, creates inteshutterstock_196926971rest in the students to listen and grasp things. This eventually leaves a quiet classroom.

Dis you find the article useful? Have you tried out any of these methods in your classroom? Please give your suggestions in the comments section below!


About Author

Rohia is an aspiring writer, who once upon a time used to be an engineer, until she decided to follow her true passion, writing. She enjoys playing piano, listening to music and singing too.

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