The Focuser: Hands and Eyes

Occasionally, maybe once every five to ten minutes, you have a large point that requires your students’ intense attention.   With a loud, firm voice say, “Hands and eyes!”  Quickly fold your hands.  Your kids reply, “Hands and eyes!” and quickly fold their hands.  State your large point, delighting in the focused stares of your class.  For especially important announcements, exclaim, “Hands!  Hands!  Hands and eyes!,” clapping your hands together.  Your kids repeat what you said and wait, breathlessly, for your next words.

Hands and Eyes is so effective, you can use it for frequent big announcements.  
“Hands and Eyes!”
Kids reply, “Hands and Eyes!”
“Never forget that the bottom number in a fraction shows how many parts in a whole!!!”
“Mrs. Johnson claims her class is quieter, more mature than our class. We’re going on Ghost Recon down the hall and they won’t even know we’re there!”

“Every paragraph in your essay must start with a topic sentence!”
And so forth.