Class? Yes! Hands and Eyes!

Whole Brain Teaching: Classroom Management - Post #1
{Click the image above to download "The Big 7" WBT Classroom Management posters}

As teachers, we have a whole "bag of tricks" in our classroom management bag.  Today, let's talk about those "attention-getters."  Whether your students are playing learning games around the classroom or your in the middle of a class party with tons of visitors, there are always those times when you need to get their attention - and fast!

Some of the tried and true methods that most of us have used for years include:

1) {teacher} 1-2-3, Eyes on Me! {students} 1-2, Eyes on You!
2) {teacher} claps a pattern with hands {students} repeat the clapping pattern with hands
3) {teacher in a whisper} If you can hear my voice clap two times {repeat until all students are participating}

Those are all very effective, but let's face it.  Sometimes, you need their attention NOW, not after clapping three different patterns.

This is where "Class?  Yes!" from Whole Brain Teaching comes in.  It's purpose is the same as all of the above, but it's SUPER QUICK!  One word.  You've got them.

Here's a video from Coach B himself about the Class/Yes technique:

Of course, there's room to have fun with it.  The whole trick is that however the teacher says "Class" the students have to repeat "Yes" using the same tone and expression.

Some of my favorite ways to use Class/Yes this year included:

Classity-Class-Class : Yessity-Yes-Yes
Classy-Pooooo : Yessy-Pooooo
Ohhhhh, Classss : Ohhhhh, Yesssss

Some of these super silly ones (classy poo) may not work as well with older kids, but you can come up with your own variations.  A 4th grade teacher at my school, Jennifer,  that went to the WBT conference with me shared her class favorite and I just may have to borrow it.

Think of Alicia Keys' song "That Girl is on Fire"....

She would sing, "Class Are you on Fire?"  and students would say, "Yes We are on Fire!"

Love, love, love that one!!  Do you use class yes?  If so, what is your favorite way to use it??

Now, once students understand Class/Yes, I'm all about throwing those variations back in while you have the time.  But remember, if you need them super quick, just a simple one word "Class" grabs their attention!

Here are some of the cute variations that we use throughout the school year once they've mastered the class/yes.

September {teacher} All Set? {students} You bet!
October: {teacher} Hocus Pocus {students} Everybody Focus
November (testing month for us) {teacher}Ready to Rock? {students} Ready to Roll
December  {teacher} Ho, Ho, Ho {students} Off to Work We Go
January {teacher} 10,9,8,7,6 {students) 5,4,3,2,1
February {teacher} Heart to Heart {students} We're Ready to Start
March (testing month for us) {teacher} Easy Peasy {students} Lemon Squeezy
April {teacher} Abra (students) Cadabra
May {teacher} Holy Moly! {students} Guacomole

When students are active in the classroom and I want them to settle and be seated, I use this one and they should be seated by the end...

{teacher} Criss Cross {students} Applesauce

When students are scattered around the classroom with learning games and I need to give additional instructions or make an announcement where I want their hands off of everything, I use one of these...

{teacher} Hands on Top {students} That Means Stop (students put hands on their heads)
{teacher} Macaroni and Cheese {students} Everybody Freeze (students freeze)
{teacher} Zip Your Lips {students} Hands on Hips (hands drop what they're doing and go on hips)

When I'm looking to have a little more fun, I'll use some fun animal action ones, such as these...

{teacher} Alligator, Alligator {students} Chomp, Chomp (with arms stretched in chomping motion)
{teacher} Mouse, Mouse {students} Squeak, Squeak (with hands on face as whiskers)

I would love for you to share any attention getters that you use in your classroom.  I will work on compiling these (above) and any you share in the comments of this post into a FREEBIE of cards to use in the classroom, so SHARE AWAY!!

 {Click the image above to download "The Big 7" WBT Classroom Management posters}

 If you find that your students are not fully focused on you when they say their response to your "class" (or other attention getter), immediately follow that with "Hands and Eyes."  This command prompts them to fold their hands in their laps and look at you intently (even leaning forward toward you).  All focus should be on you.  This prompt can also be used when you're teaching and have a very important point to make. 

