What it is: A classroom strategy to cut down on shouting out
Who it’s for: Teachers of students who have a hard time remembering to raise their hand before talking
What you’ll need: Just a spot on your white or chalk board to keep score
My students have difficulty with impulse control which leads to a lot of shouting out and talking over each other. In such a small setting, I didn’t want to discourage them from speaking, especially because some are hesitant to speak anyway. But, I reminded myself that I was preparing them for an eventual general education setting so I made teaching the skill a priority. My attempts to encourage hand-raising were largely futile until I turned it into a game. It’s really simple and it works.
How It’s Played: Each day on the board, there is a T-chart with the words Hand Raising Game above it with two teams: Teachers and Students. When a student raises his or her hand before speaking, their team gets a point. When they don’t, the Teacher team gets a point.
What They Win: Initially, when Students won the game, I would give each kid 5 classroom dollars at the end of each day, but even this wasn’t enough to encourage them to control their impulse to shout out due their struggles with impulse control. So, I began also raising the stakes so that if the Teachers’ team won, the students would also lose 5 minutes of their Free Choice Time at the end of the day. That did it!
It’s been the most successful strategy I’ve found to train my students to raise their hands before speaking.
I hope this helps you!