Here is my teaching tip for you all. It ranks right up there with my love of Whole Brain Teaching.
Do any of you use sign language in your classroom? If not I highly suggest you try it out!
Sign Language is the perfect tool to use with classroom management. It is the best way to make sure children are being quiet and paying attention when you are "not" talking. It doesn't matter what grade you teach. This tool can be implemented into any classroom.
Children will be so attentive if you sign directions on how to walk down the hall. You can tell them walk to the first door, open it, go down the stairs, stop at the end of the hall, etc. They will be focusing on your every move. They just want to know more and more. It fascinates young children yet they pick it up so quickly.
If you practice signing the alphabet, it helps your bodily-kinesthetic learners as well as improves fine motor skills. Even the youngest of children can fingerspell their names. You would be so surprised at what children can do.
If you use sign language during your story time for who has to go to the bathroom, it alleviates the shouting out. You can also have a sign for a question about the story, or a comment about the story so you don't get interrupted every two seconds.
You can conduct lessons that the children are familiar with without using your voice at all. For those long days when you have lost your voice or have taken one too many sneezes to the face and are now sick this is perfect. It is quite a gem to use.
You can also practice signing songs you learn in class. This will help the children learn the words faster. Children will be absolutely fascinated and love to teach their friends and family what they have learned.
There are so many wonderful reasons why sign language should be used I could go on all day about it. If you are interested in learning more or implementing it into your classroom try out these great books!
If you already use sign language in your classroom I'd love to hear about it. If you start using sign language as a result let me know how it goes. If you are interested in learning more about ASL check out a book from your local library or sign up for a class in your area. They are offered all the time!
While you are at it, check out this great video of Party in the USA in ASL.
I am looking forward to learning all your teaching tips. Especially those on classroom management. You all know how hard classroom management was your first year of teaching. I need all the help I can get! I can't wait to see what you have to share!