Picture this: You're in the middle of a riveting story, and the students are enraptured. It all builds up until the critical moment, where you ask THE question to get students' interest and begin the real lesson. Several students raise their hands, some nearly jumping out of their seat in their excitement to answer. You pick one, and s/he says, "Can I go to the bathroom?" UGH. I felt incredibly deflated (and less patient than I should have been) when that happened to me.
Now I use SEAT SIGNALS to avoid unpleasant surprises like that. The idea is for students to use a non-verbal hand signal while they're seated to indicate what they need. Then you can address common problems with a non-verbal response. Kid needs to sharpen a pencil? S/he holds up a pencil, you nod, and it gets taken care of without a word. This document includes the 5 signals I use in my classroom:
- Sharpen pencil
I have them posted in the front of my classroom next to our clock for easy reference. Edit according to your needs! I like using sign language where I can so the signals feel less arbitrary; it makes it easier for me to keep track of as well :)