Saturday, May 19, 2012


I am an avid user of Pinterest: it is in the top tier of websites I check daily, and I often pin useful links for work during my free time.  When I first moved into my preschool classroom, one of the first things I researched and added to my Pinterest board was attention-getters.  I found some extremely useful ones, such as the list on this website.  I chose "Start doing silly exercises with a few children" as the most promising-looking suggestion, and pinned it to my preschool ideas board.  I also found this list, which has some valuable ideas.

Source: via Frances on Pinterest
Looking back at these pins, now that I have more experience with this particular group in this unique classroom atmosphere, I have a different perspective.  The suggestions that appeal to me now are not the ones that sounded good then, perhaps because my previous classroom work was Montessori or smaller groups.

I also have a better idea now of what I mean by needing to get my class's attention.  For example, we sing "Everybody Have a Seat" to transition into Circle Time, and the children know exactly what is expected of them when I begin the song: put their books on the shelf and sit on the circle rug by the time the song is through.  But there are also times I need their attention for just a moment, to explain where we are going next or what the next task will be.  For those times, I need a faster attention-getter, such as these.

Source: via Frances on Pinterest
We have made use of both "Hocus Pocus"/"Everybody Focus" and "ABC"/"Easy as 123," to various degrees of success.  I prefer "ABC"/"Easy as 123," since it is sung, where as "Hocus Pocus"/"Everybody Focus" can easily be shouted at a volume that causes some friends to cover their ears.  I did recently have to remind the class that singing "ABC"/"Easy as 123" means that they need to then give me their eyes, rather than ignore the prompt or sing "Easy as 123" and continue playing.

And now that I have more experience in this kind of boisterous classroom, I have a suggestion of my own to add to the table: SING EVERYTHING.  We are a musical group, as our classroom is in an music- and arts-based preschool.  And I have found that anything I have to say to the class, if said in song, will be heard.  Whether I sing that "I need a line" to the tune of something we have recently sung together or to a random tune, I always have their ears.

Here is a Kid Quote pertaining to my recent haircut:
Co-teacher: What's different about this lady?
. . .
Four-year-old: Her name is FRANCES!

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