Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.


20 Attention-Getters to Quiet Any Noisy Classroom

Part of a good classroom management system includes a way to get the attention of students. When it is time for students to stop, focus, and be ready to listen and learn, an attention-getter should be in a teacher’s magic bag of management tricks.  Attention-getters should do the job quickly and efficiently.  Grabbing the focus of students will be a snap with some tried and true attention-getters.


Call and Response

  1. Teacher says “Hey Hey!” and students respond with “Ho Ho!”  I’ve been using this one in my classroom ever since I began teaching.
  2. Teacher: “Let’s Go Tigers!”  Students reply by clapping: clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.  Insert your favorite sports team or even your school mascot.
  3. Teacher says “Flat Tire!”  Students say: “sssshhhhhhhh.”  Put a limit on how long the “ssshhh” should be.  Some jokesters may drag it out a bit too long.
  4. Teacher says: “Class, class.”  Students say: “Yes, yes.”
  5. Paying homage to a Disney classic, the teacher says “Hakuna!” while students call out “Matata!”
  6. Teacher says: “Meanwhile” Students say: “Back at the ranch.”
  7. Teacher says: “Hocus Pocus!”  Students say: “Everybody Focus!”
  8. Teacher says: “Alright, stop!”  Students say: “Collaborate and listen.”
  9. Teacher says: “Macaroni and cheese.”  Students say: “Everybody freeze!”
  10. Teacher says: “All set.”  Students say: “You bet!”



  1. Teacher claps once, students respond with two claps.  You could even use patterns.
  2. Teacher silently raises one hand in the air with two fingers up like the peace signal.  Students will mimic teacher until the entire class is silent while giving the peace signal.
  3. Use a bell, timer, or doorbell.  When students hear the audio signal, they stop to listen.
  4. Find an item, like a hat or glasses, to put on when you need students to focus on you.
  5. Use a quiet instrument, such as a triangle, wind chime, drum, or sound block.
  6. Flick the lights off and on until students are ready to learn.
  7. Create a paddle with a stop sign on it.  Hold it up when you need the attention of students.
  8. Play a song, or part of a song.  When the song is over, students must be quiet and focused.
  9. Teacher raises hand in the air while silently counting down with fingers.  When no fingers are left, the class should be ready to learn.
  10. Wave a flag, or wand, in the air for all students to see.  Students must be silent and listening by the time you lower the flag.


Find at least one attention-getter with which you are comfortable, or create your own.  Practice your intended attention-getter with your students often to get desired results.  Are students not responding to your usual attention-getter?  Switch it up!  Change your attention-getter altogether, or mix up what you usually use.  Don’t be afraid to get a little silly, only if your students can handle it.  Say it in a different accent, or stretch it out in slo-mo.


We’d love to hear from you!  Do you have a preferred attention-getter?  Please share your favorite attention-getter in the comments below!


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