I like to do a lot of "turn and talk" with my kids since I never feel that they have adequate opportunities to share if it is only kid at a time. As I see the conversation beginning to turn to other things I will say loudly "1" and then hold my hand up showing 5 fingers and slowly put my fingers down, until I simply have a fist or "0". My students know that in the countdown time they are to finish their conversations and give me their attention. It works really well, and I feel that it allows me to respect their need to finish their interactions with their peers.
I use a similar tactic but mine is verbal. When they do turn and talk I do a count down to let them know talk time is coming to an end. "3,2,1,0, zip" They know when I get to zip it's time to be in listening position. I could certainly adjust this to a non-verbal cue like yours though!
Kerry and Wendy, I do a combo of non verbal and verbal countdowns too!
Well I'm kinda a loud mouth, so non-verbal is one I have to work on! I have a ton of verbal cues that work great. However, I do have a few nonverbal cues I try to remember to use. When we are gathering after a transition I will start with "If you can hear me, put your hands on your head. If you can hear me, touch your nose." This quickly turns to me just doing action to gather all their eyes on me. I also "do the robot". Which is similar but I don't start with the verbal cue. I do robotic actions and they copy. This one turns into them being the leader later in the year and it's a greta way to gather all everyone's attention. I also certainly do the "teacher look" when students are not on task. If they are not making eye contact, moving close and positioning myself near them usually works. We also have a "listening position" - criss cross apple sauce with hands on head. Simply putting my hands on my head reminds them to get into listening position.
One of my favorite silent nonverbal signals is one that I picked up at a nature center long ago. It is the silent coyote. I love the visual of having the mouth closed on the "coyote" to remind them to be silent while in line or walking in the hallway. It is quick and very specific for 1st graders!
I see kids do this all the time! They love it!
My favorite nonverbal is a hand gesture when students are taking turns reading. I make eye contact with the student who isn't tracking the book we are reading and use my two fingers to point to my eyes and then to the book. They almost always get the message.
Cathy, I do the same thing. In small groups it is very quick and easy to get a reader back on track by pointing to the words being read aloud. They almost always place their finger next to yours and continue to track as they read.
I also do a version like Wendy- I just call it copy cat and they copy my actions- either a pattern or just random actions. It's a great way to quickly get everyone engaged and ready to learn. I also make the L sign language shape and put it to my ear for "Listen" as a reminder to be quiet and ready to learn. I also use "Give Me Five" and the hand reminder. I know some of these are working when children use them without prompting- when it's their turn to share surprise bag or during shared writing.
I use a non verbal sound that iminates from my hanging Wind Chime that hangs in the front of the room. When I ring this windchime, kids know to "Give Me Five".
I have quite a few kids who like to shout out this year. One nonverbal cue I have found to be effective is when I raise my hand to signal that I expect that hands are raised if a student has a question or comment. I then make eye contact with the student or student who is shouting out, and point to my hand in the air - so far, it has worked well! Another non-verbal cue I have found useful when students are on the carpet, is if I notice that I am starting to lose them, or they are laying down/not sitting up on their bottoms, I will make eye contact with them and use a hand signal to show that I want them to sit up. It seems effective, and I am able to continue to teach.
One nonverbal cue I use is that I give out little gold star stickers on the back of students' hands when I catch them doing something good. Kids notice this without me having to say a word, and even fifth graders like gold stars. It's amazing how quickly students get back on task or take a risk to share.
I also have students use their nonverbal cues with me at times. One example that I stole from another teacher has been helpful when I am doing a read-aloud or think-aloud. Instead of interrupting because they can't see the picture or what I'm writing, I ask them to put up one index finger in front of their chest so I know they need to see the picture or have something to share. It's just a little less intrusive than hands up or shouting out, "I can't see!!!" I just have to make sure that I'm watching for these nonverbal cues.It keeps me accountable for my audience.
I love the gold stars idea! Super cute! I will start this next week.
I use non verbals all day long. When I am teaching at my jelly bean table, the kids that need help communicate with me via non verbal signals. These nonverbal signals ensure that my teaching is not interrupted during my small group instruction. When I am teaching whole group lessons, I use eye contact and finger motions to redirect kids without stopping any verbal instruction. I do it every day throughout the day that my students and I develop quite the repertoire of non verbal signals (some I am probably not even aware of).
I use a stop hand signal when I want the whole group's attention on the floor. I also use the stop and look at the person whose attention I am still waiting for.
My nonverbal signal that students respond to the best uses one word from me. I’ve introduced all my students to Mona Lisa, the painting by DaVinci. When I say ‘Mona’ they are to say ‘Lisa’ and get into the Mona Lisa pose… mouth closed, hands still, eyes on me. If someone is still working I stand quietly with my eyes on that one person still working. The rest of the class is really quiet, also, which gets that one individual’s attention quickly.
When I'm teaching small groups at my table, I often use eye contact and a finger motion to bring my kids back on track. At times, I also use the self-interruption method. This technique always works.
Like Jessica, I also raise my hand as I am asking a question to indicate that I'd like hands before answers. I'm trying to be more thoughtful about giving indicators for answers called out (open arms) and pointing to my head when I just want them to think about the answer. I've found that in the past I might have confused some of my students. Sometimes I assume they can infer when I want them to call out or raise their hands, but I know some of my students aren't able to read these cues and need the concrete reminders.
When teaching my small groups I always use the nonverbal cues to help my students bring their attention back to me or track what they are working on. I will use eye contact or head tilts when I am explaining items. I also use my finger often to help students get back on track when we are reading or following along with something. I often will place my hand in front of a student when I am talking to gain their attention or let them know to stop doing something. This is far easier with a small group! In addition, use sign language for sit when I need a student to stay in their seat.
I use raised eyebrows a lot throughout the day. I also use a conductor motion of closing my thumb and fingers together and raising my hand to redirect a student who is talking out of turn. While I’m with a small group, I have students use a hand signal when they want to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.