Classroom Management

6 Ways to Get Your Student’s Attention Without Talking

Classroom management isn’t simply a set of rules and consequences. It’s an ongoing process that is woven into every single part of your day. When all of the pieces of the puzzle come together, the classroom will run like a well oiled machine. In AOE’s Managing the Art Room class you will create specific structures and routines to help you manage your biggest issues in the classroom. For example, one of my favorite ideas (that I highly recommend) is using non-verbal prompts to get student’s attention quickly.

Get your student’s attention without saying a word by making one of these 6 ideas a part of your art room routine. Even better? Rotate a few of them in and out so student’s don’t become immune to one of the sounds. You can even choose one sound to always be the signal for clean up, and another for listening to directions, etc.

Student's Attention


1. Desk Bell: I recommend one tap for ‘eyes up here’ and three chimes for ‘it’s time to clean up.’ I couldn’t live without one of these in my classroom!

2. Sound Block: Use a special rhythm pattern to signal to students it’s time to be quiet.

3. Triangle: A non- abrasive way to add gentle noise to your classroom setting.

4. Wind Chime: Students will be mesmerized by the long lasting sound, which is nice when it takes extra time to get everyone settled down.

5. Music Wands: Tap this on the table or desk and a beautiful chime sound comes out. It’s like magic. Come back tomorrow for a complete review as I demonstrate this product in action!

6.Wooden Crow Sounder: Enlist a well behaved student to manage this device. Fun for them and effective for your classroom management!

What are some other non verbal cues you use in the art room?  

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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