When asked what my secret to a quieter classroom is, I don't respond...I raise my hand and hold up a finger! If you're looking for a fool-proof classroom management system to curb the blurting, questions, bathroom breaks, pencil sharpening, walking around, etc. then you need to adopt the Hand Signal System into your classroom. It can be learned quickly by all age of students and has proven to be an effective system to use.
Simply put, your students raise their hands, holding up one, two, three, four, five, or crossed fingers. Each represent a request, such as needing to go to the bathroom, pencil sharpener, out of their seat, to get a tissue, to say a comment or to ask a question. I only use three in my classroom to ease any confusion, but I've included the following posters:
Crossed (x) Fingers-Out of Seat
You can choose which to use, which ones fit your situation, and how many you want your students to memorize. If you'd like to use your own numbered fingers with your own requests, I've even included Powerpoint EDITABLE posters to make your own! Both of set posters feature rainbow GLITTER, CHEVRON, POLKA DOTS, and CHALKBOARD! Perfect! So you can't go wrong with this system; I wholeheartedly believe in it and it's effectiveness...This is perfect for those brand new teachers and those seasoned educators looking for a new twist and revamp to their classroom organization methods. Once learned and practiced at the beginning of the school year (or anytime), you and your students will have a silent communication system in place where minimal talking is the outcome, unless welcomed.
*As a funny side note, I was being observed by my Principal one year and later went in to discuss her evaluation of me. Unfortunately, my fool-proof system didn't work out for me that day. My Principal marked me down for "Teacher ignored students questions and didn't interact with them." She failed to realize that I WAS silently interacting with the students by nodding my head when they raised their fingers in the air with requests. The students were so silent and things were running so smoothly, that the Principal had no idea what was going on. After some explanation, she had to redo my evaluation and give me an excellent on classroom management!
Thanks to Teaching is My Superpower for the graphics! I (Cara's Clips) created the hand graphics.