This Hand Signal technique is simple: instead of students raising their hand for everything, he or she raises their hand for what they want!
1 Finger: May I use the restroom?
2 Fingers: May I get a drink?
3 Fingers: May I sharpen a pencil?
4 Fingers: I have a connection.
5 Fingers: I have a question/I would like to answer your question.
This technique is phenomenal because you no longer have to interrupt instruction to hear Johnny say, "Um, I just have to go to the bathroom." or hear Susie tell a story because she has a connection that is loosely related to what you just said. A simple nod or shake of the head can answer most requests and most students in the room won't even notice you have just had an exchange with another student!