Document Sample
					                                  Attention, Attention! Getting Attention!
                                              By Tricia King

                                               THE PROBLEM
          Given the known ways and cultural background of our students, what is the best way to educate
them in the use of proper etiquette in order to get the attention of another person? Given our roles as
educators, it can be a frustrating process that we must experience with our students. How do we help them
to grasp the concept and fully comprehend how society “dictates” the acceptable ways one person gains the
attention of another – with regard to both hearing and deaf cultures? We know from experience that our
students tend to yell across a room, or maybe they pound loudly on their desks, or possibly just sit in one
place while repeatedly making noise until they are noticed and ultimately acknowledged. As educators of
the deaf/hard of hearing we know that this is relatively acceptable for the daily goings on in our classroom.
We are quite used to behaviors such as these with our students however, it is our job to enforce in our
students the proper way to approach this task so that they will be an integral part of both the deaf
community and mainstream society.

                                               THE SOLUTION

         The way I chose to approach this challenge was to create a group interactive lesson where my
students could participate in demonstrating both the correct and incorrect ways of gaining someone‟s
attention. I believe that it is fundamental to the social development of my students to comprehend the fact
that there are acceptable and appropriate ways to attain the attention of others, as well as realizing that there
are suitable ways to behave in particular social settings. These goals are meaningful to the students‟ social
development because once they gain an understanding of these concepts, they will eventually put these
concepts into practice utilizing what they have learned throughout their daily social interactions with
         The social development program I have designed to address these learning goals utilizes group
dynamics in the classroom as a whole. My social development program starts with a brainstorming session
with my students listing the “do‟s and don‟ts” of acceptable social behavior. In this particular lesson I
chose to cover the correct and incorrect ways in which a hearing impaired person should properly obtain
the attention of someone. Next I review the two lists that the students have presented and I then inform
them that we are going to play a game using the information we have just discussed. The „game‟ affords me
the opportunity to get all of my students involved as well as allowing me to focus on each one of my
students‟ individual needs. In order to accomplish this goal, I have each student demonstrate a specific
example that highlights his or her strength in this area. By selecting each student to come to the front of the
classroom and show an example of the “wrong” way, and then in turn, demonstrate the “proper” way to
gain someone‟s attention, I am able to engage the entire group in the lesson.
         Creating a sense of competition in the form of a „game‟ enables me to foster interest and excitement
among my students. This interaction allows for participation by everyone. By creating an environment in
which my students‟ understand that they are not being singled out, they participate fully and are more apt to
contribute to the activity at hand. I was able to engage all of my students in this activity because I created a
learning environment that was not only interactive and fun for my students, but one in which my students
felt comfortable, therefore enabling me to elicit a positive, comprehensive response from each one of them.

The strategies I used to promote the students‟ participation in this lesson were those of implementing and
presenting an interactive, energetic, fun activity that would grab and continue to hold their attention. My
students need to be „captivated‟ by the lesson in order to maintain their focus and put forth their best effort
to contribute to, and learn from, the lesson. My students work well in this setting due to the fact that the
forum of a „game‟ makes them eager to participate in the lesson. The excitement and feeling of a
„competition‟ holds their attention long enough for me to impart the entire lesson. My students learning is
further facilitated by the fact that they are engrossed by the venue of the lesson - made clear by the fact that
they are very anxious to participate throughout the lesson. My students become especially excited when
they are called upon to give their example. My students demonstrated application of what they were
learning by presenting very dramatic presentations when it was their turn to first, demonstrate the incorrect
way to get someone‟s attention, and then in turn, demonstrate the correct way to get a person‟s attention.
My students were enthusiastic, animated, and very energetic. Utilizing this particular format allowed me to
implement strategies to enlist support throughout the lesson. These strategies included but were not limited
to: peer reinforcement, (asking the group to verify if in fact, the student „presenter‟ was correct in what he
or she had demonstrated); and peer motivation, (the group physically „cheering on‟ and encouraging the
„presenter‟ to give the correct answer). The confines of this particular activity (the game) were such that I
was able to select each student, individually, to actively participate in the lesson and thus eliminate any
barriers (feelings of exclusion or favoritism) that might normally exist in a group setting.

                                       CONTACT INFORMATION
                                                TRICIA KING
                                      SOUTHERN OAKS MIDDLE SCHOOL
                                          5500 NE ST. JAMES DRIVE
                                          PORT ST. LUCIE, FL 34983