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Indicator 41 – Gets Student Attention

Interacting With Students

Encouraging Participation

Indicator 41 - Gets Student Attention UETS 3d.

Effective teachers increase student learning by using a variety of verbal or nonverbal “attention getters” before they begin to give directions or teach new ideas. Attention signals can secure students’ attention and reduce distractions that waste time. Students are able to concentrate and focus on the important information being given. Effective teachers wait until they have gained the attention of the students before moving on.


  1. Use verbal attention-getters to start your class:
    • "Look here!"
    • "Let's begin!"
    • "Everyone look at this!"
    • "All eyes up here!"
  1. Use non-verbal attention-getters to start your class:
    • A chime
    • Color-coded cards
    • Clap a rhythm
    • Use a timer
    • Stop talking and wait
    • Tap the board with a marker.
    • Make direct eye contact with individual students.
    • Raise the palm of your hand as a signal for quiet and attention, while students also raise their hands as signals to others.
    • Have a countdown signal
  1. Surprise students by using new phrases or unusual requests to get your class's attention.
    • Instead of asking everyone to sit and be quiet, request, “Everybody in the room, stand up and watch me.”
  1. Don't shout or yell to get student attention. When teachers shout, students get the idea that it is all right for them to shout to get attention.
  2. Establish attention signals early in the school year. Give your students opportunities to practice them.

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