Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 130- Hand Signals

I almost feel as if I am in a movie or a game show.  I have been presented with a list of challenges/tasks that stand in the way of completing my final week of student teaching successfully.  First, I woke up on Saturday with little to no voice and a nasty cold/infection, and it has been touch and go ever since.  Then, some kind of circuit blew in my house yesterday, leaving us without power in the front half of the house.  This half includes the bedroom and the outlet where our internet modem is plugged in, creating some additional unique challenges.  Finally, my dog has decided that he is obsessed with me once again.  And with barking.  Especially when the two of us are alone in the house after dark.

Don't fear, I have not forgotten the point of these daily blogs, and this remains a positivity only zone.  I am not complaining.  Rather, I am simply laying out the facts that lead me up to these important words.

To Whom it May Concern (I mean you, oh creator of obstacles),

I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE!

Tom's working on the power thing, I put up with the dog because he's so darn cute and funny (and I understand that he can't help but be obsessed with me due to my excessive awesomeness), so that just leaves one final thing.  How do I practice effective classroom management without a voice?

Quite well, I would say, if I were inclined to comment on such things.  My game plan:

  1. Step One: Draw funny symbols on the board that correspond to hand signals.  For example, thumbs up= Great work, my wonderful students!  You are doing an excellent job of staying on task.  Picture of had with slanted mouth and side to side motion lines= Warning.  You know and I know that you are not doing what you're supposed to be doing.  Picture a referee's handbook.
  2. Step Two: Include in the "Today I will" objectives on the board, "watch for Mrs. Ferri's hand signals and help a sista out by staying on task"
  3. Step Three: Ask one student per class to read the objectives out loud.
  4. Step Four: Once the giggling about your witty objectives subsides, introduce the hand signals and demonstrate.  More giggling.
  5. Step Five: Sit back and bask in the results of your plan.  Oh, and use the hand signals when the novelty wears off to reign students back in.
  6. Step Six: Pull out the sick voice when needed.  Students will feel bad and begin to look for/cooperate with hand signals again.

It is amazing what a few (school appropriate-- geez, get your mind out of the gutter) hand signals can accomplish.  Well, that and the fruits of four months of classroom management labor.

Thank you, hand signals, you made my day.    

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