We all have signals, claps, or little songs to get the attention of our students, don't we? This year, I have a new one that is so effective, I had to share. It just came out of my mouth one day as I often sing little phrases to the song, "Are You Sleeping?" (Like, "I am waiting, I am waiting, waiting for you, waiting for you...)
I use it only when I need to check in on an activity/assignment. Example: My kids will be working in groups playing a math game. After 6-8 minutes, I might want to highlight a group's work or share something I saw that impressed me OR simply to stop them instantly and ask them questions or give further instructions. (Now that we've practiced finding all the odd numbers up to 50, let's take it step further and find them up to 100 or If your partner helped you make your story better, tell us how, etc. Lame examples, but I haven't had my tea yet!)
Here it is...simple, but oh, so effective! (Tune: Are You Sleeping)
Me: Let's chit chat, Let's chit chat...
Them: (making ok sign with hand and moving hand to beat) A-Okay. (Then immediately putting hands on heads, no movement with hands since they are firmly planted on head) A-Okay.
By the second A-Okay sign, the room is silent, no one is writing or talking, etc. and they are all looking at me.
When I use it, they know a short discussion is coming ABOUT the activity/assignment at hand, etc. It's not used for transitions or anything else.
It's been a winner for me! Seriously! This is fail proof! My best and most effective yet.
Is there one you can't live without? Care to share? I'm all ears...