Silent Signals in the Math Classroom
Lesson Objective: Communicate learning with silent signals
Grades K-5 / Math / Communication

Thought starters

  1. How do these silent signals promote active listening and participation?
  2. Which silent signals could be adapted for use across subject areas?
  3. How did Ms. Saul respond to the needs of her class to create a dual-purpose silent cheer?
Silent signals seem like a great technique when it comes to managing impulsive or excited students who feel the need to blurt out answers. However, I wonder if these silent signals would work just as well with students who are quiet, yet inattentive. I think these silent signals would be great for me to use for quick checks of understanding and other informal assessing.
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She had all the children attention ,without 'Saying ok lets get quite .I have to do 'Ok clap your hands one time to get my students attention. I love the sign language.
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Silent signals allow for students to be engaged and everyone gets heard in the class.
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Love this strategy! I will implement it today :)
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lovely <3
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  • [00:00]
    Interviewer: We have a number of silent signals in the class. This is just the sign for me too.

    Interviewer: We have a number of silent signals in the class. This is just the sign for me too. This is the sign for, “I have an answer.” These silent signals are another way for students to stay engaged, and to be able to say something without blurting out and maybe interrupting either myself or another student who’s talking.

    It lets us know that they are thinking. When they’re thinking I like them to actually touch their brain or they can do this. There’s also a silent cheer in our class. It’s basically this, to tell someone they’ve done a good job. But I’ve also used it to help alleve that disappointment of when you’re not chosen.

    ‘Cuz when everybody’s hand is up or everybody’s giving the signal, they have the answer, and they’re not called on. There could be that moment of disappointment, and that I’m not listening. I’ve tried to create a culture of if someone else is chosen that our immediate thought is cheer for that person, and then they’re focused in on whoever is going to be sharing.

    [End of Audio]


Jen Saul
English Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Arts / 3 / Teacher


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Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

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