Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WBT: Hands and Eyes

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something." Wilson Mizner

One of the most important things to happen in any classroom is listening. Many people would assume learning would come first, but the truth is, if your students are not listening, they cannot learn. Therefore listening is the first skill a teacher must teach every year.

Sometimes in order to learn, a teacher needs to teach a class how to focus so they will hear what they are saying. In my classroom I found myself usually alternating between two different focusers. Sometimes I used "If you can hear me, raise your hand," while the rest of the time I usually relied on "Magic Hands". Magic Hands seems to be very much the same as Hands and Eyes. I would call it out to my class while they were seated at their desks, and they were expected to clap their hands loudly over their desks, clasp their hands together and smile up at me.

Hands and Eyes is basically the same, except the students aren't loud with their hands, instead they repeat the teachers command and stare intently at her. I would combine the two, and expect to see happy faces smiling up at me after they repeat the command to show me their Hands and Eyes. I like how this focuser is more of a follow up to Class-Yes than it is a replacement. When students hear it they know they need to hurry up and pay attention!

As a teacher without a classroom, I like how this could work with both my preferred elementary age groups as well as the high school students I could end up substituting when I go back to work. In my experience when you are called to sub, about half the time you are brought to a classroom where the teacher forgot to leave you her classroom management plan. This plan would be easy to use when dropping in on a class for a single day, without taking too much time to teach and begin to implement.


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