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How-To: Manage Your Classroom
How to Home
How To: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom

Develop a Management Style that Embodies Consistency, Respect and Love

Using Signs and Symbols to Communicate Needs

"Children should feel comfort in their effort to gain independence.  The teachers is a coach throughout the day, guiding, questioning, pushing -- being everywhere in the classroom.  It is important for the children to be seen by the teacher at all times and for the children to see the teacher. The children should feel that they can trust their teacher. This trust comes from the teacher making herself available and in them knowing how and when to gain her attention if needed. Many times it would be easier for the teacher to dictate and to answer every question with a simple yes or no, but this would only make the children more dependent upon as opposed to independent of the teacher."   --  Linda Kasarjian

  • Thumbs Up!

A common signal in the classroom is "thumbs up" to show that students are ready.

  • Head Tapping

 "Head tapping" allows children to let both their peers and the teacher to know that either they agree with something a classmate has said or they were going to say the same thing, but were not called on.  This allows children to feel validated and heard, yet saves time and unnecessary repetition.

  • Going to the Bathroom/Getting a Drink of Water

During work time children can use the bathroom or get water from the faucet in the classroom by using a sign.  The class can use American Sign Language signals for both. Children are not permitted to use these 2 signals during rug time or independent reading.  All other times are fine.  If children say their request out loud, without signals, they will not be able to go.

Students asking to go to the bathroom and


asking to get water using American Sign Language.


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