Deltoids + biceps = raising your hand to get your teacher’s attention. Deltoids + biceps + more than 20 seconds = muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue in primary kiddos leads to either: a) student(s) calling for you to come see them from across the room -or- b) student(s) following you around the room tapping or tugging on you.
It’s hard to be 1 teacher in a room of 20+ students, all of whom need your support and attention right NOW. But I’ve come up with a way to avoid tired deltoids and biceps AND shouting across the room -or- following you around…CUPS!
I started using cups instead of raising hands during our writing time, but kids like to use them for other times as well. Red cups are to get my attention because a student has a question or is stuck on something and may need help. Green cups are used to get my attention because a student has finish his/her writing piece and needs to read it to me and get a thumbs up. I chose the colors red and green because they are often associated with “stop” (I’m stuck.) and “go” (I’m done.)
If students have a red cup on their desks, they need to keep trying to figure out what is troubling them or just keep writing. If students have a green cup on their desks, they can keep themselves busy by doing something on Gurg’s list (a free choice list) until I can get to them.
I keep the cups at our Writing Station.
Using these cups makes me less stressed about getting around to everyone and, more importantly, it allows kids to ‘keep going’ instead of waiting and doing nothing productive.