This post originally appeared on the blog, The Science Penguin.

The Problems
“Can I go to the bathroom?”
“I need a tissue.”
“I gotta sharpen my pencil.”
 
A student’s hand is raised. Does she need a pencil? Does she need to use the restroom? Or is she having trouble with a math problem?  
 
The Solution
One of the best things I implemented in my classroom was the use of hand signals. It takes a little practice in the beginning, but students get used to using the hand signals.  
 

Here are my signals:

1 Finger: Pencil
2 Crossed Fingers: Restroom
3 Fingers: Kleenex or Water
5 Fingers: Question
Thumbs Up: Got it!
Thumb to the Side: Still Working
 
These come in handy during standardized testing, too!
 
Free Printable Signs
sign1
 
 
You can download your free printable signs right here. Just click the image below.
Classroom Hand Signals: Free Posters
 

The Science Penguin

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The Science PenguinAri blogs and develops elementary science resources for The Science Penguin. She is passionate about helping elementary teachers strengthen their faith in their abilities to provide high-quality science instruction to all students. You can follow Ari’s store here or check out her blog.