Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands and Eyes

Creating gestures for core knowledge is a common challenge in WBT.  For example, a gesture for active verbs is churning your arms like you are a steam engine; a gesture for passive verbs is folding your arms. Invent and describe gestures for three core knowledge terms (and don’t copy any existing gestures from WBT!).

Pages 77-84
Full credit: 25 WBT Certification Points
Partial credit: 10 WBT Certification Points
Bonus: 10 WBT Certification Points for two more gestures!

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  1. I will be teaching “word families” to my students and will need a gesture for this. I haven’t been able to find one from the WBT material so I will use the gesture for word (hand open and fingers wiggling then to a closed fist) Since we do WBT things in 3’s like the “3 peat”, I’ll teach the gesture for family with three stair step motions like Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Little Baby Bear.

    I will need a gesture for “consonants” for many lessons that I teach. I am taking my cue from the WBT gesture for vowels. I will hold up one finger at a time on one hand and say consonants are letters like j, k, l, m, n OR other hand p, q, r, s, t.

    My students learn shapes. My gesture for “shapes” will be to make a circle with both hands (thumb to thumb and finger tips to finger tips). Change the circle into a triangle (thumb to thumb and fingers pointing up to make the top of the triangle), and then turn your triangle to the side for a square (each hand makes a right angle). The kids will like it because it’s easy to make the triangle and easy to show them how to move their elbow on their dominant side up, it will turn their triangle to make a square.

  2. Kathy,
    Great job with your gestures! I like that you built the consonant gesture based on the WBT vowel gesture. I am wondering, though, if you might want to pare down the gesture for shapes to make it a little quicker. Just a thought. Here are your 25 certification points!

  3. Kate--I did search to find the vowel gesture and wanted the consonant gesture to be similar. I think you're right about the shapes. I can do it quickly but my kids may not be able to. I think that's a good idea. I'll just use the circle. I don't think that is being used by any other gesture. Thanks.

  4. One comprehension skill we teach in third grade is making inferences when reading. We speak and gesture when remembering how to make an inference. “You take what you know” (left hand touches the back of your head), “what’s in front of you” (right hand is out facing you), “and put them together” (take both hands and clap them together). Making an inference means taking your background knowledge, what is in the text, and putting them together to infer.

    Compound words are another skill we touch on in third grade. We also speak and gesture when remembering what a compound word is. “Compound words are 2 words, 2 words, 2 words in 1.” When we say “2 words”, we put up two fingers on each hand and flash them at the same time. When we say “2 words in 1,” we take both pointer fingers and bring them together to make one.

    Another group of concepts we teach are synonyms and antonyms. I decided to group these together for a reason. I teach antonyms following synonyms. Many of the language arts skills we teach involve the word “words.” Synonyms are words that mean the same. Antonyms are words that mean the opposite. Adjectives are words that describe. Verbs are action words. When I want my students to gesture “words,” I have them put both hands up with palms facing outward. Synonyms are words that mean the same. They hold up their hands facing outward and then clap their hands together. Antonyms are words that mean the opposite. They hold up their hands facing outward and then take their hands and stretch them out. The left hand goes in the left direction and the right hand goes in the right direction. This is showing the opposite. They speak as they gesture. I have found this to be very effective in remembering what these words are.

    1. Elissa,
      Inferences are a very important concept to teach to students. It is so important, in fact, that Coach created an entire pdf just for inferences! It is a 5 step lesson plan that you can use to teach inferences, and can be found in the Common Core eBooks section of the website. Your gestures for compounds words, synonyms, and antonyms are great too, so you've earned 25 Certification Points!

  5. One area my third graders have a lot of trouble with in math is rounding. I have a rounding rhyme that I teach them. I can also add gestures to help them remember. For example, when I say "4 or lower", I can hold up four fingers and then point my thumb down. When I say "5 or higher", I can hold up five fingers and point my thumb up.
    One of my favorite areas of math to teach is geometry. In third grade, students learn about angles and lines. For a perpendicular angle, I can hold out my left arm parallel to the floor with my palm down, then place my right elbow on top of my left hand at 90 degrees. (This will also work for perpendicular lines.) From this position, I can reduce the angle to less than 90 degrees and say "Isn't that "a cute" little angle? For an obtuse angle, I can increase the angle from the perpendicular position to more than 90 degrees.
    Lines, rays, and segments are easy. For a line, I can hold my arms out straight at my sides with my hands open to represent the arrows. A segment is the same as a line except hands are closed to represent points. For rays, I can put one arm straight out to my side with my hand open for the arrow, and the other hand in a fist on my chest for the point.

  6. Cheryl,
    You have included great gestures for rounding, perpendicular angles, acute angles, obtuse angles, lines, line segments, and rays. Wow! Here are 25 Certification Points for you, and 5 BONUS POINTS for the extra effort! Great job taking what you already do that works in your classroom and improving it using whole brain strategies!

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    2. I had worked on my gestures for this assignment, and they were using the same concepts you used! I actually liked yours better, so decided to start the assignment over with new vocabulary words. Nice job! When I teach acute we talk about how when we draw a kitten it needs to have acute angles on it to create "cute" whiskers. If we were to put obtuse angles, the kitten might not be so "cute". The students think this is hilarious.

  7. Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    Geometry is very gesture friendly. We teach Flips, Turns, and Slides in third grade. (Also called Translation, Rotation, and Reflection) Below are the gestures I will use next year when introducing these concepts.

    The gesture for turn begins with the hands palm to palm. Keep the lower part of the hands touching as you rotate one hand.

    The gesture for slide begins with the hands palm to palm. Slide one hand forward.

    The gesture for flip begins with the hands palm to palm. Flip one hand over. (Looks like a gesture for opening a book.)

    I will also use a gesture for lines of symmetry. After creating a circle with our left hand, we will create a line of symmetry with our flat right hand. The students can also use their desk to show this concept. They place their arm on our desk, fingertips to elbow) to create a line of symmetry. Having both of these gestures available helps when you reinforce that a circle has an infinite amount of lines of symmetry, where their rectangular desk has only two.

    Catherine Cassaro

    1. Catherine,
      Good job with the geometry gestures! Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

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  9. Teaching 6th grade United States History gives me the opportunity to create gestures for the many terms, places, and people students have to know for year-end tests. I try to use simple gestures when introducing core knowledge terminology.

    All gestures are done as you give the term, event, or person. Here are some of my favorite gestures.

    Students have to know the physical features of the Great Plains. For the term physical feature students will pretend they are looking at themselves in a mirror. Feature 1: Hold up one finger and say, flatland that rises gently from East to West. Gesture: Take right hand and hold in out flat, move it in front of the body, and midway across raise the hand slightly. Feature 2: Hold up two fingers and say, land eroded by wind and water. Gesture: Take hand and make three chopping motions at an angle as if cutting into the land. Feature 3: Hold up three fingers and say, dry with little rainfall. Gesture: Ball hands into fists and draw yourself up into a ball as if you are withering away. Feature 4: Hold up four fingers and say, frequent dust storms. Gesture: Put index finger in the air and twirl in a circle to represent a tornado.

    Students need to know the main reasons for WWI. Reason 1: Say, militarism- an increase in the importance of the military of a country. Gesture: Take 2 fingers, touch the forehead, and salute. Reason 2. Say, alliance- an agreement between countries that will come to one’s aid if attacked. Gesture: Cross arms and hug yourself like you are hugging your friend. Reason 3: Say, imperialism- the practice of extending a nation’s power by gaining territories for a colonial empire. Gesture: Hold up 3 fingers and put them on top of your head like a crown. Reason 4: Say, nationalism- pride in one’s country. Gesture: Take right hand and hold it over the heart.

    Sixth grade students have to know many key people in history. Here are three examples of how I use gestures when introducing Lincoln, Lee, and Douglass.
    Lincoln: Take hand, hold it to head and bring it down as if tipping his top hat. Lee: Take hand and hold at an angle to the forehead and salute. Douglass: Take hands and put in front of collar and pull as if pulling at his coat collar when giving a speech.

    Students have to know several different events. Here are two gestures I use when teaching conflicts between white settlers and American Indians. Battle of Little Big Horn: Make two fists and begin air punching and then bring index fingers to the side of your head to make horns. Wounded Knee: Make a grimace and touch the knee.

    Another term students have to know is Cold War, a period of hostility between Western powers and Communist powers. Take hands and rub arms as if shivering.

    These are some of the gestures I use to help students remember key terms, events, and people. When I cannot think of a gesture, I ask students to invent one. I am amazed that the shy and street-smart students come up with the best ideas. This is a great way to get these students involved in lessons.

    I have a friend that teaches the same subject matter and we often collaborate when creating gestures. This helps lessen the burden of creating them on your own, especially for challenging concepts.

  10. Debora,
    Wow! I wish I had been taught history like that. I'll bet your students are some of the most knowledgeable around when it comes to history . Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  11. Sixth grade Language Arts focuses on many reading skills, such as making inferences, analyzing patterns of text, and analyzing character development.

    When making inferences we gesture by making an open book with our hands for ‘what you read’, then we point to our head for ‘what you know’ and then we open our mouths in an exaggerated exclamation with our hands wide open to represent the inference.

    When we study patterns of text, we focus on compare/contrast, sequential/chronological, cause/effect, problem/solution, and description. For compare and contrast, we make a Venn diagram with our fingers. For sequential,l we act is if we are counting steps with holding one finger up at a time. For chronological, we draw a timeline in the air with our pointer fingers. For cause and effect, we lay out our left hand, palm up then we lay out our right hand, palm up, signifying one event causing another. For problem/solution, we scratch our heads with our finger, then make a fist with the other hand and open it up wide on the other side of our head, with our mouths open, signifying that we have solved the problem. Then for description, we act as if we are writing a paragraph in the air with our pointer fingers.

    Studying character development requires that the students understand that characters can be know through what they say, do, feel and think (to name a few.) I teach my students to move their mouths open and shut for what the character says. My students then move their arms up at their sides, as if they are power walking, for what the character does. For what the character thinks and feels, we make a heart with our fingers by our chests, then point to our heads with our pointer fingers.

    1. Amanda,
      Great gestures for Language Arts! Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  12. In most reading programs, there are six types of syllables that are used in pronunciation (i.e., short or long vowels), syllable division, and spelling. The three I have chosen to provide hand motions are:
    A vowel in a closed syllable is short, code it with a breve.
    A vowel in a open syllable is long, code it with a macron.
    A vowel before an “r” is controlled (changed) by the r.

    A vowel in closed syllable – Teacher facing the students: with your right hand, hold up your first two fingers as a V. With your left hand, hold it straight up edgewise. Bump the V into the flat hand. The hand is a door closing or blocking in the vowel in the syllable. “Cat” is a closed syllable.

    A vowel in an open syllable – Teacher facing the students: with your right hand, hold up a V and move it from your right to left to provide a mirror image for the students. The students will hold up their left hand to make the V. The gesture is left to right since the students read left to right. Explain that nothing blocks the vowel (it is open) and that the gesture also indicates the vowel is long, (signified by the horizontal macron mark above the vowel). Also explain that the horizontal motion of gesture is the same as horizontal straight mark of the macron. “No” is an open syllable.

    R-controlled vowel (bossy r, combination r) – Teacher facing the students: with the left hand in the hitch-hiking position with the back of the hand facing the students (the slight arch of the thumb is our lower case “r”). With the right hand, hold up a V and move it over to the inside of the loose fist (the bossy part of controlling the vowel sound). This becomes one smooth motion. “Star” is an r-controlled syllable.

    Russ Lamb

  13. Russ,
    Very detailed explanation of gestures for syllables. And we wonder why English is such a difficult language to master! Here are your 25 certification points!

  14. Kindergarteners are expected to do a great deal with their little minds. Below are some examples of some geometry gestures I will be using to help them retain and master some math concepts.
    The gesture for “vertex” is bending your arm at a 90-degree angle and pointing to your elbow with your other hand as you say the term “vertex”. This indicates a corner (your elbow) or lines (the upper and lower portions of your arm) meeting at a point.
    The gesture for “side” is sliding the hands (palms in) straight down the side of your body while saying the term ”side”.
    The gesture for “curve” is moving your hand in a waving, fluid motion from left to right across the front of your body while saying the term “curve”.
    Here is an example of how I would use these individual gestures to describe a shape: A circle (make a circle with your fingers) has zero sides (show zero fingers with your fist then slide your hands straight down the side of your body while saying the term “slides”) and zero vertices (show zero fingers with your fist then bend your arm at a 90-degree angle and point to your elbow with your other hand as you say the term “vertices”). A circle (make a circle with your fingers) is made completely out of curves (move your hand in a waving, fluid motion from left to right across the front of your body while saying the term “curve” in a fluid voice to match your waving hand).

    1. Jennifer,
      Good job on choosing 3 terms for gestures. Here are 25 certification points!

  15. U.S. History Sample Gestures

    1. Marshall Plan-Students must know who created the Marshall Plan and its purpose.
    Students repeat as they point their pointer finger in the air, "George C. Marshall was the man. He created the Marshall Plan." Pointing, showing the number 13, then stretching arms out, students repeat, "The Marshall Plan gave 13 billion dollars in aid (use both hands to show money) from the United States (pointing to the west) across the Atlantic Ocean (making waves with hands and moving toward the east) to Western Europe to rebuild (hands move upward to show building) and prevent the spread of communism (hands out in a stopping motion).

    Students must understand the provisions of six amendments.

    2. 13th Amendment-Students say, "The 13th Amendment banned slavery." (Show the number 13 with fingers, and then cross both arms in an X fashion then open them.)

    3. 14th Amendment-Students say, "The 14th Amendment granted citizenship." (Show the number 14 with fingers, and then 'handshake' your own hands.)

    For 10 Extra Credit Points:

    4. 15th Amendment-Students say, "The 15th Amendment let black men vote." (Show the number 15 with fingers, and then write on one hand as if casting a vote. Finish by dropping your ballot in an imaginary box.)

    5. 18th Amendment-Students say, "The 18th Amendment banned booze." (Show the number 18 with fingers, and then cross both arms in an X fashion. Then, take a drink with an imaginary cup.)

    6. 19th Amendment-Students say, "The 19th Amendment gave women suffrage." (Show the number 19 with fingers, curtsy, and write on one hand as if casting a vote. Finish by dropping your ballot in an imaginary box.)

    7. 21st Amendment-Students say, “The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment bringing booze back.” (Show the number 21 with fingers, and with hands together, turn over one hand to show ‘overturned.’ Show the number 18 with fingers, drink a drink, and then, with one hand, motion the amendment back.) As an alternate, sixth grade students also like to say the following with gestures, “The 21st Amendment says it’s O.K. to drink IF you are 21.” (Show the O.K. sign, take a drink, point your finger when saying, “IF,” then show the number 21 with fingers.) Note: The last statement is made in pure fun and is not meant to condone drinking. Instead it gives students a way to remember the amendment number with the legal drinking age.

    Melinda Sprinkle

    1. Melinda,
      Good job on your gestures! These are some weighty topics and I think you were pretty creative with your thinking. Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  16. Early on in the school year, we teach the students about related facts, or as I call them, turn-around facts. A gesture I created for related facts is to hold one hand up with two fingers and hold the other hand up with three fingers. Then cross arms to show that 2+3 is the same thing as 3+2; these are related facts.

    When we are teaching graphing in math, we talk about vertical and horizontal lines and helping us read the graph. To help my students remember the different between the two, we have to use gestures! For horizontal, we take our arms out flat (making a letter t) and then fold our arms in with our hands meeting on our chest. Repeat three times while saying that "horizontal lines go from side to side". For vertical, we move our arms out directly in front of us and move them up and down opposite of each other. We repeat the movement three times while we say that "vertical lines move up and down".

    We will begin implementing a new phonics program this coming school year, Letterland, and each Letterland character actually has their own movement! This is going to work very well with WBT! But, I was able to create a couple gestures for some of the skills we will be teaching. One of the units we will teach is about when two vowels are together and the rule for this is [with gestures inserted], "In Letterland when two Vowel Men go out walking [use two fingers to air walk] the first ones waves [wave hand] and says his name, but the second man won't do the same [make an X with hands]". Another skill we teach is the Silent Magic e. The rule for Silent Magic e is [with gestures inserted], "Silent Magic e [make an e using sign language] is the letter you cannot hear [cup hand around ear]. With the power to make a Vowel Man appear [burst hands in front on chest like something has just appeared]"!

    1. Allyson, after reading your post I looked up the Letterland phonics program. It sounds really interesting. I am always looking for fun ways to help my kinder-kiddos with phonics (especially "silent" e). Thank you for mentioning it and tying it to WBT!

  17. Well done, Allyson! Here are 25 points and a 10 point Bonus!

  18. A product (hold hands in front of you like you’re holding something) is the result of multiplying (cross arms in front of you like an x) a whole number (wave right hand in the air above your head) by another whole number (wave left hand in the air above your head.)
    Note: This one sounds ridiculous as I type it out, but I used it all last year, and boy did it help my kids in word problems! They would see the word “product,” do the motions, and know they had to use multiplication.

    Prediction (Take a thought from your mind with your right hand and hold it in the air above your head.)
    Note: We also used this gesture for “because.” Every time I had students make a prediction, they had to back it up with a “because statement” to show they were comprehending the text. For example, “I predict Lucy will find a lion and a witch in the wardrobe BECAUSE (and here they would use the gesture) the title of the book is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Because we used the “because statements” in our predictions, the gesture morphed into using examples and reasoning to explain our thinking in math, science, and social studies as well.

    Questioning (Make a giant question mark in the air.)
    Note: This is one of our comprehension strategies.

    I wonder… (Use the ASL sign for w, touch it to the side of the forehead, and wave it out away from the head like a thought bubble.)
    Note: This is another comprehension strategy linked with questioning.

    Chemical Change (Make an incredulous look with your face and throw your hands up in wonderment.)
    Note: We define a chemical change as an unexpected change in state, temperature, or color.

    Physical Change (Pretend like you’re ripping a piece of paper in front of you.)
    Note: Something changes shape and/or state, but the chemical properties remain the same.

    Meredith Pearson

    1. Meredith,
      Another good post! The gesture for product was great because if uses other gestures and adds to them. Connecting one word to other previously learned words is great! With prediction, you're tying the gesture into one of Whole Brain Teaching's best Brain Toys - the Because Clapper! I can't wait until you read the chapter on Brain Toys! Here are 25 Certification Points for you!

