Happy January, my friends!
As always, I’m so happy to pop in here at the awesome OC Blog. Today I have something short and sweet to share with you. While I was conducting some classroom walkthroughs this week, a very cool visual caught my eye. I have to admit it feels kind of original that I found this myself in an actual classroom and not on Pinterest!
Cute, right? But beyond that, just seeing this on the board made two things very clear to me. I know that this teacher understands the power of visual representations and she has clearly established routines for minimizing interruptions. I did indeed see children using the signals as I was in the room, so she is clearly using the system she put in place.
Even if you don’t use signals for routine things like this teacher, I can see lots of other uses for these little hands. What about using them for number recognition, listing steps in directions or schedule reminders? Help your ELL students recognize some culturally accepted gestures that they might not be familiar with. I was very surprised in one of my undergrad classes when I learned that hand signals can have extremely different meanings in different cultures! Students are always fascinated by sign language. How about an ASL alphabet to go along with your standard alphabet? This being so close to our celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I can’t help but also notice that the hands are both different shades. That in itself can be a way to initiate a discussion and help all students see that they are represented as part of one classroom community.
I love to visit other teachers’ classrooms. Even when I’m there for something routine or incidental, my eyes are always open. You never know when you might stumble upon something that could really inspire you!
Until next time,