This post is part of my Classroom Management Series. Click here to read other posts from the series.
Here's how it goes down. You're in your meeting area with all of your friends gathered round. You're executing a riveting lesson and ask a question of the group. Hands go up. You're psyched. You call on one and the child says (in a sing-songy voice), "This one tiiiime..." He then launches into a story that doesn't relate to your lesson. You call on the next raised hand and hope that she will provide the answer you so anxiously await. Instead you hear, "Why does the...?"
I recently wrote about the fact that I use hand signals in my classroom to silently address the needs of my students without interrupting groups or 1:1 sessions. Well, I also use hand signals during my lessons to identify what a friends are about to verbalize.
Using sign language, instead of simply raising their hand to let me know they want to speak, they hold up a letter sign to let me know what it is they want to say.
The letter I represents, "I have a question."
The letter A represents "answer."
The letter C represents "comment."
There are two benefits to this. The obvious is that I know what they are going to contribute and can call on someone with an answer vs a comment if I am looking for an answer. It also lets me know who has a legit question as opposed to who wants to tell me something that may or may not relate to the topic.
The other benefit is that it allows the students to identify what they want to say. It makes them aware and really cuts down on distraction and commentary that can set us off task. They don't just shoot their hand up. I've also found that it eliminates the raised hand followed by, "uuhhhh...I forget."
managing a classroom classroom routines classroom procedures best practices classroom management ideas classroom management tips classroom management pictures classroom management strategies effective classroom management plan examples of classroom procedures elementary classroom procedures primary classroom procedures middle school classroom procedures kindergarten classroom procedures first grade classroom procedures sample classroom procedures manual harry wong first days of school rules routines daily classroom routines that really work children printable free freebie second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade education behavior management clutter free classroom organized classroom tips for organizing a classroom