Talking Like a Teacher


Have you ever heard the phrase, “put your thinking cap on?”  It is a cute teacher saying to help kids focus on learning.  Want to know how to grab a group’s attention quickly, without having to yell and scream while jumping up and down?  Then get your listening ears on! Um, I guess in this case, get your reading eyes ready to learn some teacher lingo!

Keeping kids quiet

Catch a bubble in your mouth (good when waking down the hall or when you need to give directions)

Use an inside voice

Sitting properly at the carpet

Sit crisscross applesauce with spoons in the bowl.  (we don’t use the phrase “sit Indian style” anymore, as this can be offensive to others)

Crisscross applesauce give your hands a clap,
Crisscross applesauce put them in your lap.

Roly-poly, roly-poly clap, clap, clap (roll your hands like you do for wheels on the bus)
Roly-poly, roly-poly, lay them in your lap.

Attention Grabbers

Clap once if you can hear me. (Say it in a normal talking volume, just loud enough for the kids around you to hear.  Very quickly, all the kids will be clapping with you and you wont have to yell to get their attention!  Works great with big groups)

A spin on the one above is to clap a rhythm and wait for them to repeat it.

If you can hear me, put your hands in the air (or on your head, etc)


Use your words (this works well when kids are upset or for young children learning to communicate with words)

Walking in the hallway

We’re going to walk down the hall like quiet, little bunnies.  (or whatever quiet animal you can think of!  My 1st graders really liked walking down the hall like sneaky secret spies)

Stop your running feet

We use walking feet

Using Glue

Drips & drops, not globs and blobs (when talking about how to apply glue)

When you give the group things

You get what you get and you don’t have a fit or You get what you get and you don’t complain about it

When all else fails – SING! 

Yes, singing directions works.  Everyone knows when they her the clean-up song they have to put their toys away and eventually, everyone joins in.  (And some of us can’t stop humming that song to ourselves for the rest of the day!)  Make up a song to a popular tune and your kids will quickly respond.  Its so much easier to remember things when put to a tune.  It also sounds so much nicer than repeating yourself or trying to talk over kids engaged in conversation.

Do you have any sayings you use?  If so, post them in the comments to share!

Clipart from: