96 Clever Classroom Call and Response Prompt Ideas

Learn about even more awesome classroom call and response in this podcast episode!

Teacher and students raising hands- Clever Classroom Call and Response Prompt Ideas

I bet you have some regular classroom call-and-response attention prompts that you use.

You know, when the kids are getting chatty and you need to get their attention back on you? Or, when you are switching gears from group work time back to instruction. These classroom attention chimes come in handy because they are a way to quickly engage students and get their attention back on you.

However, sometimes students can get tired of using the same classroom call and response over and over… and when that happens, it can be time to freshen things up. By teaching your students some new classroom attention chimes, they’ll be excited to use them!

The good news is… I’ve already compiled a HUGE list of classroom call and response attention prompts from my followers on my email list. I also asked the question on my Instagram and my Facebook Group Wife Teacher Mommies Unite. (Be sure to follow me on those platforms so you can join in on our future conversations!) I was overwhelmed by all the amazing responses I got! These ideas are clever AND fun and are bound to be a huge hit in your classroom, too.

All that is left to do is choose your favorites from the classroom call and response list, and teach them to your class! You can also use this list to start your next school year with some fun, and new, attention prompts. (Note: This post contains affiliate links. See disclaimer.)

So… here we go!

Harry Potter Call and Response

  • Teacher: Mischief Students: Managed -Vanessa T. 
  • Teacher: Abbra Students: Cadabbra -Lauren C. (I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan, which my students quickly learn)

Spongebob Squarepants Call and Response

  • Teacher: Sponge Bob Students: Square pants –Katy D.
  • Teacher: ARE YOU READY KIDS? Students:  AYE AYE CAPTIAN -Tia B.
  • Teacher: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Students: Sponge Bob Square Pants. –Crystal P.

Other Book, TV Show, and Movie Classroom Call and Response

  • Teacher: Hakuna Students: Matata -Lacy C
  • Teacher: Shark Bait Students: Oh ha ha –Kelsey D.
  • Teacher: Lions and tigers and bears Students: Oh, my! –Madolynn H.
  • Teacher: Meanwhile… Students: Back at the ranch! -Deanne S.
  • Teacher: To infinity… Students: And beyond! -Debbie K.
  • Teacher: Squeezed Students: …in the middle -Jeanine C.
  • Teacher: Too legit Students: Too legit to quit. -Denae L.
  • Teacher: Scooby Dooby Doo Students: Where are you? -Jane H.

Food Classroom Attention Chimes

  • Teacher: Tootsie Roll, Lollipop Students: We’ve been talking, now we stop -Arlene O. 
  • Teacher: Peanut butter Students: Jelly time! –Michelle T
  • Teacher: Chicken Students: Nugget –Lacy C
  • Teacher: Peanut Butter Students: jelly –Susan B
  • Teacher: Freeze like a popsicle Students: Freeze with their hands touching their head
  • Teacher: Red Robin Students: Yum!  -Tommie B.
  • Teacher: ba da ba ba ba (sings McDonald’s jingle) Students: I’m lovin’ it! (sings back jingle) -Kimberly C.
  • Teacher: Holy moly Students: Guacamole -Debbie K.
  • Teacher: Mac and cheese Students: Everybody freeze -Debbie K.
  • Teacher: Uh oh Students: Spaghetti oh -Jeanine C.
  • Teacher: Pumpkin pie Students: Oh, my! -Aileen S.

