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
Academic Culture
SMART House Rules

My co-teachers and I use a simple set of three rules to guide our blended classroom: 1. Respect all people, property, and ideas; 2. Follow directions the first time; and 3. Be prepared. The consistency of these rules is really important for middle schoolers and creates a great culture of learning in our House. We share these rules with students at the beginning of the year in a community-wide Town Hall Meeting.

 
Independent Student Learning
Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It

Like It-Love It-Gotta Have It is a strategy I use to differentiate assignments within my micro-groups in a Live Investigation. The three names are, in my opinion, a better way of saying high, medium and low. The kids really love the names. In a Live Investigation, there is usually varying levels of abillity or knowledge in that particular skill. By making a high, medium, and low activity, students have the ability to challenge themselves at their own level. I assign different parts of the room for each activity so I can physically see where the students are. Most of the time, I let the students self-assess and they move throughout the room according to which level they are. They are free to move (up or down) from one section to the next. Most of the activites I assign here are digital. I really like using Khan Academy here, as I can track students physically as well as digitally. With this strategy, I can also target the students at the Like It level and allow the Gotta Have it students to fly a bit on their own. 

 
Instructional Openings
Independent Learning Zone Expectations

At the beginning of each Independent Learning Zone class session, I do a quick review of Independent Learning Zone Expectations. This strategy encourages the whole class to come together as a community with common expectations in mind before students begin working independently for the remainder of the class.

 
 
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