A Super-Powered Attention-Getter!

Classroom Call Back Teacher Trap

I recently landed upon the most amazing attention-getter!  I was reading my kids a few jokes at the end of the day and they all started talking.  To get their attention back, I said, “Knock, Knock.”  And they all immediately replied “Who’s there?”  I didn’t actually have a joke in mind so I just said, “Orange.” And they said, “Orange who?” And I said, “Orange you guys going to stop talking so you can hear some more jokes?”  Which they thought was hilarious, of course.  

I couldn’t believe it.  They were all quiet and ready to listen in seconds.   I use lots of attention-getters in my room including clapping a pattern and the students repeat or saying “Oh, class?” in a funny voice and having them respond “Oh, yes?” in the same voice.  But over time the kids start doing those on auto-pilot and don’t always stop to listen.  With the knock, knock joke, they were listening for the punch line and then ready for directions.  So, I started trying it throughout the next day and it’s worked like a charm ever since!  I started off using actual jokes from my little joke book, but there are a bunch of them that easily lend themselves to giving directions.  Here’s some of the ones I’ve been using the most and I just change the last line to fit whatever we are doing.


Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange you going to look at your teacher so you can hear the next direction?

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Canoe.
Canoe who?
Canoe please wiggle your fingers in the air if you’re listening to me?

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Harry.
Harry who?
Harry up and look at your teacher!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Lettuce clean up and meet at the carpet.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Police.
Police who?
Po-leez start cleaning up and head to your desk.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Ya.
Ya who?
Wow. You guys sure excited about reading!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Olive.
Olive who?
Olive (aw-luv) you guys but it’s time to clean up.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?
Soup.
Soup who?
Soup-er job today guys!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Barry.
Barry who?
Barry good work today.  Now head over to the carpet!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Will.
Will who?
Will you please pause what you’re doing and look at me.

Such a simple thing.  But it makes me (and the kids) smile every time and so far it’s working beautifully!  If you have a great knock, knock that might work please share!

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8 thoughts on “A Super-Powered Attention-Getter!

  1. Marcy

    LOVE this idea! You’re right about them being on auto-pilot! Can’t wait to try this with my class today! Thanks!

  2. Lori Flaherty

    These are awesome, thank you! I’ve been using clapping and Oh, class? too but their power is waning. I think this will be perfect for my firsties. Using it tomorrow 🙂