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
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Learning Apps
Aaron's Digital Content and Tech Tools

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in his classroom. Check out how and why Aaron uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!


 
Instructional Closings
Closing Check-In

To take a quick pulse of the class I may do a fist to five (students hold up a fist if they had difficulties or were unable to get in synch with the rest of class to a five which means they felt successful and are ready to transition to the next station). This Likert scale type voting gives me the opportunity to be responsive to specific student needs and quickly ascertain which students need my immediate attention or which student’s work/submissions I should review. There are also times when I feel it is appropriate to hear from students and give them the opportunity to exercise their student voice. During this exercise I take both volunteers and non-volunteers to give me their “thrills and chills/roses and thorns/high and lows of the day”. I think it is important for students to see me receive critical feedback or praise and be able to appropriately respond. It is extremely powerful for students to make a suggestion on how our class should operate and see it implemented almost immediately.

 
Routines and Procedures

Formal transitions happen twice during a double-block period. My students have to move from one section of my extra-large classroom (3 classrooms merged into one) and move to another section for a new lesson with a new teacher. My students have two minutes to transition from session to session, and we play a variety of interesting music on the surround sound stereo system to keep it fun.

 
 
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