Take the name and create a sing-song way to say it as if it were a bugle call, such as “Hey-Ko-al-as.” Then sit down with the kids and teach them this call. Model it for them, and them have them mimic it. Practice it several times with you giving the call with them waiting until you’re done, then echoing in unison. It takes a week or two of conditioning before they get in the habit of this, but once you get them in the habit, its a great way to quiet the class down or get their attention without having to raise your voice or repeatedly ask them to listen. Simply give the “Koala call” or whatever name you have chosen, and the kids will stop mid conversation to echo you, giving you their full attention.
A Tip on Classroom Arrangements
Here are a couple things to keep in mind as you structure your classroom: Studies have found that children participate more in classroom discussion when desks are arranged in a semi-circle configuration around a teacher, rather than the traditional rows of desks. A different examination found that organizing furniture in small groupings throughout the room encourages socialization more so than seats lined up facing one another. You might also try to incorporate a combination of these room arrangements; perhaps small desk groupings focused around the teacher. Whatever you decide on, remember that the way you structure your classroom does have a real impact on student behavior.