I’m excited to share the best classroom management technique I’ve tried in years.… the “Mona! Lisa!” attention signal. I used this new technique in all my K-8 classes this week, and it was even more successful than I had hoped for!
Kudos go to Tricia Fuglestad of Dryden Art Fugleblog for sharing this fantastic idea, which she learned from Scott Russell. It’s a simple call and response.… you say, “Mona!” and your students respond with “Lisa!”, and show you their best Mona Lisa pose: eyes on the teacher, mouths quiet, and hands still. (Yes, “mouths quiet”.… it really works — woo hoo!!!)
I announced to each of my classes that the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci, would be our class mascot this year. I have a small Mona Lisa print mounted on cardboard which I placed on the white board tray. After practicing our best Mona Lisa poses, we ran through the “Mona! Lisa!” call and response.
Then we practiced. Throughout our class time, whenever students got a little too loud, or I needed to get their attention to give more instructions, I used the “Mona! Lisa!” attention signal. Sometimes I had to repeat “Mona!” a few times until I had everyone’s attention, but it got better the more we practiced. In the past, I tried everything from flicking the lights, to counting down from five, to clapping rhythms, to using chimes. But none of those techniques even came close to “Mona! Lisa!” for quickly getting students’ attention. It was so easy — remarkable, really, in how well it worked.
Check out the Dryden Art Fugleblog for a downloadable “How to be Mona-ificient” poster as well as a great poster for “Art Room Voice Levels”. And be sure to follow this creative blog if you use an iPad or other technology in your Art Room.… tons of innovative ideas here!
What’s your favorite classroom management technique?