Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Ever learn a new word and then find yourself seeing it everywhere?
Attentionology is like that, or so I’m told when educators ask what it’s about. “Oh I get it, YES! I need that!” teachers say, as I explain its origin.
Put Attention-Getting Elements to work for your benefit every single school day, in ways that support your curriculum and strategies for classroom management.
8 Great Benefits – Mentally walk yourself through a school day and count eight great ways that attention-getting elements can help you every step of the way!
1) begin class with kids at a high energy level.
2) introduce units of study with all eyes and ears on you.
3) hold students’ interest in lessons and activities.
4) keep kids focused and on task during group or independent study time.
5) prevent lost time during transitions.
6) promote healthy lifestyles and good character.
7) promote world knowledge and interest in protecting vital natural resources.
8) encourage curiosity and critical thinking and model and encourage a love of learning.
My job, my blog? Publish posts that elaborate on the science of attentionology – why we need it now and why and how it works, AND posts that deliver the art of attentionology – easy, affordable, fun, creative tools and tricks that assist you in helping kids learn.
Five elements (A-GEs) are featured in a previous post: attracting appearance & presence; enthusiasm; voice; eye-catching visuals and word choice.
Three different elements are today’s “stars.” Keep reading…
Attention-getting elements are like ingredients in a great recipe. Already commonly used by elementary school teachers, A-GEs are proven aids in sustaining concentration to reach specific goals. So, what’s the need for a new look at attention-getters? Distractions are on the rise driving teachers’ interest in knowing more about why attention-getters work and new ways to use them. Here’s more…
A-GE #6 – Color
Color is incredible! Think about all of the ways that we describe our world using color words. The team in the orange jerseys; the red necklace that “pops” against her white shirt; the deep blue ocean; the grey mist in the mountains; the list is endless.
For something that has neither body nor substance, color is a brilliant part of our lives. Research collected for commercial outcomes offers insight into the power of color that educators can apply. For example, some sources suggest that with printed information of any kind, color pieces are eighty percent more likely to be read than print in only black and white. It’s a no-brainer to know that what is most read will also be most remembered. Isn’t that why teachers choose classroom posters and resources in bright colors?
Other research into the persuasive properties of color shows that color speeds learning by up to seventy percent. Teachers in schools I have visited have had success helping students with attention-deficit disorder master writing skills by color-coding words and sentences to differentiate parts of speech, etc.
Research also supports the assertion that color helps people find information. Explore more of the power of color as a teaching tool. Use colorful tricks, including the hat in the blog pic above, for teaching basic concepts.
A-GE #7 – Music
Music has the power to move us, all of us, young and old alike, everywhere around the world. Music is an international language.
Incorporating musical instruments into lesson plans can help teachers gain and maintain attention. I’ll never forget the fourth grade teacher I worked with who began each day by gathering her students in what she called her guitar circle. The teacher sat at the center and strummed short tunes. Her students joined in singing lyrics the teacher had taught them. Her original lyrics – some of them silly – all of them catchy – related to different subjects. The guitar circle set the stage for lessons and learning each day.
Music connects directly to math; think of counting notes. Invite kids to count the shakes of the maracas in my blog pic below.
Shake and multi-cake (I made up a new name for multiplication.)
Music also involves rhythm; a key element in poetic writing. In fact, I suggest to my students that rhythm and flow are important considerations in every kind of writing.
Teachers can also play different musical instruments, like small drums or a tambourine, as well as short pieces of music to introduce children to diverse cultures as part of social studies.
In a teacher’s hands the possibilities are endless for music to serve as an attention-getting master of education.
Look for more musical tricks to help kids learn. Please send comments about ways that you’ve incorporated music into your lesson plans.
A-GE # 8 Entertainment
What do the attention-getting elements of color and music have in common? Entertainment! Color entertains the eye and music entertains the ear. Entertainment is the paramount attention-getting element.
Most teachers don’t think of themselves as entertainers; serving as “stand up” comedians or as actors delivering memorable lines to a class of kids are NOT part of an elementary educator’s job description. If, however, you “buy into” the concept that teaching IS a performing art of its own, entertainment is an element to consider in your lesson planning.
Smart teachers tap outside resources to add the element of entertainment to their classrooms. One teacher I’ve taught with for several years welcomes kids with Big Red, a giant M & M “candy man” at her door.
Ask yourself these questions as if you’d never thought of them before.
- Who doesn’t love to be entertained?
- What teacher today isn’t competing in some way with the “forces” of all of the entertainment “industries” worldwide?
The English expression, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” may be apt for educators, with modifications, of course, that keep the focus where it needs to be – on helping children learn must-have skills to prepare for the future.
Stop by Wednesday for more FAB 15 A-GEs in Mid-Week Focus and please send comments about attention-getters that work best for you.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet