Saturday, 13 October 2012

Rule #2: Raise your hand for permission to speak!

This year, it is no secret that my crew of squirrels loves to chat.  I love to hear all of their stories!!  Sometimes Often, they like to tell them to me all at the same time which is where Whole Brain Teaching's Rule #2: Raise your hand for permission to speak! comes into play.

Now that I am a Whole Brain Teacher I always remind myself that as I am managing and training my class to create an optimal learning environment - WE are playing a wonderful, exciting, FUN game!!!  This makes me smile and gives me energy!!  Here are some of games I play with my students to help them remember to follow Rule 2:

1. Frequently, at the beginning of the school  year, and as the year progresses, I will occasionally stop the lesson and review how not to follow Rule #2 (I play the part of the Rule 2 breaker and I have a student play me - they LOVE to be the teacher!)  Then, I show them how to follow Rule 2 and we practice.

2. When a student breaks Rule #2, I call out "Rule 2" and the whole class replies, "Raise  your hand for permission to speak" thereby, giving the rule breaker a gentle reminder to remember to raise a quiet hand before calling out.  Smilies are awarded on the Scoreboard for group participation in the response.

3.  Often, I will use the silent hand gesture for Rule 2 by holding up two fingers.  This works well when I am in the middle of speaking, during assemblies/performances, or any other time students need a quiet visual reminder.

4.  Now this is the kicker.  I got this idea from the wonderful, talented Andrea Schindler, and it will work for any of the 5 Rules, but lets look at how it would work to help students remember to follow Rule #2.  Purchase a kitchen timer - I got 2 for cheap at the dollar store.  

Tell your class that for the week we will be working on following Rule #2.  If they can follow Rule 2 for X amount of time (I start out with 2 minutes and increase as the week goes on) they can earn a star (I section off part of my Scoreboard for stars.)  If they have 10 stars by Friday they have the opportunity to win something extra fun!  After brainstorming some possible ideas (slurpees for everyone - lol - not this early in the year, donuts for all - what can I say - my kids think big!), someone came up with a dance party.  I changed it ever so slightly to a 1 minute dance party in class with some fun music - my kids were pumped!  They love a good party!  Well, Show and Share was never so quiet that week - not even a whisper was heard.  Although we didn't earn 10 stars (we got 8) my kids are excited to try and earn 10 next week!  Oh yeah!

5. Last, but definitely not least, the Super Improvers Wall makes its grand entrance to recognize all of the students who are doing a FANTASTIC job of following Rule #2.  They earn stars left, right and centre, especially if they are sitting next to someone who needs a reminder.  When those darlings remember to follow Rule #2 they ALSO receive hoards of Super Improver stars!!!

Whole Brain Teaching

Hope these tips are helpful friends!  I'd love to hear any more ideas that you may use in your classroom!!


  1. I just found your blog and am so happy to be your newest follower! I am just geetting started in Whole Brain Teaching and am so interested in your ideas!
    Crazy About First Grade

  2. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I wish to
    say that this write-up very forced me to check out
    and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me.
    Thank you, very nice article.
    my web site ::