Attention Signals, Brain Breaks, and Applauses

       Attention Signals

       Attention signals are words or actions that someone uses to grasp the attention of others nearby. Signals can come in multiple forms, such as a phrase, a song, a non-verbal cue, or even a chant. Attention signals tell the audience that the speaker is ready to begin or has an important comment to add.

       In the classroom, attention signals help teachers obtain students undivided attention. Attention signals can be used throughout the school day for multiple purposes because they require both verbal and physical attention, they can be used at anytime and any location during the school day. Attention signals encourages positive learning behaviors and structure in the classroom.

   1. Teacher: “All set?”

      Students: “You bet!”

  • This attention signal will be used during transitions and when leaving the classroom throughout the school day

   2. Teacher: “Can I get a...?”

       Students: “Whoop, whoop!” (pumping hands in raise the roof motion)

  • This attention getter will be used during group activities when I need to grasp student’s attention

   3. Teacher: “Macaroni and Cheese…”

       Students: “Everybody freeze!”

  • This attention signal will be used during center time when it is time to rotate stations or clean up.

   4. Teacher: “Hands on top…”

       Students: “Everybody stop!” (putting hands on head)

  • This attention signal will be used generally throughout the school day when students are off task or being talkative.

-Informational Link:

Brain Breaks

            Brain breaks are short periods of time that help change up the classroom routine and get students moving. These quick breaks give students an opportunity to dance, move, sing, or interact with each other. Brain breaks are crucial in giving students a mental pause from their education while remaining in a structured classroom environment. After a brain break, students tend to be refocused and refreshed with their schoolwork.

Informational Link:

1. Dance Party

  • Students will stand up, dance, and shake their crazies out until the music is turned off or the song is over

2. 5-4-3-2-1

  • Students will do 5 different movements in descending order, as directed by the teacher (i.e. jumping jacks, bunny hops, skips, etc).

3. Simon Says

  • Students will engage in a quick game of “Simon Says” by their desk area.


          Applauses used in the classroom will vary by activity and lesson. These are fun ways for students to cheer or encourage other classmates outside of the regular audience applause.

1. Kiss Your Brain

2. Fireworks Applause