Today's Whatever Wednesday Topic is: Hand Signals
Also known as, "I've eliminated the need for you to interrupt me" signs!
Which is a nicer way to say, "LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE CAN'T YOU SEE I'M TEACHING HERE."
These cards hang above my door. I printed the hands from the Discovery Kids website and added my own words to show what they mean underneath. Here's how things go down in my room.
If I am reading to the class or in the midst of a lesson, they are instructed not to request a beverage and should only ask to pee if the alternative to leaving the room would be a puddle on the floor.
That probably sounds harsh so I will add that my lessons rarely last more than 10 minutes so it's not as if I am putting anyone at risk for a bladder infection. In the event of a true emergency, they are able to get up, sign "bathroom" and run just as fast as anyone doing the infamous pee-pee dance can possibly run. Only once has any child ever used the emergency potty exit sign during a lesson.
They are allowed to get up at anytime for a tissue.
When I am not reading or doing direct instruction, the class utilizes the hand signals shown in the photo above. They hold up the signal and watch for me to make eye contact with them and nod.
1=I need to use the bathroom.
2=I have a question.
3=I need to trade/sharpen my pencil.
4=I would like a drink.
5=The quiet sign
Next year I'm going to flip flop 2 and 5.
I used to do a thing where I would say, "give me 5" to get their attention. This sort of went with it, but now seems random.
These signals are ideal when I'm working 1:1 or in a small group. They are also great in a crowd situation such as an assembly.
This falls into the, "I promise you will love it!" catalog of ideas for classroom management.