Hand Signals for Spanish Class

Hand Signals for Spanish Class

Nothing like being in the middle of a fun and engaging lesson when suddenly you have a student interrupting because he or she needs to go to the bathroom, or even worse, you have a student who you thought was raising his/her hand quietly for a while when you realized it was a request to go to the bathroom and the student had been holding it for a long time. Then the feelings of guilt flood in.  Time is precious for teachers, but no one wants to cause a student pain!
I  taught in a Responsive Classroom school, and using signs was part of the classroom management model. So I borrowed some ideas from the Responsible Classroom framework and have added more to fit the needs of my classroom. I also teach my students useful sentences to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or drink water in Spanish. There are times when I see the hand signal for bathroom but still ask them what they need to give them an opportunity to practice the language or I also say you need to go to the bathroom or drink water. Once I started using hand signals with my students, I felt that I was able to teach a class with less interruptions, and it was also helpful for the students who were not yet ready to use the target language. I now introduce hand signals during the first class, and we practice them to make sure that they are clear for everyone. 
Recently I found a set of images that go perfectly with the hand signals I use, and I will be updating my classroom signs this fall. I am sharing them with you. I hope you find this helpful!

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Happy teaching!
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Seating Charts for Spanish Class {Facebook Corner}

Conversaciones de maestros en nuestra página de Facebook 
Jodi says:
“Do you have any good ideas for seating plans? I have 22 classes and can hardly remember the students names!
Think it would work if I assigned a number to each student?”

Joe: How many students? Maybe they could wear name tags until you memorize most of their names.

Simone: I observed a teacher with a white board who had made a spread seat seating chart for each class. It was the first slide she displayed at the start of each class period, so children could check where to sit and she could check their names.

Lisa: I tried numbers but most kids would forget. It got crazy at the beginning if class sometimes. I just made a seating chart for each class and kept it the same all year. It worked well.

Melissa: I’m in a similar situation – I make seating charts which helps (including assigned spots to sit on the floor for the littlest guys) but I’m open to others’ suggestions!

Melissa  S: I have 19 classes and totally get this issue. When I started, I made seating charts (my kids sit in rows, on a rug). Because I see them 2x a week, I photocopied the charts and then made a Monday group, a Tues. group, etc. I slid the papers into plastic protectors, back to back (2 per protector) and stapled them together in the groups. After a couple of months of using them, I had the names down and didn’t need to continue being so dependent on the chart. Later I would leave it on my table, next to smart board, for a quick glance, in the case I forgot a name.

Dana: I teach 46 classes a week, so I understand. As part of my warm up for the first few weeks, I throw a ball around and ask everyone their name. Then, once we’ve covered greetings, the kids throw the ball around and can ask their name or how they are. (As we cover more units, they have more choices of questions…what’s the weather, how old you are, etc.) I’ve been at the same schools several years, so it’s really just reminding myself of the returning students and learning the transfers and kindergartners. I let my students chose their seats until they show they can’t handle it, but if I were to move to a new school where I didn’t know the majority of the students, I would have seating charts for everyone.

Fun for Early and Elementary Spanish Teachers: I also make seating charts for my students. The homeroom teachers are helpful too. Every teacher gives me a chart of their classes with the pictures of each child in their group.

Debbie:  I do that every year. I do it by number in alphabetical order.

Neen: Sometimes hrteachers assign numbers so you can use the same numbers too.

Ana:For me, it is easier to use sticks with numbers for every group. I have numbered lists for every class that I can quickly check when they do not remember. It is good for them to learn the numbers in Spanish, too!

Ana :For the older ones, I use seating charts. I have chair pockets, which have a space to put their name and group, as well as their cuaderno y carpeta.

Lori : Hi Jodi, I have 16 classes and I do use seating charts. I keep the charts all year, but mix the students up during activities for pair work, group work, etc. so that they aren’t always working with the same people. I feel it saves time as far as them sitting down quickly and especially for me to pass back work. I have taught in the same school for 15 years and I made an investment years ago in this product:

Virginia : assign seats for older kids. The younger kids are usually on he floor and I ask them to pick a classmate that is quiet and seated (& I specify girl/boy for listening comprehension) and the kids all know each others names. 

Lori: https://pacon.com/product/educational-aids/classroom-seating-pocket-chart/ I reuse the labels every year and just update the classes as they move through the years. So after the first year I only had to add my new first graders and then reshuffle the names of the students in grades 2-8. I keep them in a 3 ring binder and they are there for a sub to reference as well.

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