Posts Tagged ‘Strategies to help kids focus’

Attentionology Power Play – Host Lunch & Listen!

March 15, 2013
Use Attentionology Power Plays to get what you want!

Use Attentionology Power Plays to get what you want!

It’s Barbara here, The Lovable Poet, a “wordsmith” ready to help you…

What’s your goal?

Trying to “sell” kids on staying focused and on task in class?

Working to advance your career?

Strategizing to boost sales of a product or service in a field other than education?

Whatever you’re aiming to achieve, you need to catch and keep people’s attention! In a world full of distractions you need the benefit of extra tools and tricks to get and stay noticed.

Put today’s Attentionology Power Play to work for you…


When someone invites you to lunch, do you consider what motivated the invitation?

Kids don’t. Lunch? They’re ready to go!

Adults are more likely to answer, “Yes, even if it’s for something fun like celebrating a birthday. I have to think  for a moment before I answer because I have so many responsibilities; my time is limited; and I need to know what lunch will involve.” 

Imagine your lunch partner’s surprise when you say simply, “I’d like to meet for lunch and spend some time just listening to you.” Imagine that!

Someone wants to really HEAR YOU…how you’re doing; what concerns may be “bugging you; ” ideas you have about how to improve your work to positively impact the outcome you seek.

The act of listening – without interrupting – is a first step in helping anyone. A whole lunch of listening…wow…golden!

In School? You know which kids would benefit from extra one-on-one time. Depending on the grade level and dynamics of your whole class, plan a private Lunch & Listen time in your room or corner of the cafeteria, or a group get-together. The key is your willingness to listen. With children, that may require your encouraging them to speak freely.

In an Office? Email an invitation to Lunch & Listen to an employee that you think could use some extra motivation or needs help or…whatever, depending on your workplace. Offer to have lunch in or out; it’s best if you also offer to pick up the tab!

Speaking of tabs, don’t forget to schedule a Lunch & Listen date for yourself. We can all use a good ear!

Keep my Attentionology Power Plays “in your pocket” every day!

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet


Show Off “The Big E”

November 7, 2011

Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!

Here’s a new attention-ology trick…at the beginning of a school day ask your students to name their favorite letter of the alphabet. Then announce that one of your favorite letters is E…The Big E…the letter that stands for ENERGY and EYES and EARS and EFFORT…the list can go on as long as you like!

BIG E for ENERGY– When I show off “The Big E for Energy” to students, like I’m doing in my blog pic below,

Show me “The Big E!”

I tell them that ENERGY is a “must-have item” that you draw it from within yourself to get good work done. No slouching in my classes; I’ve got to see “The Big E” in all of my students!

Make a “Big E” to use with your class. I promise it will get the kids’ attention when you show it off; present it to your class as if “Big E” has a personality of its own! You can shop for large cut-out letters (I found my big blue E in Target’s dollar section.) If you don’t have any luck shopping for alphabet letters it’s easy to make them. Draw and cut out a large flat letter E from poster board or carve out a 3-D letter E from a styrofoam block.

Want more teaching magic with “The Big E?” Extend the attention-getting value of this simple tool by cutting out enough poster board letters so that you can give one to each of your students. Ask them to keep their cut-out letters in class for future use. If a student acts off-task, suggest that he or she pull out “Big E”  as a reminder to get back on track. 

BIG E for EYES – In many K – 5 classes I’ve visited, teachers use a catchy attention-getting slogan that features “The Big E for Eyes.” You may know the slogan. It goes…“One, two, three, eyes on me!” When students hear this phrase they’re instructed to reply…“One, two, eyes on you!” I’ve noticed that teachers use this quick trick to help make transitions from one class activity to another throughout the school day.

BIG E for EYES and EARS – Here’s another idea for showing off “The Big E.” I picked up this trick from a trainer at my gym – a reminder – sources of strategies that teachers can apply in the classroom may come from many places outside of school! Nick and I were talking about trying out new approaches to fitness. He told me that he learned a long time ago to question everything. He described himself as a master at opening his mouth and asking why whenever he discovered something new. Then he made the connection for me (and you) to “The Big E for Eyes and Ears.” He said that he tells his students this memorable adage…”We have 2 eyes, 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason. We need to look and listen twice as much as we speak. That’s how we learn.” Don’t you love it!

BIG E for EFFORT – Once you’ve introduced your class to this letter with multiple meanings, you can use “The Big E for Effort” as a reward for good work. You’ll need to create a different “Big E” icon for this trick, maybe a big blue ribbon with a giant letter E in the center of a white circle at the top.Tell your class that when you spot a student focused

Ready for “The Big E for Effort Award”

and on task in class, like the boy in my blog pic here, you might be stopping by with a “Big E for Effort Award.”

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!

Talk with you next week,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet