Part 1 of this Behavior Mastery series shows HOW a teacher can get the attention of all their children no matter the circumstance. Typical classroom management programs teach the mindset teachers need to have to manage their classrooms BUT fail to give them real tools to get control of their classroom EVERY time. Behavior Mastery is based on how the human brain actually works. How do you get the attention of any brain? By tapping into more primal responses, you can guarantee the response will take place because it’s automatic! So how does this apply to screaming or distracted kids?
How do Pattern Interrupts Work?
The human brain is wired to react. You react everyday to the world around you in automatic ways that your conscious mind is not aware. Reactions can be physical (when someone throws something at you and you reach out to grab it automatically) or they can be psychological (when someone says something that triggers an emotion).
Okay, but how does this apply to the wild children in a classroom? We can tap into the magic of automatic reactions by using them to get the attention of ALL the children in a classroom.
A pattern interrupt is designed to get the attention of all the kids immediately whether it’s two kids at home, whether it’s 25 kids in the classroom, whether it’s 150 Kids in an assembly program.
Now the olden days of saying a child’s name over and over, doesn’t really work for what you’re looking for. You want to get these kids attention, looking at you immediately. How many of you have ever done this? Joey? Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey, and then you go back, he’s not listening will really know they’re always listening, they’re just choosing not to follow your directions, because it doesn’t benefit them.
So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go through a five part system. This first part are pattern interrupts, but get ready, because some of these are going to be silly. And remember, this is not a behavior mastery system for adults. This is a behavior mastery system for kids. It aligns with what kids are going to respond to. Now, the sillier the pattern interrupt is, the more the voice in your head might go, I’m not going to try that. I offer you to just stay in winwin. Know that if you try these techniques out, they will work magically.
Pattern Interrupt: Singing Songs
If I want to get any kid’s attention, if all of a sudden I start going Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream – , wherever I am at my friend’s house, if I’m at classroom – all of a sudden, every kid goes “rah rah rah, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily!”, and they just start singing.
Singing songs gets the kid’s attention but only for about one seconds. That’s it. Okay, two or three seconds tops.
Pattern Interrupt: Accents
The next pattern interrupt I do is change accents. I do voices now, not auditioning for a Saturday Night Live. But I create my voice to do silly things. The reason this works is because the hairs inside your ears, they perk up. Do whatever works for you! Use a state accent or the accent of one of your older family members.
Pattern Interrupt: Animal Noises
One of my favorite pattern interrupts that I use are animal noises. You can bark, meow or any other creative animal you can think of. These are my favorite because they are just so easy and fast to do. You can also engage the students with questions after you do the animal noise like, “what what that?!”, and bring their focus back to you.