I am back after a long absence from the blogging scene. I am starting afresh with the big issues. First up - getting your class's attention when you want to speak. You may recognise this:
Me: OK, guys, could you just stop a minute please. (after a few seconds) [Silence]
And of course the classic:
Me: Clap-cl-clap-clap clappety-clap
Class: Clap-cl-clap-clap clappety clap [Silence]
Of course there are countless other ways of getting your class to stop and listen. I am not saying I am the first to use the following method - but still would like to share a certain Pavlovian method I employ in my computing lessons. It goes like this:
Class: (children turn off monitor and swivel around in seats to face interactive whiteboard).
or like this:
Me: Ding Ding!
Class: (children leave seats and come to sit on the carpet).
That's it. One ring or two depending if it is a quick, stay-in-your-seats thing I need to share, or two rings if it's a more in-depth, come-to-the-carpet situation. With the one-ring, stay-in-your-seats option, it is really important that the children turn off their screens. How many times have you been on some training yourself and have carried on yourself looking at the screen, not focussing on the person at the front who is wanting to take the session further? I find there are always children that will carry on if you don't employ this method.
It takes the younger children a while to remember the difference between one ring and two, and they need to understand that they will not be losing any files by switching the screen off. Persevere and in a few sessions there'll be another option to add to the repertoire...one that takes a lot less time as well. Also I find a competition works well to speed things up - which area of the room can turn their screens off the quickest? Which side comes quietest to the carpet? You know the drill.
Your days of speaking to your class to get them to stop, or clappety-clap-clapping could be limited....