    2. Thank you! I am really enjoying this book club! I want to thank you guys for reading our posts and making thoughtful comments. It spurs me on and encourages me even more! I can't wait until I've achieved all the points necessary to be certified!

    3. Thanks Meredith! It is a pleasure working with you! You're doing great, keep it up!

  19. In second grade science, a large portion of our curriculum is on weather. We teach evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and accumulation. Before beginning my WBT career path, I taught my students the Water Cycle song. Now, I realize teaching the students just the song was not involving the 5 key parts of the brain. Students weren't in "Teacher Heaven".

    This past year, I still taught this song but also taught the students the gestures for each of these key vocabulary words.
    Instead, when I taught the students the gestures first and then the song, my students were able to use all of their brain. Anytime I mentioned one of these words or read it aloud, the students did the gesture. I even saw students using these gestures on the end of unit test!

    -Evaporation:Hold both hands out in front of your stomach with your fingers spread apart. Raise your hands up into the air slowly as you wiggle them.

    -Condensation:Hold both hands up in the air spread apart above your head. Slide your hands to the left, right, and left again slowly.

    -Precipitation:Hold both hands up in the air spread apart. Slowly pull your hands down to your stomach as you wiggle your fingers.

    -Accumulation: Hold both hands out in front of your stomach with your fingers spread apart. Slide your hands to the left and right and left again slowly.

  20. Laken, great job! These gestures are very age appropriate, and help to teach the science definitions in a very concrete manner. As a science teacher, I give you a ten finger woo! Here are 25 Certification Points for you!

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  22. In first grade I am constantly teaching my kids what good readers do. There are a lot to choose from but here are just a few:
    Good readers make inferences. They take what they already know (I grab “information” from my brain with my left hand). Then they take what the text tells them (I grab “information” from my text with the right hand). Finally they put the two things together to make an inference (I join my hands together).
    Good readers make connections. They can make text to self connections (pinch thumb and pointer finger together on both hands as they are connected together like a link and touch it to your heart). They can make text to text connections (pinch thumb and pointer finger together on both hands as they are connected together like a link and touch it to the text you are reading). They can make text to world connections (pinch thumb and pointer finger together on both hands as they are connected together like a link and make a circle motion in the air(the shape of the world)).
    Good readers sound out words they do not know. They can break a word apart into separate sounds and then blend them back together to read it fluently. (Using the movements from a program called Visual Phonics that I teach weekly that coincides with our word study patterns we can use the appropriate movement for each sound).
    Andrea McCord

    1. Andee,
      Great reading gestures! There is already a gesture for inference; you should check out Coach's great pdf in the "Common Core eBooks section of the website! Of course, it's free! Here are 20 Certification Points!

  23. Five Awesome gestures for Nutrition 101

    1) Enriched- Put your left hand in a cupped position facing up and your right hand should be above it making a sprinkling motion (as if you’re sprinkling salt on something). This will help my students remember that Enriched foods have nutrients added to them to replace those lost during food processing.

    2) Fortified- This gesture is the same as the gesture for Enriched, only after the sprinkling movement, bend your elbows, palms flat and facing up and move your shoulders in an upward motion. This will help my students remember that Fortified foods have nutrients added to them that weren’t there originally.

    3) Monosodium glutamate (MSG)- Move your right hand in a circular motion over your stomach and then hold your thumb and pointer finger very close together. This gesture helps my students remember that MSG is a flavor enhancer and the less they consume, the better.

    4) Carbohydrate- Hold up four fingers. With this gesture, my students will remember that Carbohydrates have four calories per gram.

    5) Potassium- “Pump” your heart with your right hand and draw a line from your heart, to your shoulder and down your arm. This gesture reminds my students that Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure.
    -Rivky Greenberger

  24. Rivky,
    Great gestures and explanations! Here are 25 Certification Points! Here are 10 BONUS POINTS for the added effort and energy!

  25. Gestures for 5th grade math terms:
    1. Parallel lines-Hold both arms straight in front of the body as if you are Spiderman shooting weblines that do not cross.

    2. Acute angle-Place hands in the shape of an acute angle under the left side of the face and lean to the left making “a cute” face by batting eyelashes.

    3. Degree-(hold up right hand in the shape of a zero)
    Definition-A degree (hold up right hand in the shape of a zero) measures (hands moving as if using a tape measure) angles (hands in shape of an angle) and temperatures (arms wrapped around body as if freezing then fanning self).

    4. Horizontal-Hold the right arm across the front of the body with the left hand making a small “sun” on top of the right arm.

    5. Perpendicular lines-Cross the arms in front of the body in the shape of a “t”.

    AKA Jamie Rickman

    1. Jamie,
      Gotta love technology! Hope you get the computer problems fixed. Great job on your gestures! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS for the extras!

  26. Chapter 12
    Retell Gesture – Students will need three elements in the retell of any story. These elements are main character, setting and plot. They will make gestures to include all. Student will put fingers up to mouth to make a smiley face for character. Setting will be the act of students stirring a huge pot to realize that the setting is all around them. For the plot, they’ll sweep their hands/arms wide.

    Making Connections Gesture – We’ve a new reading series and the reading strategy of making connections runs continuously through this program. Students will learn three connections, text to self, text to text and text to world. We’ll make the gesture of open book to thumb on chest for text to self. For text to text, we’ll make an open book to the left, close and, make an open book to the right. Then, for text to world, again we’ll make an open book and draw a circle in the air for text to world.

    Fact and Opinion Gesture– The gesture for fact will be fingers walking through air then open a book, because you need to go find your fact written and provable. Opinion will be the motion of thumb to chest then finger to head because opinions are in their heart and head.

    Four Types of Sentences Gesture – After we’ve learned the gestures for ‘What is a Sentence?’ we’ll break it down even further to the four types of sentences. The gesture for a statement/declarative sentence will be one clap. A question/interrogative sentence will be hands up in the air, palms pointed up with a shrug of the shoulders. A command/imperative sentence will be an open hand with a fist forced into it. An exclamation/exclamatory sentence will be a fist in the air then quickly pulled back.

