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I totally agree with your teaching technique, and don't think its
childish and silly. I spend a good deal of time on the first days of
class teaching my students my "signal for attention", which is "May I
have your attention please?" We go over, and practice, exactly what that
means and what it looks like--what I want them to do when I say that
phrase. (Stop whatever you're doing--right away--look at me--only me--and
listen--until I tell you to return to work). How will they know,
otherwise? So often we expect certain behaviors from our students, and
assume they know what we mean. We had a wonderful workshop in our
district put on by Ernie Stakowski, a consultant from L.A. on Classroom
Management, and I will be forever indebted to him for what he taught us.
I have to admit I felt a bit foolish the first time I tried it with my
elementary students--but it really works, and I've been doing it ever
since. When I ask for their attention, they give it to me, and we don't
have to waste valuable time waiting for people to stop talking.
I do the same thing teaching students to clean brushes correctly,
etc.--how can I expect them to do it correctly unless I teach them how to
do it. It takes alot of time demonstrating, having a child model it, etc.
but I feel like its worth it in the long run.