I worked for IDtech camp one summer, and they had a great way to get the kids' attention, if that's one the problems of that day :) I've been using it ever since.
It's a call and response. I usually use a different one a month. A perennial favorite is, "I say "Ka" you say "Boom"."Ka". (them)"Boom". "Ka". (them)"Boom". A new one we used this year, "Zombies want?" (them) "brains". "Zombies". "Brains".(repeat) I sometimes end that one with, "What you need?" (them) "Brains". "yes, you need brains for this next activity...."
I find the call and response works best for elementary or high school (10th-12th). The middle years are hard, but I do it anyway for my middle school kids. By the end of the year, they do usually get over being too cool to do it. But whether they participate or not, it gets their attention which is the point of the exercise; to get their attention in a fun way that doesn't point anyone person out, or have you calling a dozen names over and over.
This summer when the ele. kids talked while I gave instructions (only if it was really distracting), the kids had to write their names in cursive with the butts. I was kinda afraid that it might encourage talking, but in a group of rather rambunctious kids, it cut talking to a bear minimum by Thursday of that week camp so I'm apt to try this during the school year. I was given the idea from my dd 10th grade summer leadership camp, so maybe it could work with any age?
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