Pleased with how well your lesson is going, you ask, "Who wants to share their response?" Almost every hand goes up! You are so pleased! You carefully choose a student to share their response. Then you hear the dreaded, "Can I go to the bathroom?"
Doh! If only you knew that would come out of his mouth before you called on him! Swap in "nurse", "locker", or anything else that is not desirable for students to ask during your lessons.
Try this system. It's simple - I promise. Many years ago, I saw a teacher train her students with simple signs to communicate why their hands were in the air. If you had used this system, the scenario would have been different. Print out and hang the page-sized posters in your classroom where the students can always clearly see the signs. After you asked your question, you would see hands shoot up in the air showing different signed letters that have different meanings (that's right, American Sign Language!). You'd see many students holding up an "a" which means they want to ANSWER your question. You'd probably see some "c" signs which means they have a COMMENT to share. Certainly you'd see some "i" signs signifiying those students have an INQUIRY (question) of their own to ask. You might also see a shaking "t" sign which is the universal sign for toilet (that student has to go to the restroom!) or a "w" which is a student asking for WATER. With all these letters up in the air, you'll get to choose a student who will keep your lesson on track (holding up an "a") and not accidentally call on the "w" (water) student!
I've also included a few other signs if you have students who need them. The "u" sign is for students who want to share an UNRELATED comment or question. (We've all heard those stories about the family vacation or new puppy when we were trying to talk about last night's homework!) The "L" is for when a student needs to go to their LOCKER and "n" is for NURSE. Just for fun, I've also included a hand with no sign showing--and it's simple meaning is "hello!" That can be a silly way to remind the students to show signs and not just hold up their hand.
This is a new product and I'd love feedback! Please let me know how it works for you. If you have suggestions of additional letters, I'd be glad to consider adding them, and if I do, I'll bump out the file to any prior purchasers. Oh, one last thing. I've created this file in PowerPoint. There are two versions of each page. The first half of the pages are screenshots that cannot be edited. I included these for anyone who doesn't want to change the font/size/color. The second half of the pages are editable in PowerPoint. If you have a different version than I do, be aware that the font and layout might change in the second half of the slides.