Name of Teacher: Jonathan Jelliff
Class/Grade/Language Level: All levels
Goal: Call-response technique to get class attention
This is not a game, and I’m not really sure I would call it an activity. It is a call-response technique that I use whenever I need to get the attention of the class. (Just to give credit where credit is due, I got the idea from Chris Biffle of Whole Brain Teaching. However, I should note that I’m not a big fan of his other class behavior management techniques.) “Class / Yes” is simple and effective. If the students are in group or pair work, it gets the attention of the students quickly and puts it on you (the teacher) without having to repeat yourself. It’s just a tool to save time so you can teach, but it can be used to loosen the kids up.
Teaching the Students “Class / Yes” (I recommend supporting each of your instructions with gestures that seem natural to you to help illustrate your meaning.)
Teacher: Everyone! When I say “Class”, you say “Yes”. The way I say “Class” is the way you say “Yes”. For example, if I say, “Class! Class! Class!”, you say, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” And if I say, “Claaa-AAAS!”, you say, “Yeee-EEES!”
By the time you’ve shown them the second variation, most of them will understand what you mean. Do one or two more variations of the “Class / Yes” in an interesting manner if you feel the need to make sure that they understand. Then practice. (Just remember to vary your “Class” calls or it will lose its effect.)
… and so on … until they have it down pat.
The kids think it’s fun and it feels like a little game to them. After doing some crazy, silly, or dramatic “Class/Yes”es, the students are invariably more relaxed and the energy is higher.