Teaching Tip of the Week: Use a transition marker


Don’t be distressed by a noisy classroom. Noise indicates that all your learners are actively communicating in English and motivated to participate. However, getting your student’s attention without interrupting them or raising your voice when segueing between activities or moving on to the next step  can be a challenge. A way to do this quietly and quickly is to use a transition marker.

At the end an activity, a transition marker is a pre-arranged way to get the students’ attention.  Flick the lights or ring a small bell a few times to get everyone’s attention. Or set the expectation that when you raise your hand, students will stop talking and raise their hands also.  Then when other students see their classmates’ raised hands, they will also stop talking and raise their hand.  This is a completely silent (and quick) way of getting everyone’s attention.

A few other ideas:

–Have a common chant (works well for kids) like “If you can hear my voice say ….(insert fun thing to say here)!” Start softly and build up in volume until all the students are repeating with you.

–Have a call and response clapping rhythm alone the lines of “shave and a hair cut…two bits!”

–Play some fun music at a good volume (not blasting) and slowly fade it out

–Whisper to one student “it is time to stop, please look up front” and this order will pass around the room like a rumor as the students quietly give the information to each other


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