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Gaining Children's Attention

Teaching Strategies Series 

Preschool teacher Nereida Diaz describes a strategy she uses in her classroom to focus children's attention, particularly after a period of active play. She puts her hands to her eyes to resemble a pair of glasses and says the phrase, "Hocus Pocus; everybody focus." The children respond with the same gesture and repeat the word, "focus."

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  • Gaining Children’s Attention

    (This video has captions. You can turn them on by clicking the CC icon at the bottom of the video.)
    Download a printable transcript in English and Spanish.

    Nereida Diaz, Preschool Teacher, New Heights Child Development Center: Well we learned my assistant and I, we learned something that we call “Hocus Pocus, everybody focus,” and I go like that. “Hocus Pocus, everybody focus,” so they just look at me and go like that.

    Nereida: Hocus Pocus, everybody…
    Children: Focus!

    Nereida Diaz: And even, they finish the sentence, and they focus on me.

    Nereida: Hocus Pocus, everybody…
    Children: Focus!
    Nereida: Focus; everybody focus.

    Nereida Diaz: After they do some exercise, they get so active that we want to calm them. If they’re like, too overactive, we just say “Hocus Pocus, everybody focus,” and that helps a lot.

  • Producer: Terry Surprenant
    Videographer/Editor: Sean Leser

    The Center wishes to thank New Heights Child Development Center in Willimantic, Connecticut, for their cooperation in the making of this video.