How do you handle the student who always has a comment during your lessons? What about the student who has to go to the bathroom ten times during testing? Classroom hand signals saved my sanity, no matter what grade level I was teaching.
This communication system made teaching easier and saved so much class time! It helped my classroom management immensely, and my administrator was always impressed with this system. I could easily distinguish between a question, answer, and comment (and save the comments for later!)
How I Started Using Classroom Hand Signals
In my first year of teaching, I taught 2nd grade, and those kids knew how to make connections and ask questions. Maybe not on-topic, but close enough that they constantly had their hands in the air. I was always caught up in stories and questions about unrelated things. If one student asked to go to the bathroom or get a tissue, everyone had to. I knew I needed a way for kids to communicate with me quietly, and that’s how hand signals made their way into my classroom.
I thought about the things students would raise their hands for – questions, comments, answering, asking to go to the bathroom, asking to get a drink or tissue, asking to sharpen a pencil, and needing help – and that’s how I decided what hand signals I’d create. So many different reasons for raising a hand, and sometimes I only had the time to call on the kids who were answering a question I asked in a lesson.
With the hand signals chosen and hung in the classroom, I taught my students why we were going to use them and how. They found it fun to have an easy way to show me what they needed.
During a lesson, I could now nod to kids who needed something unrelated to the lesson, such as going to the bathroom or getting a tissue. While teaching small groups or providing testing accommodations at my table, I could quickly see if a student needed help or just needed a new pencil or to get a drink.
Not only is this classroom management tool a huge help in assisting students with being responsible and respectful, but it also saves a ton of time!
Done-For-You Classroom Hand Signal Posters
Want to try hand signals in your classroom? I have Hand Signal Posters that come in a done-for-you, ready-to-print PDF or an editable PowerPoint. My posters are diverse and inclusive, too.
What Some Teachers Have SAid About My Hand Signal Posters
These hand signals with editable meanings are awesome! I use them to post the hand signals across the front of the classroom so students are always aware of how to ask for certain things. These come is so many different shades of skin color and make the classroom more diverse and represent all students! I love these!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Alexander H.
I love these posters. I like that there are multiple skin tones represented, and I like that there are a variety of signals to choose from. I customized to get the exact posters I wanted. I’ll definitely use these for years to come!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Leah W.
I love the editable powerpoint! I can change the font to match some of my other classroom labels for consistency. I can also add my own clipart/images of what each signal means, as a visual support of my pre- and early readers! This set is well-designed and includes a wide variety of signals, including some that are harder to find in other sets. Love it, love it, love it!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Celyn B.