Tips and Tools from the Trenches

Tips and Tools straight out of the classrooms in North Branch Area Public Schools are shared on this page.

Posting Learning Objectives: 

Some are using a target to post essential questions.

Some are using a flip chart to help them write an objective on the board.

Sample from a workshop:  Green arrows indicate what students or participants should understand at the end of the lesson and the orange arrows indicate what they should be able to do.

Gaining student attention: 
Here are some of the ways that teachers at NBAMS gain student attention.

1.  “Give me 5,4,3,2,1”
                                       1. Eyes - look
                                       2. Ears -listen
                                       3. Mouth -closed
                                       4. Hands - still
                                       5.  Feet - quiet

2.  Clap a pattern.  Students are to stop what they are doing and repeat the pattern. Patterns can be varied and repeated if student attention is not obtained on first try.

3.  Create loud noises with something; shaker, wind chime, bell, music, horn, buzzer, etc.
    Alternative:  One noise means they are too loud.  Two noises means they need to stop
    and listen.

4.  Raise your hand and stand still until the students are quiet.

5.  “Clap once if you an hear me”, “Clap twice if you an hear me”, “Clap three times if you hear me.”

6.  Flick lights off and on.

7.  Count down or up system. “In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”  or “1, 2, 3, 4, 5”  Choose number based on amount of time you want to give them.
          S - Sit up straight (or Smile or “Shhh.” Or Stop)
          L - Lean forward (Listen)
          A - Activate your thinking
          N - Note key information
          T - Track the speaker

9. “Spring a leak!”  The entire class “SHHHHhhhhhh” until its quiet.

Here are some other interesting ideas:

1. . Create a noise level monitor on a poster board.
          1- no talking                        or                      1 - no talking
          2 - whispering                                             2 - partner voice
          3 - normal talking                                         3 - group voice
                                                                             4 - presenting voice
Put a clip or mark on the level of talking that is appropriate for the activity.

2.  Do a Toast.   Toast the Downfall of _________ illiteracy.  If you teach science you would toast the downfall of scientific illiteracy.  Raise your hand as if in a toast and students are to take the visual cue, stop what they are doing and raise their hand in toast too (imaginary glasses)  Some teachers even have mugs or cups with the symbol for no over Math illiteracy or History illiteracy. 

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