I use a stirring drum to get the attention in my classroom. I got it through a web site called Storytellin.com. It is $20 but does the trick every time, I will not teach a day without it. My own 7 and 11 year old love it too. It is a peaceful little musical nopise but they stop what they are doing and come to the circle time. We use it when we have guests and it hushes the entire crowd, even students who do not have it in their classroom all the time. It saves i=on the voice and can be painted or stained.