Chicos, se va a la una, a las dos, vendido. (Guys, it's going once, twice, sold.)
If students were still talking once I said "vendido", I docked points. The first year I began teaching at a public school, I decided to eliminate the negative aspect of the attention getter. I also discovered that I did not need to use any English to explain to students that this was how I wanted their attention. Instead I put the following information on the board, and I practiced with students:
Srta. Robinson: 3, 2, 1, [clap, clap] ¡Clase!
Clase: [clap, clap] ¡Sí!-Silencio-
What I liked about this attention getter was that it gave students more warning so that they could have time to prepare themselves to stop what they were doing.
The third attention getter I used was inspired by The First Days of School (Wong and Wong, 2009). Their way of getting students' attention is to say "Give me five". Five represents the five things they expected from students after students replied with "five". I put up a poster on my wall based on that idea (although I did not have the English translation for students):
¡Dame cinco! (Give me five!)
- Ojos en la maestra (Eyes on the teacher)
- Silencio (Silence)
- Tranquilos (Be calm)
- Manos encima del escritorio (Hands on the desk)
- Escucha (Listen)
Srta. Robinson: Chicos, dame cinco. (Give me five!)
Clase: ¡Cinco! (Five!)
Another trick that I have noticed that works really well is telling students how much time they have for a certain activity: Chicos, tiene cuatro minutos para esta actividad (Guys, you have four more minutes for this activity). It also helps to tell them when they should be wrapping up: Chicos, tienen un minutos más (Guys, you have one more minute).