Attention grabbers for teachers are very handy for teaching kids English. ESL and TEFL teachers often need classroom management help because often they do not benefit from full teacher training, unlike their primary school colleagues. Without preparation, it can be a shock to take on a classroom of energetic children. So, here are some attention grabbers for teachers to help you contain your pupils’ enthusiasm to a manageable level.
Classroom management help basics
a. To start, have your pupils define the rules in the first lesson, and post them on the wall for reference. Knowing WHY a rule is in place makes it easier to keep. You must establish the rules on day one and stick to them!
b. Next, be consistent in applying your rules because if you are arbitrary when dishing out rewards or ‘consequences,’ you will undermine the rules themselves.
c. Praise good behavior to generate love and self-esteem. Additionally, avoid “don’t do this” and “don’t do that.” Instead, please focus on the positive to draw more attention to it. By applying the universal law of ‘you attract what you focus on,’ you may bring more positivity into the classroom. For example, instead of ‘don’t eat in the classroom,’ try ‘please finish that snack after class.’
d. Finally, if you work in a school know the law and rules of your institution before your first class.
Classroom management help handy tips
a. Since there is nothing so sweet as the sound of one’s name, so use an individual’s name for praise, and avoid using it when ticking someone off.
b. Use questions rather than threats. For example, ask a naughty student, “Do you want me to speak to your Dad?” By asking them the question you give them the power to choose, whereas if you threaten them with “I will call your Dad if you do not behave”, you take the initiative away and seem tyrannical.
c. Prevention is better than cure, so give boisterous students an important task BEFORE they start to play up. Usually, they respond well to the responsibility.
d. Above all, set an example and don’t break your own rules by shouting louder than the class! Instead, stop talking, wait, or talk so quietly students are obliged to hush themselves to hear you. Pursuing this, you might note the time on the board, and for every minute that you wait, students have extra homework. That will quieten them down fast!
e. In addition, hand things out quickly or use a system to have things handed out, such as giving the well-behaved students the task as a reward. Meanwhile, sing a song together or do some counting to occupy the class while materials are handed out. I give tips throughout my books on how to handle specific situations.
Attention grabbers for teachers
a. Occasionally play a mystery game and say that you will be watching for three well-behaved students who you will reward at the end of the activity.
b. Generally, creating teams can encourage good behaviour through peer pressure since students want their team to win. Pursuing this further, deduct or reward, behaviour points to a team’s score during a game.
c. Start a song the children know and love, and gradually, they will all join in with you. Consequently, by the end of the song, you’ll have their attention.
d. In the same way, clap a rhythm. Those listening repeat it. Keep going until everyone is joining in.
e. As well as songs and clapping, use cues for silence. These might be ‘heads down’ or switching off the lights. Vary these with other quiet cues such as “Give me five”. 1–on your bottom, legs crossed; 2–hands folded in your lap; 3–face the speaker; 4–eyes and ears open; 5–mouths closed. Teach these cues over the first few lessons until you only have to say “Give me five: 1,2,3,4,5″, and they do.
f. Likewise, for six to twelve-year-olds, think up a 1 to 5 sequence with appropriate actions. For instance, 1-clap your hands, 2-turn around, 3-sit down, 4-eyes front, and 5-finger on lips”. Naturally, adapt this idea depending on the space you have in your class.
g. Use the Magic 1 2 3. When a child does not comply, start counting 1, 2, and pause. The child knows that if you get to 3, there will be consequences, such as missing out on the next game. However, if you use this and reach 3, you must consistently follow through with an appropriate consequence.
Classroom management help summary
1. Start by establishing the rules and consequences for good and bad behavior
2. Be consistent
3. Set a good example yourself
4. Use peer pressure
5. Use attention-grabbers such as countdowns, favorite songs, and rhymes with actions.
It is not incompatible to be firm and fun at the same time. And please bear in mind that if you cannot manage your class, although it sounds harsh to say it, you are wasting their time.
More classroom management help
I hope you enjoyed the tips above. For more classroom management tips, see these two posts:
Please ask me any questions in the comments box below. I’m here to help.
Kind regards, Shelley Ann Vernon