Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sign in the Classroom

3 weeks ago I tried something new in my classroom and I am not the least disappointed. I decided to try a little sign and not only does it make my life easier but the kids LOVE it. These are the signs we use and the cards are posted in my classroom as reminders. 
 The first sign is the bathroom sign. Instead of being interrupted during my lessons or during small groups, the students make the bathroom sign and I either nod yes or no. My students know they can only go during instructional time if it's an emergency. 
Warning: there will be a lot of "emergencies" the first week of implementation because they all want to try it.
The second sign is "L" for whole body listening. We practice a lot what whole body listening looks like and sounds like. When I give the sign, the students immediately stop talking, look at me (or the speaker), and know I mean business. I love the fact that I don't have to sound like a nag. I give the symbol and it doesn't require me to open my mouth. The students know that they can tap the person next to them and give them the symbol if they are not paying attention when I'm trying to give them the "L" sign. 
I have a lot of story tellers this year. I love discussion and participation from my students but sometimes we just need to get down to business. When my students raise their hands they will either show an "I" sign for "I have a question," an "A" sign for "I have an answer," or a "C" sign for "I have a comment." I also like when I see the "comment hands" because I have a few that will go completely off topic and I can say "I'd love to hear your comment but does it have to do with the story I'm reading?" The kids absolutely love doing the signs too. I'm on week 3 and the sign has become automatic for some, but a few still need the reminder.
I use the "F" sign to remind students to remain on task. If I see that they are in "la la land" or are goofing around instead of yelling across the room I just give them the "stay on task" symbol. The students will give each other this symbol if they're being distracted while working too. I was a little unsure about implementing sign at first, but I don't regret it at all!
Here are the cards for display. 


cwoita said...

Very cool! We use the "t" sign, but a visual reminder to use it would be great! I downloaded these and will use them in January! Thanks!

Ladybug Teacher said...

I love this! I think my students would really respond well to this. Thank you so much for sharing :)

Eric said...

I too use sign language in my classroom...I love it and the kids love it. It would be nice to have the pre-made cards as visuals. Thank you for sharing with your fellow teachers!!!

Ms. Margarita said...

I´m definitely going to use it in my class!!

Kay Barth said...

I use sign language in my room too. At the start of the year I teach them B, T, W, and the sign for finished. B is bathroom, T is tissue, W is water. The finished sign is used quite often. I will sign it to them to ask if they are finished reading, they sign it to me when they finish a test etc. Now I also have taught them the line up sign, and sit down sign. line up is 2 hands with the fingers all 'lined up' and sit down is the pointer and middle finger of each hand. 1 is 'sitting' on the other hand.

We also do sign language during singing time(at a Christian School). I have taught them the entire alphabet and we sign the letters to I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N. They have also learned other random signs for various religious songs.

I like the question, answer and comment signs. I (like I'm sure all of you) have those students who always have comments during lesson time and hopefully this will help me keep the comments under control

baba said...

This is really cool!!!!!

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