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One of the biggest challenges teachers face is getting (and keeping) their students' attention. Learning to do so takes time and practice, but effective teaching requires it.

Tips for getting students' attention

  • Praise students for getting (and doing) the signal correctly.
  • Make it fun! Change it up and say (or do) the signal fast, or slow, soft or loud.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Go over your attention signal until your blue in the face.

Here are some ideas to try

  • Attention signals
  • Timer or a count down
  • Using proximity
  • Precision commands/requests
  • Do not talk over students

7 ways to keep students’ attention

  • Use the 10:2 method: (2 min process/respond for 10 min of instruction)
  • Incorporate movement into your lessons
  • Pick up the pace
  • Provide effective feedback
  • Allow 5-7 seconds of “think time” when asking a question
  • 3-2-1 method of summarizing: (Write 3 things they learned, 2  interesting things, 1 question. Share in small groups.)
  • Periodically pause mid-sentence


We all teach, lead and learn under different Mindframes. They envelop our personal lives as well as into our professional conversations. John Hattie and Peter Dewitt have written about the Mindframes our students need for learning. Those Mindframes are equally as important for teachers and school leaders as well.

Check out the video below to see more about these Mindframes.

Hattie's Mindframes (now there are 10)

  1. I am an evaluator
  2. I am a change agent
  3. I talk about learning and not about teaching
  4. I see assessment as feedback to me
  5. I engage in dialogue and not monologue
  6. I enjoy challenge
  7. I engage in positive relationships
  8. I use the language of learning
  9. I see learning as hard work
  10. I collaborate

NASA Space PlaceIt’s back to school time, and at NASA Space Place, there are lots of activities to share with your students.

Planet Profiles
Find out more about our solar system’s eight amazing planets with the new planet profiles. Find out how long a year lasts on Uranus and why the sun doesn’t rise every “day” on Mercury.

Planet Merit Badges
Every planet profile features planet merit badges that showcase each planet’s unique characteristics, as well as beautiful photos.

2015-16 Space Place calendar
You can decorate your classroom with the official Space Place calendar for the 2015-2016 school year. It has beautiful images, NASA facts and trivia, and links to relevant content. Download individual months or the entire set today.

Crafts, Crafts, Crafts!
Learn more about space, the sun, Earth, and comets with these fun activities.

Pinwheel Galaxy Pinwheel: A galaxy in the palm of your hand!

Sun Paper: Marbled paper that looks just like our sun.

Earth Fan: A fan with all of Earth’s interesting layers.

Comet on a Stick: Your very own comet to fly around the room!