10 Attention Getting Signals for Quieting a Noisy Class

Are you looking for new ideas for attention getting signals? Sometimes it can be tough to get (and keep)  your students' attention! Every so often I need a new idea and scour the internet, Pinterest, blogs, and my friends' classrooms for inspiration. Let's talk attention getting signals for even the most noisy class!

Ringing a Traditional Bell

You can't go wrong with this strategy! Just ask around and somebody probably has a bell lying around to give you or you can pick one up for cheap at Amazon.

Using Tabletop Chimes or a Xylophone

Another one of my favorite attention getting signals is to use desktop chimes or a xylophones. I like to mix it up with doing different patterns to keep your students interested. I think I received mine as a gift but here are some that are affordable (or borrow one from the music room, with permission).


You know, these are the plastic noisy thingys that "clap" together and make a unique noise! I got some for free at a convention and used them, but you can grab them at Amazon, Oriental Trading Company, the Dollar Store toy section, and more.

Unique Sounds

Try a different kind of instrument like a singing bell, harmonica, or train whistle. I grabbed a train whistle at a toy store and it worked like a charm for a while! Here's one on Amazon if you can't find one locally.


Some of my favorites callbacks include:
Peanut Butter!" "Jelly"
"Ice Cream!" "Sundae"!
"Ready, Set"! "Let's Go"
Just Google this term and you will find tons more!


A first grade teacher uses a simple but effective one (it's basically a callback, too). She says (or shouts if it's needed) "Waterfall" and her students say "Shhhhh!" I love it that they are basically shushing themselves.

Clapping Patterns (or Verbal Echos)

You know the old clapping pattern! Well, I have a quiet clap so I changed it to a verbal pattern with Doo-doo, and also sometimes shh-shh, and ba-ba! I explain it verbally in a Youtube video so I will link that at the bottom!


You know digital remote controlled doorbells are the new popular attention getting signal! Check my personal favorite here. I like that you do not have to be next to it to activate it, and you can choose from many different sound effects!

Traditional Desk Bell

My favorite! I originally saw a video about using it as a quiet signal years ago and grabbed one like this on Amazon. However, I ended up using it as solely the signal to clean up snack. Kids really responded to having unique sounds for different signals. I also recently saw this super cute version of this type of bell at Michael's Stores and had to restrain myself from getting it!

Light Flashing

Here's the last of my 10 attention getting signals! I use flashing the lights in conjunction with audible signals sometimes, especially at the end of indoor recess. I keep the lights off while giving a verbal direction which makes it tougher for students to keep playing and ignore the clean up directions! Plus it's a good standby when you have laryngitis or are sick!

If you'd prefer to watch a short 3 minute video with these tips, check out my Youtube video, and don't forget to subscribe!

What is your favorite attention getting signal? Let us know with your comment!

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