Silent or Non Verbal Signals 

Hand signals or gestures are used in many situations in our day to day lives, so why not in the classroom? Students have usually been exposed to some sort of hand signals - in sports by coaches and refs, at the beach by lifesavers or simply at home by mum or dad.

Silent or non verbal signals can be a very effective tool that you can use in and out of the classroom (and it saves your voice!)

Using hand gestures such as:-

  • Two hands, (palms pushing down)- means please sit
  • Two hands (palms pulling up) - means please stand
  • Finger on lip- means please be quiet
  • Raising one hand in the air means - raise your hand to talk
  • Raising one hand in the air and silently counting (backwards from 3) with your fingers means -  pay attention in 3....2.....1
  • Thumbs up means -  good work
  • Hand on your heart (and a sad face) means -  you are disappointing me and making me sad 
  • Beckoning with one finger (and a smile on your face) means -  please come here.
  • Hand up in front of you means -  to stop
  • Two fingers pointing at your eyes and them point at the student means -  I'm looking at you
  • Hand at ear means - to listen
  • Point at students work -means they should be working
  • Circling finger in air -means to turn around
  • Four fingers in down motion means - four legs of chair on ground
  • Tap student on shoulder and point to rule they are breaking-this provides them with a visual reminder that they are breaking the classroom rules.


                         Four legs of chair on ground  *  Come here *  Counting back 3..2..1 * Thumbs up * Do your work

Images taken by Julie Hanak

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