Counting Classroom Attention Chimes

  • Teacher: 1,2,3 Eyes on me Students: 1,2 Eyes on you and mouths closed so we can hear you, too. –Angel F.
  • For a quick in-class attention getter, I simply say “1, 2, 3, Freeze!” It works every time. –Michelle F.
  • Teacher: ABC Students: 123 -Susan R.
  • Teacher: 3,2,1 Students: All talking is done. -Suzanne C.
  • I count down to 5. If they are ready we make rockets with our hands and blast off. -Lori A.
  • Teacher: 1,2,3 All Eyes on Me Students: 1,2 Eyes on You -Brooke T.
  • Teacher: 5, 4, 3, eyes on me…Students: 2, 1, (let’s get done!; let’s have some fun!; let’s run! Or anything that rhymes with “one”). –Rose W.
  • This one has always worked for me. I start by raising my hand and holding up five fingers. The kids who are paying attention raise their hands. I count down from 5. When all students have their hands raised, we continue. The count-down trick was something I learned from my mother growing up. She always counted down, never up. Because when counting up, you can continue forever, but the countdown limits their time. For some activities, I adjust time by using 3, 5, or 10 seconds. –Sadie F.
  • I like to do a countdown in a foreign language…I use either Vietnamese (my mom is from Vietnam) or German.  They love listening to an unknown language and by the end of the year have even learned a few numbers!  -Kimberly M.
  • Teacher: Hi ho, hi ho…. Students: It’s off to work we go. (My kids like to change the responses. Example: Hi ho, hi ho…. It’s off to read we go.).  -Aileen S.
  • Teacher: Goodness gracious Students: Great balls of fire! -Aileen S.
  • Teacher: Please don’t make me lose my mind. Students: Up in here. Up in here. -Alissa S.
  • Teacher: Oooh… it’s cold in here! Students: There must be some learnin’ in the atmosphere! –LeAnn M.
  • Teacher: Hey! Students: Ho!  All together: Let’s go! –Danielle D.
  • Teacher: 3, 2, 1, STOP! Students: Collaborate and Listen! –Brenna S.
  • Teacher: Raise the roof Students: Woop-Woop (kids raise their hands into the air) -Crystal P.
  • Teacher: It’s… Students: Thriller time! -Verna J
  • Teacher: ” I can make your hands clap” Students: clap their hands to the rhythm that matches that song. -Chelsey W.
  • The prompt that works the best for me is when I “sing” (using dun dun dun dun dun) the tune for Skunk in the Barnyard, and they reply with the “Pe-yew” part (dun dun!). I’m having a hard time describing it without the tune itself! Anyway, once they respond, they know to pay attention to the instructions that are coming. -Amanda K

Clapping Classroom Attention Chimes

  • One easy one (and a fave of mine) is to clap out the beat – clap clap clap-clap clap & students return- CLAP CLAP. –Maria G.
  • I like to use this when students are talking,  “If you can hear clap once…If you can hear me clap twice….”  It never fails to work and I whisper when I do it because then that brings their noise level down and gets them calm. -Jennifer W. 
  • I use rhythmic clapping… clap a beat and they repeat.  Or I start clapping the drum riff from We will rock you. -Lisa W.
  • Do a series of claps and have them copy it -Jennifer W.
  • Teacher: “Everybody clap your hands” Students: all clap five times (usually to the same melody as the song.) It’s super fast and makes the kids stop what they are doing to clap. -Heather S. 
  • “If you can hear my voice, clap once. If you can hear my voice, clap twice.” Sometimes I will switch the numbers to see if students are really listening. –Kristy H.

Other Clever Classroom Call and Response Prompts

  • Teacher: I have directions! Students: North, south, east, or west? -Deanne S.
  • Teacher: Knock, knock! Students: Who’s there? –Liz K.
  • Teacher: Waterfall Students: Shhhhhh ( while students make waterfall movements with fingers) -Melissa C.
  • Teacher: Zip it, lock it Students: Put it in your pocket. –Laurie E.
  • Teacher: Ready to Rock. Students: Ready to Roll. –Megan B
  • Teacher: Hey hey, oh oh Students: Everybody ready to go –Kristi
  • Teacher: Ready, set Students: You bet!  –Lacey L.
  • Teacher: Show up! Students: And shine! -Staycie L.
  • Teacher: Hello Students: Goodbye –Susan R.
  • Teacher: Chicka Chicka! Students: Boom, Boom! -Braley M.
  • Teacher: Mona Students: Lisa –Marge B.
  • Teacher: Eeny, meeny Students: Miny, mo -Lacy C.
  • Teacher: Clase, clase Students: Si, Si. –Angelica
  • Teacher: S-T-O-P Students: Stop (and they stop, look, and listen!) –Missy S.
  • Teacher: Ready to rock? Students: Ready to roll –Andrea B.
  • Teacher: Hey Yo Students: What’s Up –Ashley D.
  • Teacher: Class – Class Students: Yes-Yes. I love using different voices (cartoon characters, cranky lady, etc.), making it a song (opera anyone?), and changing up the rhythm (they love hearing it in slow-mo). It’s always fresh that way, but it’s also consistent and quick. -Cindy
  • Teacher: Take it back! Students: Take it waaaaaayyyy back! The teacher can change the volume, voice, speed, etc. -Kimberly C.
  • Teacher: What’s up? Students: It’s all good! -Verna J.
  • Teacher: Hear ye, hear ye Students: All eyes on the Queen! -Angela R.
  • Teacher: Romeo Students: Juliet! -Mia C.
  • Teacher: May I go on? Students: Please do -Amy B.
  • Teacher: Ready to listen? Students: Ready to learn –Amy B.
  • Teacher: Hocus, Pocus Students: Everybody focus! -Crystal G.
  • Teacher: Eyes are looking Students: Ears are listening, brain is thinking. -Stephanie M.
  • Teacher: “Great happens…” CLAP. Students: “here”. CLAP  We are a Leader in Me school.  -Susan B.
  • Teacher: “May I have your attention please?”–Jarrah
  • Use football teams or school mascots -Dodie C.
  • Use your school mascot as an attention prompt! “I like using our school name with the mascot as a call and response. So, I say Pershing (clap 2 x) and my students respond Tigers (clap 2x)” -Natalie C. 
  • I also like using math facts. [as a call and response] I let students know the specific fact that we’ll be using. Difficult facts are good ones to use and then you can switch the facts and answers when you feel they’re ready!) -Natalie C. 
  • With primary, I say, “freeze and squeeze!” and they freeze and put their hands on their heads or give themselves a hug. –Sarah S.
  • The attention prompt that has never failed in my classroom is: “if you can hear my voice do this” while doing something like putting my hands on my head. I continue this 2-3 times until I have full attention. The best part about this attention prompt is that it forces students to look at me in order to know what action to do! –Alyssa P
  • My favorite (and my students’ fav) attention response is: Bum, bada bum bum…bum, bum but on the last 2 tones make 2 hand motions to be copied by the class.  Students have the early seconds of the chant to get quiet, attend, and turn towards the teacher to catch the hand motion/body part touched so they can replicate it.  For example, I might tap one should and then the other shoulder, or I might put one hand on my waist and one hand behind my back. If not everyone responds to the first chant, I say, “I caught some people”, and be ready to try again.  Then I repeat the chant but do a different hand motion. –Stephanie J.

