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?
Great Strategy
Recommended (1)
Love this strategy. Will use in my classroom.
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Tried this strategy yesterday. Super!
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I have really enjoyed using the hall signals this year. They really work! I have not considered using hand signals for disappointments. I will probably try it this week. Lorraine Massey
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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



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture