The Honeymoon for Focus is OVER
Wow, did those first wonderful weeks go by fast, or what! The kids gradually get used to structured routines and begin testing the waters. During lessons, their focus begins to wain. How do you get through a 20 minute lesson and set them up for the next activity while maintaining focus? Here are a few ideas that make a big difference, and they are fun. They become a great bargaining chip for getting kids to interact on the content you need them to cover.
Activities for Increasing Focus
These are tried and proven techniques I have used for over 20 years! They work! And with consistency, they become your go-to. You can change them up, but the technique is still what’s important.
Something important to remember: these techinques are not academic, they are movement and energy releases. Kids will listen for a few minutes of fun. The little “parties” only last for 2 minutes or 3 at the most. Structure your lesson time to build in an extra 9 minutes for these activities.
- Begin the lesson with a whisper. When everyone is quiet, ask them to make noise by following the rise and fall of your “noise-meter”, then “Stop, drop, and lock”. (motion your hands apart vertically up and down-clap to stop, Stop-hands in air, Drop-hands on knees, Lock fingers together to listen quietly)
- When focus starts to wain: “Up, Twist, Shout (woooo), Stop”, then “Stop, Drop, Lock”.
- Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” faster…faster…FASTER!!! “Stop, Drop, Lock.”
- Jump 20 times! “Stop, Drop, Lock!”
- Dance Party (use only occasionally–not on Fridays with a full moon!) Keep music cued, surprise them with a quick hop up and dance. When music stops, they sit to listen. Music starts, it’s on! I do this maybe 2 or three times in a 20 min lesson.
Here is one more fun activity! 7 Days of the Week Cha-Cha-Cha by Me! Maggie
If you like the song from the video, and want to try it with your calendar activities, just follow this link to my TpT Store to purchase the mp3 version. I help kids to learn the song and some fun dance moves, then invite kids to point to each day of the week on our calendar as we sing the song. They get really good at it, and it cements directionality and the names of the days in those little brains! It can also be a call to morning meeting song. My son sings this, and it is all written and produced by me! Maggie!
If you need a song for types of weather, I created this one two years ago. We love using it! It is a video version.
I hope you have a great year, and your student’s focus improves with these techniques!