Posing Classroom Attention Chimes

  • Mannequin challenge! I don’t use it often, but I pick up my phone, turn on the video and call “Mannequin challenge!” then make a quick video of them — I stitch together the videos and the kids find them hilarious to watch later. -Pam H. 
  • I’ll say “Spotlight on me” in a loud voice (and sometimes I strike a pose). Students stop what they are doing and pantomime turning a spotlight in my direction. This guarantees that all eyes are on me.  -Leslie S.
  • I freeze in a weird pose. I may put my hands on my head or straight up in the air. This lets my students know to freeze and mimic my pose. This empties their hands and has them stand ready to move or listen for instructions without a distraction in hand.  -Kristy W.

Other Attention Getting Ideas

  • You can use any popular meme or YouTube video your kids are talking about as an attention prompt! The students LOVE this!- Kristi
  • I was so tired of straining my voice with attention getters and fifth graders, that I invested in a wireless doorbell. I bought one with two different buttons. One is for attention-getting, and one is for transitions. That attention-getting one is just a chime that dings twice. The transition one is a little song that plays twice. I think it cost right around $20, but the saving of my voice is priceless! –Jennifer H
  • This year, I purchased a xylophone, an inexpensive one, for the sole use of gaining my middle schoolers’ attention. I do lots of pair-shares and activities which result in a sometimes noisy classroom as my middle schoolers embark on a competition to see who can talk the loudest, lol! So, when the noise gets too loud, I pick up my little stick and begin playing the different scales of the xylophone.  The kids know that by the time I stop playing, the room should be quiet. Guess what?  It actually works very well with my kiddos!!  I like it much better than shouting out phrases. -Janet G.
  • Turning lights down –Tamera P.
  • I start to sing our little school-wide rules song. The children join in the song. Usually, by the time we finish the song, I have everyone’s attention.–Sharon S.
  • I ring a chime – the response is quiet with a finger over their mouth using one hand, and the other hand is raised to acknowledge -Jennifer W.
  • I know it sounds weird but my attention getter is a dog clicker. Hey! It works! -Nora A. 
  • I use the press-style service bell. When I ring it, the class replies with “Service Please!” -Mia C.
  • My favorite is my chime. It’s such a calming sound and my students respond so quickly to its sound when I ring it. -Stephanie M. 
  • I bought a large kazoo and play some simple ditties as attention-getting prompts. -Jo R.

So many great ideas from so many teachers! I hope this classroom call and response list gives you some new ideas to try out! Don’t forget to share this post with your teacher friends!

And last, but certainly not least, be sure to check out our free resource library for editable sub-binder forms, sub-plan lessons, seating chart pages, and more to help you get organized as well! Or join Wife Teacher Mommy Club and get access to our FULL library of resources, community support, life coaching, and more for one low monthly (or yearly!) price.

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