Everyone that is a teacher knows that a raised hand can mean multiple things. The student either has to go to the bathroom, nurse, needs or your help, or has a question. Even more than that we all know how many students raise their hand at one time. One of my biggest worries is that a student will be raising their hand because they need help and do not understand something that is being taught. As the only teacher of 26 students without assistance or an aide, it can be a daunting task to make sure all students understand what is being taught during a lesson.
I came up with a solution and even better than that a non-verbal solution. It is a simple solution that is developmentally appropriate for kindergarten students! A green smiley represents “I can do this!” and it means that they are capable of doing this on their own. A yellow unsure smiley represents “I am not sure,” and that the student is uncertain, but not in need of immediate attention. A red smiley face represents “I need HELP!” and that the student is in need of immediate assistance with this question, task, or problem. This is a great tool for my classroom as it allows students to do a self-assessment on their level of understanding and need for teacher assistance. You can quickly scan the room to see the students who are doing great, unsure, or are in need of help.