  27. Nice work, Cathleen! Here are 25 points and a Bonus 10 for extra effort!

  28. Gestures are key in the cornerstone of WBT. Some of the gestures, which come in handy for me, are those dealing with the core subjects. Reading and Math seem to be the most utilized areas with gestures.

    In reading, I use a few gestures with reading comprehension. Main ideas and details are shown as a flat hand and then fingers below. We discuss how a main idea needs supporting details like a table needs legs. So when I say main ideas we use a horizontal flat hand with palm facing down. Then for the details we straighten our fingers down to the floor as if they are legs to our table. As we read, we will discuss the main idea of a paragraph and then the details, which support this main idea.

    Meta cognition is a large reading skill, which we show by pointing to our head then the text as we are reading. We say "when the books says ____ (and the point to the text), I think (point to head), because (use the because clapper) _____."

    In math, geometry is a great area that uses gestures. When we find the area of a polygon we use the gesture of an L with the thumb and pointer finger of one hand for length, crossed arms for the multiplication sign, three fingers in a w for width, arms in an equal sign, then two fingers for the squared sign. It would go something like this, "length (L with the thumb and pointer finger), times (crossed arms for the multiplication sign), width (three fingers in a w), equals (arms in an equal sign), the answer, squared (two fingers for squared).

    When we learn coordinate grids, we use our arms in a large L shape to show the x-axis and the y-axis. I tell the students to think of their armpit as the zero-zero mark. This always raises a chuckle! We also stand up and chant that you have to walk before you can jump when you are plotting points on a grid. This means you must go along the x-axis first (the first number in an ordered pair) then jump up the grid (second number in an ordered pair). We will actually walk and jump the axes when we practice plotting points! In order to distinguish the difference between the axes we raise our arms above our head and talk about how a Y has a long, vertical line just like the y axis go vertically.

    With the properties of math, we use the following gestures and words to describe the rules:
    Commutative property: we chant, "It doesn't matter the order (move hands back and forth crossing each other), the answer's still the same (one arm over the other forming an equal sign in front of chest)."
    Distributive property: we chant ‘distributive’ over and over while we motion taking a number from a closed fist and distributing it twice to the opposite side of the fist.
    Associative property we discuss that if three friends sit together, two sit together, and one sits away it’s still the same as if one sits alone and two sit together. We chant ‘associate’ while putting our arms up in parenthesis around our neighbors.

    1. Krystal,
      Your post was packed with great gestures! Check out Coach B.'s great pdf for main idea, available as a free download on the main WBT website. Here are 25 Certification Points, and 10 BONUS POINTS for the extra effort!


  29. This past year my classroom has been filled with very actively engaged third graders, as we worked on gestures, to help us understand and remember all those facts. In science, for example, the four requirements for plant growth are soil, water, air, and the right amount of sunlight. To explain these four requirements we used various gestures. To represent soil we had a “shoveling dirt” motion, for water we used our hands to mimic the flowing motion of water, air was represented by using our fingers to “poke holes” in the dirt, and to represent sunlight we held our fingers up high in the air while wiggling them downwards, like rays of sunshine, shining down.

    The five parts of a letter are the heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature. To remember these parts, we pointed to our heads for the heading. The heading is the first part of a letter, just as the head is the first body part from the top down. For the greeting, we shook each others’ hands in greeting, for the body we placed our hands on our hips and while swaying from side to side. Then for the closing, we waved good-bye. The last part is the signature which was represented by a very grand, swirly signature, of our own names, made in the air.

    In health class we talked about the three parts of the nervous system, which are the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. The gesture for the brain was touching our head with a fist, for nerves we opened our hand from the “brain” position and wiggled our fingers as we moved it down, since we have nerves all over our bodies. Then the spinal cord gesture was represented by pointing to our back bones. We pointed to remind us the spinal cord is inside the backbone.

    We had a lot of fun and I am confident that the students remembered much more of the material than with traditional teaching.

    Mariaan Carreiro

  30. Mariaan,
    Excellent gestures! Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  31. Gestures are a key element in developing long term memory. It allows students to see and feel the words. This makes learning fun too! My class had fun learning about volcanoes this year. We learned about different types of volcanoes seen around the world using gestures.

    One type we learned about was the cinder-cone volcano. We would hold our arms up in front of our bodies with our elbows out past the sides of our bodies. The hands would connect to form a circle with the hole of the circle pointing downwards.

    The second type we learned was the composite volcano. This volcano gesture was similar to the cinder-cone volcano. We would tuck our elbows into our sides with the hands still connected in the downwards facing circle.

    The last volcano example is the shield volcano. I would have my students hold their right arm in front of them, making a fist, and raise their elbow up slightly. This shows them that it is not a tall volcano and looks like a shield one would see a warrior use.

    The students loved gesturing this year! I even had parents come to me wondering why their kids where making so many hand movements while doing homework.

    1. Stephanie,
      Nice work! I'm using your gestures for my earth science lessons on volcanoes this coming year! It's always nice to hear about the home-school connections involving WBT! Here are 25 points for you and a 5 point Bonus!

  32. I teach 5th Grade reading and social studies so I will address some of those content words.

    For the word onomatopoeia we do bird wing arms that flap and then two quick punches to the front. This is to tie in our definition (sound words, Batman words, sound like the action they describe) to Batman flying and punching like on his old television show. As I noted in another chapter response, we watch a quick You Tube clip of a Batman show to make sure they understand.

    For inference we tap the back of our head (what I already know), then make a book in front (add to what I’ve read), and then tap our temple (and make a good decision).

    For context clue we hold an imaginary magnifying glass up, look around and tip toe in a grand sneaky fashion (cartoonlike).

    For generalize we make big circles with both arms (a generalization is a statement about a group) small circles in front of body—crossing like a small Venn diagram (that is true for most of the group most of the time).

    For Boston Tea Party we do a simple “I’m a little teapot” action and tip over (dumping the tea into the ocean).

    For indentured servant we hold up seven fingers and then make shoveling motions (working seven years to repay a debt).

    For patriot we make a big “x” across our chest with our arms and then make a big “breaking free” motion (breaking free from Britain’s rule).

    For loyalist we quickly hold hands with our partner (remaining loyal to Britain and supporting the king).

    For Parliament we make a hammer motion (like a gavel) and then bow to the king (lawmakers of British government).

