Snap & Clap To Tune Kids In – The Attentionology Tipster

Karen Walsh, fifth grade teacher at the United Nations International School, Hanoi, Vietnam. adds a big grin to her finger snappin'.

Karen Walsh, fifth grade teacher at the United Nations International School, Hanoi, Vietnam. adds a big grin to her finger snappin’.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers! 

The Attentionology Tipster today tunes into rhythmic ways to communicate important information to students.

Snapping to Catch Attention – Students in grades K – 5 don’t expect a teacher to “break into” snapping their fingers to a catchy rhyme, moving and grooving to emphasize the beat.

Do just that; start snapping your fingers and watch heads turn your way.

As you begin snapping fingers, invite the class to snap along for a moment, listening to your accompanying lyrics.

Try snapping with a rhyme that addresses the continual interruptions on any given school day, such as students leaving for remedial reading classes, early dismissal, etc:

Students come,

Students go,

That’s the school day rhythm and flow.

Please keep your focus

Where it needs to be

Eyes back on me,

One – two – three.

Snapping to Send Memorable Messages – Help students remember important information by putting rhymes to the rhythm of snapping fingers.

For example, if your school has an anti-bullying campaign, engage the class by snapping fingers to my rhyme, No Bullies, No!

No Bullies, No!

Know that bullying isn’t cool.

Anywhere in school.

If you see bullying, don’t hide your eyes,

Get an adult to help a victim’s cries.

Bullies bully for many a reason,

But bullying’s not cool in any season!

No bullies, no!

That’s the way to go!

Hand clapping – simple upbeat – Hand clapping is a tried and true tool to catch kids’ attention.

Any activity like hand clapping that has audio and tactile elements engages students.

When a teacher starts clapping, the sudden sound surprises and alerts the class.

Many teachers instruct their students to repeat the beat of the clapping after their hand clapping.

Some teachers accompany hand clapping with a short rhyme:

One – two – three,

Eyes on me.

As you clap to catch attention, ask the class to clap along with an accompanying rhyme that answers your request:

One – two,

Eyes on you.

Hand clapping is popular as a:

  • lead into giving directions
  • hook into lessons
  • cue for transition time
  • cue for important announcements

Give yourself a hand if you vary classroom management and lesson strategies with your students. Change is a big part of the attention-getting game.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Please send comments if you like The Attentionology Tipster.

Look for more quick tricks to catch and keep kids’ attention.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

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