These are probably the simplest of the WBT Classroom Management strategies to implement in your classroom and should be started on Day 1.  Hour 1.

More on the other "Big 7" later this week!

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  1. Amanda, that's what I love about WBT! It's so simple, yet so effective! Thanks for sharing those fabulous posters!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  2. I used some of the WBT strategies last year in my class! They worked so well! I plan on using them again this year.


  3. I like the WBT methods. I use them a lot and these are great reminders for me. My favorite story to share is that I was using all of those fun sayings in my classroom. They worked like a charm, so I decided to show off when we were with the other 3rd grade classes. I accidentally said their part and then my class just looked at me like....WHAT????? Then the other teachers fell over laughing at me. :) So a cheat sheet might be helpful or I'll just stick to the class yes version. LOL

  4. I love, love, love these attention getters! Thanks so much for sharing! And considering I say holy moly a lot, having kids say guacamole would be perfect lol.

    Journey Of A Substitute Teacher

  5. I love all of these. My kids loved Mac and Cheese--Everybody Freeze and Holy Moly--Guacamole. I'd love to hear other variations!

    Success in Second Grade

  6. Amanda,

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have not tried a lot of the WBT strategies, but I'm going to give them a try this year. For the last three years, I have said...

    "1st Graders, you have three seconds to have your hands on your hips and your eyes on me. 1...2...3."

    ...a million times. By the end of the year, I'm even sick of hearing it.

    These attention grabbers will be great!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  7. Is there a book you would recommend for learning more about Whole Brain teaching? Thanks!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  8. I've never read the book, but it sounds terrific! I have used some of these in my classroom, but I definitely needed some more tricks. I can't wait to read more.

    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  9. I'm just getting on the WBT wagon. I love the attention getters! I've used the following attention getters; clapping a pattern and having the students clap back, talking very softly "If you can hear me, stop ___ and look at me." and 1, 2, 3 eyes on me. I can't wait to have more attention getters!

    Teaching Special Kids

  10. Thank you so much for sharing these! I love the Alicia Keys one! I also use class/yes and even though you say it in different ways and different voices, they do get bored with it. Making myself a list of these new ones and I'm particularly appreciative because I'm working with the same group next year and definitely need some new material! :)


  11. Class Yes is one of my favorites and my students, too! My kids would make suggestions for these attention getters and I used them!

    (teacher) Peanut Butter (students) Jelly
    (teacher) Woodland-my school name (students) Wolves-our mascot
    (teacher) Thunder-first part of HS mascot (students) Hawks-2nd part
    (teacher) use the da-da-da-da-da theme from McDonalds (students) "I'm loving it"

    Once when I was out, a guest teacher wrote a note and said that the kids had a surprise for me with "Class, Yes". I had to say "Mrs. Haynes" and they said "Loves Purple!" My kids had a great time brainstorming ways to add to the attention getting!! I can't wait to try "Class, are we on fire?!" LOVE LOVE
    I'm looking forward to adding more! Thanks, Amanda!

  12. I can't tell you how excited I am to learn all about your take-aways from the conference! Just gave you a(nother) shout-out on my blog.
    Thanks so much for the freebies!

  13. I love these fun attention-getters.
    In my classroom, we learned a new one each week.

    One of my favorites was:
    Teacher: Tootsie-Roll, Lollipop
    Students: I was talking, now I'll stop!

    Joy in the Journey

  14. I LOVE your variations. Especially "Class, you are on fire!" Definitely using next year. And your posters are adorable. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to see more from your WBT conference experience.

    Kinder Kraziness

  15. Thanks so much for all your tips and tricks! We've used "Goodness Gracious" with the kids responding "Great Balls of Fire!" The first year I did it, after we studied China, my kids changed it to "Great Wall of China!" It was really cute! :)

    I really want to use the WBT in my classroom next year. Do you ever get comments from the parents about "Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy"? That's the only one I can think of that might make me feel uncomfortable that parents will question!

    Adventures In Second Grade


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