Steps to implementing a signal for attention

Signal for attention

The signal for attention has a visual and an auditory component. It must be modeled, discussed, practiced, and implemented at the start of every year. By simply standing motionless in an area with good sightlines, raising a hand, saying, "Focus here" (or equivalent), and waiting for compliance, teachers establish a clear guideline for what is to come next: a time when everyone must pay careful, silent attention.

Steps to implementing a signal for attention

1. Have the class generate reasons why responding quickly to a signal for attention is in everyone's best interest.

2. Demonstrate the visual signal.

3. Demonstrate how to respond to the visual signal.

4. Have class generate a list of things they noticed about the two demonstrations.

5. Practice the signal with the whole group. Time their response. Repeat as needed. Aim for 3-5 seconds.

6. Add an auditory signal. Demo the visual and auditory signal, using both at the same time.

7. Practice again with the whole group, using both the visual and auditory signal. Time their response. Repeat as needed. Again, aim for a very brief time: 3-5 seconds.

8. Implement the signal in every class every day.

9. Check in.