During my many years of coaching children, I tried a number of tricks to get their attention. In my case, I had small groups of three to six kids at a time, so I would have to bounce from one on one situations to groups. And I've often used the
pause and eyeball technique in small groups.
If you are in a teaching scenario where several children are involved, and you need to ask questions, you can use name cards to stop the waving of hands.
One on one, I could be faced with a stubborn boy or girl, often angry at his or her parent.
Who would he or she react to then, and could I get them back?
Sometimes, I had to speak to the parent on the child's behalf, to make a deal, or have them go away.
Most often I spoke with the child and showed I cared and focused on the positive. It worked. The child would slowly blend back into the group and was happy to have fun again.
In small groups, if I became stern, you can bet I saw some crossed arms and grumpy faces. But... if I became a little goofy and playful, the reactions changed like night and day. Suddenly they were all ears.
What happened in these cases? I got them to take notice. And that's step one. Step two is what you do with it, but at least they are listening. They are actually eager to see or hear what comes next.
Here are some tips on building related skills.Return from Do I have your Attention to Short Stories Help Children