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Using Cups instead of Raising Hands
Old 06-13-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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I find it is distracting to verbally call on each student who has a hand raised and needs help or has a question when doing independent work at their desks. I heard about the strategy of having students use a cup to place on their desk when they have a question or need help as a "silent signal" to the teacher. Another strategy I was considering is to have students signal with an upright textbook.

What do you do?

Thanks.


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Cups
Old 06-13-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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I use cups. It worked very well this year! Green means they are working and don't need help, red means they need me. I always give them something to work on if they need my help and can't continue though. Otherwise they stop working and wind up in trouble.
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I don't like all the hand raising either
Old 06-13-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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I teach my students to put up a thumb at their chest level if they have a question.
I would think the cups would get in the way and get knocked off the desks, more distracting than the hand raising. The texts would be awkward and distracting too.
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We have them
Old 06-13-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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in our computer lab. They are the red plastic kind...the mouth of the cup is level with the top of the computer monitor and taped to the side. The kids flip the cup up so that it is sitting upside down on the monitor if they need help. Then you can go around and answer questions without all of the noise. We are in an open concept school so it is a very good way to keep it quiet
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Quote:
I would think the cups would get in the way and get knocked off the desks, more distracting than the hand raising.
I only had a few kiddos who had that problem and when it happened I took their cups and they had to sit somewhere else in the room. It usually didn't happen again.


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Idea
Old 06-13-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Have you tried the 3 Before Me method? They ask 3 other people for help or clarification before raising their hands to get help from you. I found that put out a lot of fires and emphasized the fact that the teacher is not the only help available to them.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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Mine just have a little name tent (but without a name... couldn't think of how to describe it) and they put it on their desk when they need help. Facing out, it says "I need help" but facing them it says "try to keep working." I really try to stop the behavior of just stopping and sitting there with their hand up.
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Post-it notes
Old 06-13-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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I've had a tech specialist use post-it notes in a computer lab setting or where there are a lot of computers. Just wanted to share another way to do it.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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This is a good strategy for cooperative learning.
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Thanks for sharing!
Old 06-13-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I really learned of some great strategies. I appreciate each of you taking the time to respond. It makes this newbie teacher feel a little more experienced. Thanks.


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Old 06-14-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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One school I work in has little tiny flip-charts on the corner of the student's desk. It is either on green that says "I'm working fine", yellow for if they have a question but can keep working, and red if they can't continue without help. Each one is color coded and has the words on both sides.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:48 AM
 
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I use what I call "Cue Cards" in my classroom. (I'm sure my students think they are actually Q cards and wonder why their teacher is so silly.) There are 4 dicuts on a metal book ring. A water drop (May I get a drink/go to the bathroom), a light bulb (I got it!), a puzzle piece (I'm puzzled & need help), and a pencil (I need a pencil). They use them any time that I'm teaching for any one of those things. I like the cue cards cause they're small and flexible and really help to manage the verbal outbursts.

To prevent the interruptions during lessons, as well, I teach my students the open palm hand raise vs. the raised fist. Raised hand = response/statement, fist= question. This prevents those times when you're in a great discussion and one student raises his hand and asks to go to the bathroom or interrupts with a more inappropriate question.

I teach 5th grade, by the way, if that means anything!
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:47 AM
 
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I like your ideas, MsNoble.

I use composition notebooks in my departmentalized setting. After much thought regarding the constant handraising, I began to have the students stand up their composition books on their desks to signal to me that they needed help. This was with 4th grade students, and I never had any problems except that sometimes a student would forget to put his notebook back on the desk in a flat position after being helped. That was only a minor inconvenience, though. (Folders work well, also.)

I've enjoyed this discussion and the new ideas I've been given.
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cups...
Old 06-14-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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are used in our computer room too. In my classroom I use a couple things. For the restroom and/or drink they can come up to me and use sign language which I can then nod or sign back yes or no. I also do the "ask 3 friends". If they still need me after they've asked 3 friends and I am working with someone then they write their name on the Questions board and then when I'm done working with that student or group I can refer to the Questions board. There are always computer issues and so next to that center is a "just in case" bin with other choices such as reading from their book bin, working in their writing folder, etc.
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Used cups when I taught computer lab
Old 06-14-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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but haven't really thought about them in the regular classroom. Some of the ideas that have been shared are super. I have also used the 3 before me poster, but you have to stay very consistent with it and pray that your kids really will buy into it for that rule to stick. I feel your pain as I hate to stop a lesson to have a child ask if they can go to the bathroom. There has got to be a better way.
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love the closed fist for question idea
Old 06-14-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing it MsNoble!
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Red/Green Cards & Bathroom Sign
Old 06-15-2010, 04:40 AM
 
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I have used small cards made with red & green construction paper. Red on one side and green on the other. I plan to try this again, but need the cards to be a bit larger (4x6), so the students don't lose them.

For the bathroom, I have the students use the sign language sign for bathroom/toilet. I will nod yes or no to respond. This has been great! The students then get a small hand sanitizer bottle from the sink area, place it on their desk and leave the room. That way I remember where they went and they can use the sanitizer when they return!!!
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Try a
Old 06-15-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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toilet paper tube with one end wrapped in red,the other wrapped in green. These can actually be tied to the desks and they make little sound if they fall.
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