    For treason we pull the front of our shirt up over our nose to hide part of our face like a spy (betraying our country).

    For boycott we count our (pretend) dollars and put them back in our pocket (refusing to buy or sell goods or services).

    For militia we salute and march in place (a group of volunteer soldiers).

    For minutemen we snore and then “wake up” and salute very quickly (continental soldiers ready to fight at a minute’s notice).

  33. Michelle,
    Great variety of gestures! I can picture the Funtricity in your social studies classes! Here are 25 points and a Bonus of 10!

  34. I teach 1st grade and we are currently implementing Common Core standards and using those terms.

    In math we discuss ‘part-part-whole’, our gesture will be taking one hand in a “c” shape and breaking off a piece of bread, then repeating with the other hand. This will show 2 parts. To relate it to a ‘whole’ we will simply clasp our two hands together. The students will be able to break apart a whole into two parts, subtract. Or put the two parts together to make a whole, add.

    For syllables, our gesture will be putting your hand, palm down under your chin and saying the word "syllable" in a robot voice. Students will be able to count the syllables in a word every time their chin hits their hand.

    While reading informational texts students will need to be able to identify text features. Our gesture will be to encircle their head with two hands while saying ‘text’, and while saying ‘features’ they will hold the left hand up flat, palm facing them and with the right hand point to the palm and ‘scroll’ down and then out like a capitol L. This will remind students that headings are text features, along with a table of contents or a glossary.

    The few gestures I did teach last year made a big impact. I know those terms are in their long term memory, I even had parents asking me why their child was waving their arms while they did homework!

    1. Good job on your gestures. Here are 25 certification points.

  35. VERTEX (math)
    Question: What is a vertex?
    Answer: A vertex is the common endpoint of an angle. Plural is vertices.
    Gesture: Extend both arms upward in a V-formation (representing the angle). Bring both arms down and join hands together into one fist (representing the common endpoint). Make a fist with both hands to represent the plural is vertices.

    PREDATOR (science)
    Question: What is a predator?
    Answer: A predator is any organism that survives by eating other organisms.
    Gesture: Form hands into claws and pretend to take a big bite.

    FRICTION (science)
    Question: What is friction?
    Answer: Friction is a force between surfaces that slows objects down or stops them from moving.
    Gesture: Rub hands together quickly, then gradually slow down and stop because of friction.

    GENERALIZATION (reading)
    Question: What is a generalization?
    Answer: A generalization is a broad statement or rule that applies to many examples.
    Gesture: Hold your arms over your head representing an umbrella because a generalization is an "umbrella statement" and covers many examples.

    SAVING (social studies)
    Question: What is saving?
    Answer: Saving is putting aside money for future use.
    Gesture: Pretend to put money in your pocket. Then pat your pocket and smile because you've saved money.

    1. Sally,
      Great job on your gestures! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS for the extra work!

  36. Chapter 12:
    Patrick Brûlé

    Being a Physical Education teacher, my “core knowledge” focuses less on English Language Arts and Literacy. Although present, students have four to seven written assignments all year in addition to seldom homework and unit quizzes.

    For the purpose of creating gestures for my classroom, I created gestures for the five components of fitness; which are the basis of every unit I teach.

    Cardiorespiratory Endurance: Students will make the shape of a heart using their hands and make it “pump” over their chest seven to ten times.

    Flexibility: In a standing position, students will keep their legs straight and try to touch their toes with the tip of their fingers.

    Muscular Strength: Students will stand feet shoulder width apart, arms out like a “T” and flex their biceps while showing their teeth and growling.

    Muscular Endurance: Students will stand feet shoulder with apart with arms alongside their body palm facing forward. They will then perform a squat and bicep curls five times.

    Body Composition: Students will pretend to take something from a plate, eat it and then run fast on the same spot (energy in-energy out).

    Again, this is not core knowledge of a traditional classroom, but I slightly modified this assignment/post to fit my core curriculum.

    1. Patrick,
      The great thing about WBT is that it applies to any subject, including PE! These are definitely good gestures. My only suggestion is that you may some of them shorter. For example, when doing cardiorespiratory endurance, could you just have them pump twice instead of 7-10 times? This keeps things snappy and moving along. Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BOUNUS POINTS for the extra work!

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. I love to add gestures to my teaching! Not only is it fun, but it helps students remember things better by activating the motor cortex of the brain. Here are 5 gestures that I will use next year while teaching my second graders words from our school Academic Vocabulary list:
    1. For “positive/negative polls” when studying magnetic fields in science, students will put their hands together (like a soft clap) and then pull apart. This can also be used for “attract” and “repel”, two other words on our vocabulary list.
    2. For “growing patterns” in mathematics, I’ll have the kids start with their hands close together, then get farther apart, to show that the pattern gets bigger in a growing pattern.
    3. When studying geometry, we teach the terms “edge” and “face”. I’ll have the kids put up their hand, then with the other hand point to the side of their hand for “edge” and point to their palm for “face”.
    4. In language arts, one of our words for speaking and listening is “retell”. I’ll have the students put their hand towards their chest, then flourish their hand outward to show the words are coming out of their mouths as they retell something to someone else.
    5. For “root word”, I’ll have the students put two hands about shoulder-width in front of themselves, as if to bracket a word, and say “word!” Then they will make their hands smaller, as if to bracket a small part of that word, and say “root word”. By adding words to our motions, we will get to Teacher Heaven!

    Nicole Heinlein

  39. Nicole,
    Great gestures! Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS for the extra gestures!

  40. Frequently when I’m substituting the teacher will leave a word search for students to do. Three gestures I would use when explaining word search are across, up and down, and diagonally. Each of these gestures would be done with the whole arm and index finger pointed. For across I would move my whole arm back and forth in front of my body horizontally. For up and down, I would use both arms going up and down at my side opposing each other. For diagonally I would use alternating arms in a “Saturday Night Fever” dance move. These movements also show the students that words can go in either direction. I would have the students Mirror these movements before starting their word search.

    Two more gestures I would use are: 1. When working queitly alone or taking a test the student would raise their hand when they are finished. When I acknowledge them they would quietly make a “dusting their hands” movement to indicate they are done.
    2. When a student raises their hand for permission to leave their seat to get a drink of water, they would make a drinking gesture and wait for my approval.

