After I take roll, I say the following every day while holding my phone out for them to see:
Salvete! Incipiamus. Ubi sunt telephona? In.....sacculis (students say "sacculis" with me). Telephona non sunt in manibus, non in gremio, non in sinibus, non sub natibus, non sub sellis. Telephona sunt in sacculis. Ponam meum telephonum in meo sacculo. I will give you phone time at the end of class.
Hello. Let's us begin. Where are your telephones? In your bookbags. Telephones are not in your hands, not in your lap, not in your pockets, not under your butts, not under your chairs. Telephones are in your bookbags. I will place my telephone in my bookbag. I will give you phone time at the end of class.
- I use gestures when saying this (displaying hands, pointing to lap, putting hands in my pockets, patting my butt, and pointing under the chairs). Students get mad at me if I say this without the gestures.
- Because I establish this ritual from Day 1, students know my expectation regarding cellphones during class. Even though this ritual is behaviorist in nature, the way in which this is done is very positive, and students actually do put their cellphones away.
- Students appreciate that I as the teacher too put my cellphone in my bookbag with them.
- If students do pull out their cellphones during class, I simply say, "(Student's name), ubi sunt telephona?" and usually the student knows right away to put it away. I have found that many times students themselves will monitor each other and call out students who have their phones out during class by saying "Ubi sunt telephona? Telephona non in manibus!"
- Last week, i was observed by two different non-world language teachers, and each of them said to me, "I was so surprised that your students knew to put their phones away when you told them to (in Latin) and that they actually did it!"
- By the 2nd or 3rd week of school, because I say this every day, many students say this along with me. Again, my observers last week found it very interesting that students would actually want to recite that with me when it was not required.
- I make it a point to tell students each day that at the end of class, I will give them phone time. "Give me time in class, and I will give you time at the end."
It is a very simple daily "ritual," which I have found to be very effective!