February 26, 2013

Keeping Their Attention

Keeping Their Attention-A How To Guide

In my recent giveaway, I asked people to share with me what they'd like to see more of. Keeping students' attention was one of them...so here we go.

We all try to have rigorous, relevant, and engaging curriculum, but sometimes we just lose their attention. For the past two summers I've been to an amazing teacher training put on by the Quantum Learning Network. They give wonderful tips and ideas for making our classrooms more engaging.

But one of the most effective tips I learned was about students' attention span. Students can pay attention for about as minutes as their age...I teach high school, so I've got about 15-20 minutes of full focus at a time. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to change activities or that they're useless after 15-20 min. This means you just need to change their state of being, give a little jump start if you will. So I compiled a list of the state changers that have worked for me and have allowed me to keep attention during an 80 minute class. I've got a whole handout at my TPT store [FREE], but here's a few ideas:

-Sit up straight and take a deep breath
-Turn to your neighbor...
-With your index finger, point to _______ on your paper

I also like to do weird things that get them thinking in order to pay attention. For example, I have been known to say "Put your left ring finger on your nose when you're done", or "Touch your right elbow with your left thumb". These are kind of funny, and a lot of kids surprisingly have to think about which is their left vs. right :/

So check out my handout for more tips and explanations on keeping their attention in class!

Click here to visit my TPT Store for your FREE Keeping Their Attention Handout with lots of helpful hints :)

Have a great day!

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