When students attend an Eric Jensen event, the content is made compelling, memorable and engaging. Here’s a follow-up video on a recent training sent by Vickie Kaufman.
Music for Call-backs.
A musical deadline can create anticipation. Use a set-up song; otherwise known as a cue-signal or “call-back” song to get attention for a beginning or start time. This song should have the following criteria:
1) it’s short—under 3 minutes
2) it’s has either positive lyrics or no lyrics,
3) it ends with a clear predictable “pa-dum” and does not trail off, fading slowly into the quiet.
Songs like “Pretty Woman” or “Chantilly Lace” can work. Make an agreement that everyone must be in their seats, ready to learn before the song ends. Then enforce it by walking around the first few times you play it and “rounding up” everyone so they know you mean it.
Walking Fast to the Music.
Use this as a tool for “mixing” up the group. Sometimes a class forms too-familiar “social niches.” This means accountability drops because your audience becomes TOO familiar with each other. They stick up for and cover for each other, dropping accountability for thinking and learning. What’s needed is a vehicle for mixing up the group.
Music can do that because people can “lose themselves” in the music. It works this way. Say, “It’s time for a change of pace. Take in a deep breath… and let it out. Great. Now, please stand up. In 10 seconds, the music will begin. When it does, walk away from your chair. You can go anywhere in the room quickly until the music stops, then wait for directions.” The directions are usually, “Find a neighbor. Hand up if you need a partner. Now, here’s who goes first…”
You might do a think-pair-share activity next.
We hope you find these strategies valuable. Please join is at our summer workshop on Tools For Maximum Engagement here. It’s filling fast and is one of our more powerful teacher workshops.
Better Attentional Sets.
Create some anticipation for students or yourself before speaking. Use a train whistle, gong or party noisemaker. It just has to be fun, short and consistent. Rotate each week to avoid habituation by your students.
Or, whenever someone is ready to speak to your group or class, he or she will use a pre-established activity. Any established call-response can work. As an example, the speaker, before saying a word, will stand up, clap three times and wait. The audience responds with 3 claps and sends, with their hands, a big “whoosh” of positive energy their way. This back and forth exchange tells the audience the teacher is ready to speak, and the audience tells he or she that they are giving both attention and support.
These are the auditory-kinesthetic routines that you set up with the class as a way to prepare to learn. It can help get the whole group aligned and put all in a common, excited state of “I can!” Before class, first prepare an overhead or write the call-response on a whiteboard or chalkboard, divided into two columns. One column on the left has the “call” and the right column has the “response.” Ask the whole group to stand and take in a deep breath. Then tell the group that you’ll do the call, they do the response.
Examples include: You say, “Who’s here today?” They respond, “I’m here!” They do this both by sound and by adding the same beat of a foot stomp. You say, “Here for what?” They stomp and say, “To learn and have fun!” You say, “When do we start?” They stomp and say, “Right now!” You say, “How do we start?” They stomp and say, “Work hard, Learn smart!” This simple routine is best done quickly, with high-energy the first time by you so you can role model it.
Join is at our summer workshop on Tools For Maximum Engagement here. It’s filling fast and is one of our more powerful teacher workshops.
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