Routines and Procedures

Hand Signals

My colleagues and I use a variety of hand signals in our classroom to avoid unnecessary disruptions and maintain focus and time on task. Three common hand signals: a signal to use bathroom; a signal for needing scrap paper; and a signal for asking a presenter to speak louder. We introduce all of the hand signals to students at the beginning of the year in a community-wide Town Hall Meeting.

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This is the slide from my Town Hall presentation that teaches my students how to ask to go to the bathroom or get water. During the Town Hall meeting, I ask all of my students to try it out. I also let them know that if they don't use the signal, they don't go!
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This is the slide from my Town Hall presentation that teaches my students how to ask to go to the bathroom or get water. During the Town Hall meeting, I ask all of my students to try it out. I also let them know that if they don't use the signal, they don't go!
Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Instructional Planning
Aaron's Approach to Planning

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Aaron plans for instruction in his blended classroom.

 
Instructional Closings
Closing Bell

I use the Closing Bell strategy to bring my students back together as a community at the end of each class to check for understanding, debrief the class, give "grows and glows," and/or preview what we will be doing the following day. Building in this type of closing at the end of class is especially important in a blended classroom when students are spending so much time working independently or in groups. 

 
Academic Culture
Town Hall Meeting

Since I work with 3 large cohorts of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (100+ students in each cohort) my colleagues and I developed a Town Hall Meeting for the beginning of the year to explain our Rules, Routines, Procedures, and Consequences to the entire cohort at once. Having all of my students on the same system has provided tremendous consistency and stability and created a solid community foundation. Town Hall Meeting is a place where students not only hear the expectations but are encouraged to ask questions or make comments to the entire community. Delivering this presentation once to the entire cohort helps to set the culture in an efficient way. 

 
 
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