Primary Chalkboard: Getting Their Attention

Getting Their Attention

Happy Monday, friends! It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!
I'm so happy to spend my Monday with you!
Hopefully, you are out and enjoying a much needed break.
If not, hang tight! Help is on its way!

A few days ago, Nicole posted about behavior management,
and one of the things she wrote about was using music to transition.
Well, today I want to tell you a few ways we get attention and transition in my classroom. :)

I like to call my tools for getting attention Freeze Signals.
For instance, when the intercom comes on, we that's a freeze signal.
Most of my freeze signals, though, are just teacher/student chants.
Chants have been around for a long time.
I didn't invent them, but I sure do like using them.

 Here are a few of our faves:
Teacher Says: Macaroni and Cheese  -or-   32 Degrees
Students Say: Everybody Freeze

Teacher: And a Hush Came over the crowd
Students: (in a whisper) HUSSSHHH!

Teacher: Hocus Pocus
Students: Everybody focus

Teacher: Everybody in the House
Students: is as quiet as a mouse

After we use the Freeze Signals, everyone "should" stop everything and silently freeze. I say "should" because sometimes we lack self control.
That probably doesn't happen in your classroom. 

Even with our fun Freeze Signals, there were a few times during the day when we were having trouble getting ourselves together. Specifically, lining up.
Can you feel me??

So...I came up with a few Freeze Signals for particular times of day.
I'm sure someone thought of these before me, but I'd never seen them anywhere.

Getting Ready for the Hall
Teacher: Stand Up Tall
Students: We're Ready for the hall

Settling down in the line for lunch
Teacher: Hawaiian Punch
Students: We're Ready for lunch

One thing about Attention Getters.
I start the year teaching one a day for about the first two weeks.
I want them to overlearn each one.

THEN-very important-I make sure I don't overuse any of them.
If we want them to be effective, we can't use them to the point where the kids get tired of them.

Throughout the year, I add more attention getters.
January is a great time to turn "Macaroni and Cheese" into "32 Degrees." You get the idea.

At the end of the post I've linked you to free Attention Getter resources from TpT and TN. Hope you can use!

Bells, Chimes, and Other Pleasant Sounds
One of the easiest ways to get kiddos' attention is to use pleasant sounds in the classroom.
Here are some we use.

Hand bells and Call bells are very inexpensive and get the job done without being obnoxious.
Just ring the bell a few times when you need the kiddos to listen.  

We ring a call bell 3 times when we are ready to move to another station during Reading and Math Workshop.
Our daily helpers get to ring the bells.
Very Effective!
This Hand Bell costs about $6.35 from Amazon. The picture will take you there.
 This Call Bell is about $5.30 from Amazon.

You can do the same thing with wind chimes.
I currently don't have any wind chimes in my room,
but I know some teachers who couldn't live without their chimes.
One teacher I know sounds the chimes when she is ready for the kids to come to the carpet.
Again, a pleasant signal to get the kiddos moving.

This set of chimes is around $12 from Amazon.

Sometimes we just need a Whistle!
Oh, the Whistle! I have a train whistle. It is called "The Last Resort."
When the kids hear the train whistle, they know I mean business.
We are too loud or way off task and we need to get ourselves under control.
We don't mess around when we hear the train whistle.
This train whistle costs about $5.49 from Amazon.

Attention Getters from TN and TpT.

I truly believe in Attention Getters!
If you haven't tried them, give them a shot!
AND-Whatever Attention Getters/Freeze Signals you choose,
make sure YOU are happy with them.
When the teacher is happy, the classroom runs much more smoothly! :)

Have a relaxing and blessed Thanksgiving, friends!


  1. I have a couple of great ones: When I need their attention, I sing "Class" and they sing back "Yes"
    My favorite sound maker is a shell whistle I got from my BTSA director my second year of teaching. It makes a really nice tone. It is a student favorite as well! The only problem with that is that subs can't use it.

    1. I love that one, Krista! Also love the shell whistle. I guess that does cause a problem with subs, though! Ha! So glad you stopped by!

  2. Laura, love this post! Definitely plan on trying some of these fun ideas with my kids. Thanks.


    1. Hi, Nicole! I hope your kiddos love them! I want to get some chimes soon to go along with my bells and whistles. Happy Thanksgiving!!