    Vivian Shepardson

  41. Vivian,
    You are truly amazing. I love that you bring Whole Brain Teaching strategies into the classroom with you when you are substituting. Keep up the great work! Unfortunately, the gestures you described are not related to core knowledge concepts, as the post described, so I can't award you any points for your post. But keep up the great work that you are doing!

  42. Thank you for the compliment. i'm not sure why across, up and down and diagonally are not core knowledge.
    "• Understand and use language to express spatial and temporal relationships (up, down, first, last, before, after, etc.)" Was it because i didn't name them as spatial relationships instead of focusing on gestures for them?

  43. We open each Spanish class by reviewing the weather and calendar. We use gestures to represent the different weather phrases. We wipe our foreheads for “hace calor” (it is hot). We fold our arms and shiver for “hace frío” (it is cold). We make a circle with our lips and sway for “hace viento” (it is windy).

    A challenging concept for the students to remember is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This year I will add gestures to help. “Ayer” (yesterday) will be two thumbs pointing to the students’ left. “Hoy” (today) will be two hands, palms facing each other about 6-8 inches apart. “Mañana” (tomorrow) will be two thumbs pointing to the students’ right. I’ll be practicing so that I remember to do the gestures from the students’ perspective.

    Another area we work on throughout our curriculum is describing ourselves and others. We begin in third grade with “bajo” (short) hand parallel to the floor at waist height, “alto” (tall) hand parallel to the floor, above the head, “inteligente” (smart) index finger pointing to temple. This year I will add gestures for the older grades. “Guapo” (handsome) will be a hand in front of the face representing a mirror. “Generoso” (generous) will be an open hand gesturing as if offering a gift to someone. I have my work cut out for me creating new gestures, but I’ve seen how the ones I already use help the students retain vocabulary. I know the time will be well spent!

    Heidi Keith

  44. Heidi,
    Another great post for you! Here are 25 points to add to your folder!

  45. Chapter 12 Mirror- Gestures
    Love the gestures! It has been wonderful to make gestures with my students; it really keeps them learning and remembering. Some of the gestures I created myself; some of the gestures the students helped me create. It has truly been a tremendous experience creating gestures with my students. Here are some of my favorites.

    Prompt Question: What is a Simile?
    Answer: A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using like, as, seems, than, resembles.
    Clasp hands, then 2 fingers out, then make L with right hand and A with both hands.

    Prompt Question: What is a Metaphor?
    Answer: A metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things without using like, as, seems, than, resembles.
    Gesture: Clasp hands, 2 fingers, cross over arm and out for without.

    Prompt Question: What is Onomatopoeia?
    Answer: Onomatopoeia is a word that suggests its meaning.
    Gesture: Pop hands out like balloons popping or flashes to each syllable, then repeat gesture saying like pop, pop, pop….

    Prompt Question: What is Alliteration?
    Answer: Alliteration is repetition of consonant sounds in a group of words.
    Gesture: Pop up one finger at a time then grab group of fingers for group of words.

    Prompt Question: What is Conflict?
    Answer: Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces.
    Gesture: Punch altering palms with fists

    Prompt Question: What is Imagery?
    Answer: Imagery is writing that uses descriptive language to appeal the 5 senses and creates mental pictures.
    Gesture: American Sign Language letter I (pinky finger) point to eyes, nose, mouth, ears for senses, then mimic taking a picture.

    Prompt Question: What is Personification?
    Answer: Personification is giving non-human things, human characteristics.
    Gesture: Crossed hands in front of face, then with pointer finger circle the face.

    I couldn’t stop at just 3! I am so stoked to see everyone’s post and “steal” others gestures!

  46. Kathy,
    Great gestures for some tough words! Here are your 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS for the extra work.

  47. In my year group, one of the first Science topics we cover is ‘Moving and Growing’. In this unit the children learn about the function of skeletons and muscles, with emphasis on the human skeleton. As they have to learn some of the names of major bones or muscles I am working on some gestures that will help them remember.

    Skull - left hand made into a fist (like a brain) and the right hand covering it, representing the skull protecting the brain.
    Rib cage - Fingers of both hands made wide, held in front of the chest. This is to represent the ribs that make up the rib cage, as well as showing its location.
    Bicep - Flex your right arm like a bodybuilder. Make your left hand into a fist with the thumb up (so it looks like a ‘b’). Place this on the muscle to represent ‘bicep’.
    Tricep - Flex your right arm as for ‘bicep’. This time point with your left index finger underneath the arm to make a T shape with the right arm. This represents ‘tricep’.

    Remembering which way round the ‘tricep’ and ‘bicep’ muscles are is quite difficult for the children, so I thought that making the letter shape as well as showing the position on the body would really help cement the concept.

    Laura Ward

    1. Laura,
      Good gestures for your little ones. Here are 25 certification points!

  48. I was so excited to create new gestures for important 2nd grade content words! I use sign language often in my classroom, so I try to incorporate it into my gestures too!

    1. Background knowledge - Take both hands and move them up and down behind your head. This signifies the information you already know (schema) that is stored in your brain.

    2. Infer - I teach my students that you use your background knowledge and the clues from the text to infer while reading. My students and I together chant a little song to help them remember what inferring is all about. While singing the song, they use the gesture "background knowledge" described above and for "clues from the text" they use the sign language sign "read" (left palm up facing you, right hand holds up index and middle finger and moves it up and down the palm). The gesture for infer is having your right index finger start at your right temple and swoop outward. We open our mouths wide afterwards pretending we just realized what the author was trying to tell us!
    Song: You use your background knowledge and the clues from the text to infer, to infer, to infer, to infer...TO FIGURE IT OUT!

    3. Inner voice - I love Stephanie Harvey's Primary Comprehension Toolkit where she teaches children to listen to their inner voice while reading. Your inner voice talks to you when you are reading and says things like, "I never knew that", "Wow!", or "Interesting!" to help monitor comprehension. The gesture I created for inner voice involves taking both index fingers and tapping the sides of your head near your temples.

