Classroom Management Tip: Using Hand Signal Posters

This image reads "Classroom Management Tip: Using Hand Signal Posters" with a label stating "Freebie included!" It also has an image of neutral hand signal posters.

Do you ever excitedly call on a student to answer your question and rather than answering you, you hear “Can I go to the bathroom?”

I’ve definitely been there- too many times!

One quick change that minimized many disruptions was teaching my students to use hand signs to ask basic questions such as using the restroom, sharpening their pencil, etc.

Because so, I will never NOT use them because they minimize so many disruptions 🙌

This image shows calm colors hand signal posters for the classroom. The colors include shades of pink, blue, yellow and green.
These hand signal posters are included in my Modern Calm Color Collection.

When I taught my students to use nonverbal cues to ask simple questions, I no longer had to refocus students when someone broke their pencil during group instruction. 

I could have whole group instruction with my class without stopping to give verbal permission for someone to use the restroom. 

Using hand signal posters allows you to:

✅ teach without interruptions and keep the class focused

✅ prevent off-task behavior and “frequent fliers” (you know…the kiddos who are always looking for an excuse to escape the classroom every 15 minutes)

✅ help ESL students, who already struggle with verbalizing their needs, communicate

✅ maintain classroom management even in your absence because it’s easy for subs to use

You don’t have to wait for the start of a new school year; you can begin using hand signals at any time! 

Browse through all 7 styles of hand signal posters to find the perfect fit for your classroom.

This image includes multicultural hand signal posters for the classroom with bright colored backgrounds on the posters.
These multicultural hand signal posters can be found in my TPT shop in my Happy Hues Decor Line.

Tips for Getting Started & Using the Posters Effectively

  1. Edit the hand signal posters to suit your classroom. Do you need one for the restroom? Tissue? Water? Or any other signals? Find a set that you can customize to suit your classroom’s needs! This is my free set that also includes an editable version!
  1. Next, place the posters where YOU (the teacher) can easily see them. You don’t want to try and memorize each signal, so put them at the back of the room if you find yourself at the front most often. Students can turn their head to look at the posters when they need them, and will eventually memorize them. That way you can quickly glance up as a student is holding 3 fingers in the air to see what they need.

Want to try out classroom hand signals for free? 

If you haven’t already, grab my free set of neutral-colored, multicultural hand signal posters by clicking here!

This image displays neutral hand signal posters for the classroom with multicultural hands.

If you would like to see all of the hand signal poster themes in my TPT shop, click here!

Are you interested in more boho neutral classroom decor? Click here to see the full neutral collection- Boho Dreams Classroom Decor!

This image shows a boho classroom decor theme with neutral colors, plants, fringe, on a bulletin board, and labels for 10 drawer carts and a rolling cart.

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