What good is an inservice or professional development if you don’t walk away with something practical that you can bring back to your class immediately? Not a whole lot.
Thankfully, Annette Breaux’s presentation last Thursday was jam-packed with tips that anyone can use. In fact, I tried many of her ideas in my class all day Friday, and there was definitely a different vibe in the room.
Every day this week, I am featuring one of Annette’s classroom management tips and my experiences using them on the first day. I am confident you will take something positive away from at least one of these tips! (And if you do, make sure you let Annette know!)
Today’s tip: Smile and give a hand signal to get the class’ attention.
- In theory: I have a greater tolerance for chatter than some teachers, sure, but the point is, there are times when efficient acquisition of quiet is needed. On Friday, we practiced a new system in which I would raise my right hand to signal to the students that I needed their attention. I told them that, when they noticed my hand up, they should raise theirs as well. The idea is that others would notice hands going up around them and therefore would raise their hands and give their attention.
- In practice: As Annette pointed out, the Giants practiced the same plays for the Super Bowl that they practiced in training camp. The point? Procedures need to be practiced often and consistently for them to work. The ragged edges of students initially raising their hands and continuing to leaf through books without giving me their attention gave way to a tighter, faster, more invested experience as we used the signal throughout the day. This week, we will continue to practice.
- Remember: keep a smile on your face, no matter how long it takes to gain the attention of your students. Don’t let them push your buttons. Also, if certain students are ignoring the signal, ignore them right back. No sense in giving them the satisfaction of controlling you or the class.
Try it and share with us how it went!