Back to Basics
Hands and Eyes
This is another of my favourite attention getters. I only use it when I have a main point to make. I say hands, hands, hands and eyes. When I say it I flick my hands out each time I say hands and clap them together when I say eyes. The students drop what they are doing, repeat the words and actions and clap their hands together and look at me. I try to say it from different places in the room, so they know they all have to look for me.
The key point when using this is not proceeding to the main point until you have full engagement of all the students. A quick response prompts a smiley, but a slow response gets a frowny. Once you have full attention you can go on to give your main point. Smiley and frowny are part of the scoreboard strategy that I can talk about it another post.
I use other variations of actions with hands and eyes to prevent habituation and the strategy becoming stale and not effective. The silly actions increase the fun and willingness to engage. The fact that it is not used as much as class yes makes it something different and an important part in the lesson. I like the fact that there are different types of attention getters that are equally effective. It is also interesting to note that there is no need to raise your voice or change your tone to get attention. Attention is gained in a fun, quick, and friendly way.
Hands and eyes is a great strategy for getting attention and bringing home the main point of a lesson or activity. Give it a try and you will be surprised how effective it can be.