A Tutorial On Attentiveness; Plus Thoughts On The Power Of Review

As the school year winds to a close, here at Smart Classroom Management we’ve been getting a burst of emails from teachers voicing their frustrations with their students’ inability or unwillingness to pay attention.

Although a common struggle given the freedom of summer lurking around the corner, it’s still no excuse. Even a day left of school is an opportunity for learning—an opportunity effective teachers will want to squeeze to the last drop.

Because teaching is what we do.

To let things go, to let behavior and attentiveness spiral south, to pitch away the last vestiges of a living, working, and vibrant classroom would be a crime—punishable by regret, disappointment, and a summer waiting on redemption.

So to get your students refocused on learning, and away from the boredom and malaise that can quickly settle over a post-standardized-test classroom, I’ve prepared a short tutorial.

Gleaned from deep within our archives, the following five strategies are sure make your last days of school not only more meaningful, but more pleasant as well.

How To Get Your Students To Listen To You

How To Stop Repeating Yourself And Start Speaking With Power

An Amazing, Eye-Opening, Following Directions Strategy

Why The Word ‘Go’ Is A Powerful Classroom Management Strategy

How To Give Your Students Unforgettable Directions

Used as an overall method of improving attentiveness, these five proven strategies will keep your students locked in and on task right up until the final bell—while your colleagues all but give up around you.

Although old hat for longtime readers, a refresher of this critical classroom management topic will deepen your knowledge and result in even greater effectiveness.

I’m currently taking a video course of Gracie Juijitsu, a gentle yet effective method of personal self-defense. The lessons are remarkably clear and easy to put into action. And yet, like so much of learning, the moves only begin to make sense to me during review.

In other words, the greatest leap in understanding comes after the experience of trying it out.

The same is true for learning classroom management.

Reading through a strategy a couple times, taking notes, and visualizing yourself using it in your classroom before putting it into action is smart and a sure way to avoid disaster. But the real learning, the real deepening of a strategy and its nuances, takes place after trying it out.

It’s during your review of the strategy—the quiet moments sitting alone at your desk or computer, reading through the strategy once again while replaying your performance in your head—when the light bulb really begins to brighten. The review is when the written instructions begin making “a-ha” sense, when the strategy becomes absorbed into your consciousness . . .

Making it not just a mere strategy.

But part of who you are and the way you teach.

Note: The power of review has profound implications for student learning as well, but alas, it is a topic we’ll save for another day.

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2 Responses to A Tutorial On Attentiveness; Plus Thoughts On The Power Of Review

  1. Janna May 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article! The posts you linked are all ones I hadn’t gotten to yet. I had a really frustrating field trip yesterday and was dreading the last week of school but now I feel more confident that I can make it fun and with lots of actual learning. Bonus: I bet I can use these strategies during my summer job as a part-time camp director as well.

    • Michael Linsin May 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      You’re welcome, Janna!