Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Most Effective "Signal" to Kids...

Happy Sunday!

We all have signals, claps, or little songs to get the attention of our students, don't we?  This year, I have a new one that is so effective, I had to share. It just came out of my mouth one day as I often sing little phrases to the song, "Are You Sleeping?"  (Like, "I am waiting, I am waiting, waiting for you, waiting for you...)

I use it only when I need to check in on an activity/assignment.  Example:  My kids will be working in groups playing a math game.  After 6-8 minutes, I might want to highlight a group's work or share something I saw that impressed me OR simply to stop them instantly and ask them questions or give further instructions.  (Now that we've practiced finding all the odd numbers up to 50, let's take it step further and find them up to 100 or If your partner helped you make your story better, tell us how, etc.  Lame examples, but I haven't had my tea yet!)

Here it is...simple, but oh, so effective!  (Tune: Are You Sleeping)

Me:  Let's chit chat, Let's chit chat...
Them: (making ok sign with hand and moving hand to beat)  A-Okay.  (Then immediately putting hands on heads, no movement with hands since they are firmly planted on head)  A-Okay.

By the second A-Okay sign, the room is silent, no one is writing or talking, etc. and they are all looking at me.

When I use it, they know a short discussion is coming ABOUT the activity/assignment at hand, etc.  It's not used for transitions or anything else. 

It's been a winner for me!  Seriously!  This is fail proof!  My best and most effective yet.

Is there one you can't live without?  Care to share?  I'm all ears...


  1. Very Cute, I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I love singing, signals, and chants. This is how I love to run my classroom! Which is why the recent WBT video I watched really intrigued me.
    Forever in First

  3. What did you think of that video? (If it's the same one I saw!) I watched it and then...well, in all honesty, I found it to be almost...dare I say it...creepy? (Should I duck?)

  4. I'd never even heard of WBT before that video (although I'm not sure we're talking about the same one). It's a new concept, but like I said before, I love the singing, signals, chanting stuff. I saw some in that video that I thought would be fun to use. The whole thing did seem a little too "perfect", "staged", or "unlifelike" I guess, with about ten fewer students than I have too. (No ducking needed) :)

  5. I love chants/songs/signals too so when I clicked on it, I had high hopes. First thought: STEPFORD KIDS! I can see it in doses but they moved to a few activities. I am sure it's the same one. All comments under the post seemed to indicate that my thoughts were mine alone! :)

    I could sing all day long if given the chance!

  6. Cute! I will have to try it! We use a Stop, Look, and Listen chant and a few others.

    I am a new follower to your blog and love it! I love the name because it is so true! I wrote on my blog that 1st grade is like watching a butterfly emerge from it's cocoon.

    I would love for you to come visit me. I have LOTS of *freebies*! =)

    Heather's Heart

  7. Just visited you. Heather. Left a comment. Looking forward to getting to know you!


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