Tired of clapping or raising your hand for attention? Have you tried a wireless doorbell in your class yet? You can use one to gain students attention and some wireless doorbells come with different sounds so you can use a new sound for each item you need students to do. For example, one sound could be voices at level zero, another could be free, and line up, clean up or switch stations. The choices are yours! Attach the bell to a lanyard and it’s always with you and you never need to try and be louder than a group of kids!
Each morning, before students arrive in the classroom pick a “random” student and write their name on the board. Then, stick a “secret student” sign over the child’s name. Tip: use magnetic tape to stick it to the white board. Students know when they see the sign on the board the “secret student” has been chosen for the day and the teacher will be watching if that student is on task, ready to learn and being kind. Choose which ever metrics you are working to achieve. During the day give verbal reminders to all the students saying things like: “I hope my secret student is doing x,y,z.” Students don’t know if their name is under the sign, so they all behave. At the end of the day, if the “secret student” had a good day, reveal the name under the sign. If not, leave the sign up and say something like, “that’s ok we will try again tomorrow.” Without revealing the name, no one knows who the student was, and the reward is not earned. As for the reward: choose your own and what works for your class/school.
For high schoolers, beyond consistency and no down time, blogger Luke Rosa with Students of History, says “you can also keep your class under control by being silly. When I would notice that kids’ attention spans were starting to drift, I would pronounce a word wrong. It’s totally dumb but would snap their attention back.”