    4. Congruent - I teach my students shapes are congruent if they are the same shape and the same size. The gesture I use for this is to sign "same" in sign language (move both index fingers together so they are side by side each other) and then use your right index finger to draw a square in the air (representing "shape"). Then I sign "same" again in sign language followed by signing "size" in sign language (hold out thumbs and pinkies on each hand and tap thumbs together).

    5. Similar - I teach my students shapes are similar if they are the same shape. The gesture I use for this is to sign "same" in sign language (move both index fingers together so they are side by side each other) and then use your right index finger to draw a square in the air (representing "shape").

    1. Great gestures for your 2nd graders! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS for the extras! (Please remember to sign your real name on your comments.)

    2. Thank you! I'm so sorry about forgetting the name - Shelley Nizynski Reese :)

  49. Science-Solid/Liquid/Gas

    Prompt Question: What is a solid?
    -(Elementary) A solid is matter that has definite shape and volume.
    -(Middle School) The atoms in a solid are linked tightly together with little
    Gesture: Students simply clasp hands (interlocking fingers) solidly together.

    Prompt Question: What is a liquid?
    -(Elementary) A liquid is matter with a definite volume but no definite shape.
    -(Middle School) The atoms in a liquid are still linked together but with more
    flexible movement.
    Gesture: Students separate hands a little to where fingers are still linked but can
    wiggle about.

    Prompt Question: What is a gas?
    -(Elementary) A gas is matter with no definite shape or volume.
    -(Middle School) The atoms in a gas are not linked together.
    Gesture: Students completely separate their hands and move them about separately.

    Jason McKinney

    1. Jason,
      These "states of matter" gestures really simplifies the learning of how molecules move. The gestures are connected yet distinct enough for students to understand. Here are 25 certification points!

  50. The first science lessons for my 3rd graders are on plant basics. Here are some of the areas we cover with the gestures.

    Question: What are the parts of a plant?
    Answer: The parts of a plant are the roots, stems, and leaves.
    Gestures: Roots – wiggle fingers downward like you’re reaching into a jar of cookies; stem – using other arm, touch elbow to “roots” hand; leaves – hold “stem” hand out with fingers together and make it wave.

    My students like to make swiping sounds with the leaves! It would be easy to add flowers to the parts by having the student pick a flower and smell it.

    Question: What do plants need to grow?
    Answer: Plants need light, water, soil, and air.
    Gestures: light – open and close hand up to the sky (think flashing light); water – hands make rain come down (think Itsy, Bitsy, Spider); soil – pretend to dig; air – take a deep breath

    Question: What are the parts of a seed?
    Answer: The parts of a seed are the seed coat, seedling, and stored food.
    Gestures: seed coat – pretend to put a coat on; seedling – make a mini plant parts gesture and say seedling in a little voice; stored food – pretend to eat, then put it in a “box”

    Question: What is photosynthesis?
    Answer: Photosynthesis is when a plant takes in light, water and carbon dioxide to make food and give off oxygen.
    Gestures: take in light – hand up to sky mentioned earlier; water – rain hands mentioned earlier; carbon dioxide – breathe out; make food – pretend to eat while making a happy face (because it’s “sugar”); oxygen –breathe in

    Julie Gustin aka Southern Teacher

    1. Julie,
      These gestures are creative and filled with funtricity! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS because I totally stole many of these gestures from you! Thanks!

  51. The wonderful thing about teaching gestures is seeing smart kids, who are easily distracted and aren’t very interested in reading, start to like reading because they have a way to get “into” the story. So, here’s to gestures! Long may they wave!

    Here are a few writing gestures:
    W.3.5 Writing with Support
    Brainstorming is part of planning or pre-writing. It is quickly writing down any ideas you have about a topic. First, point to your brain. Then move your hands over each other in an alternating circular motion to represent a stormy sea.

    A caret is an editing mark that indicates something needs to be inserted. Make like a rooftop with your hands diagonally in front of yourself

    Editing is fixing little problems in a sentence. Hold both hands together in the “OK” position in front of you, with the circles touching. Twist the thumb and forefingers of each hand in opposite directions, back and forth, kind of like twisting a candy wrapper. Looks like both hands are just “tweaking” something a little.

    W.4.3 Writing Narratives
    Transition words help the reader move from one sentence to the next. Like a door that connects one room to another. Make like you are knocking on a door and opening it.

    W.4.8 Research
    Plagiarism is like copying and using without permission. The gesture is like a copy machine. Start with your right arm horizontal in front of your chest. (this is paper) Then place your left hand directly under your arm with your fingers “shining” up on the “paper.” Finally pull your hand downward, closing the fingers and shaking your head “no.” (This indicates you are taking something that doesn’t belong to you.)

    Categorizing is putting things in similar groups. Pretend you’re holding a flower pot in front of yourself on the right side of your body and then move it over to the left side. You are putting something into a group/category.

    W.4.10 Range of Writing
    Audience: The audience is the people who are reading your writing (like watching your show). Hold your hands together out in front of yourself with your fingers hanging down. These are the people. Then pull your hands apart and up. This is the curtain going up so the audience can see the show.

    Andy Park

    1. Andy,
      10 finger woo for your gestures! Excellent job tying them to the standards. Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  52. I love using gestures to teach concepts to my students. WBT has really challenged me to come up with gestures for my third graders in science and social studies.
    When I teach about timelines, I plan on having the students draw a straight horizontal line in the air and then have students straighten their hands to make 3 dash marks in their imaginary line. This will show students that a timeline has important dates on it.
    Students also learn the terms decade and century when learning about timelines. The gesture for a decade will be all ten fingers held up. A century is 100 years. With their left hand, students will straighten their pointer finger to make a one and the rest of their fingers will make a zero. The right had will just make a zero and then put it next to the left hand to make 100.

    During our matter unit, students will use gestures for solids, liquids, and gases. Students will knock on their desk for a solid, make raindrops falling from the sky with their fingers for liquids, and blow onto the palm of their hand for gases.

    In math, 3rd graders learn about grid coordinates. Students struggle to remember if the first number listed is the horizontal line number or the vertical line number. While students are making the gestures they will say, “First you go in the elevator, then you go up.” When students say, “First you go in the elevator,” have them take a step forward. When they say, “then you go up,” have them point one arm up in the air. By using the gesture and words, the students will learn to use the horizontal numbers first because (clap) you can’t go up in an elevator before you get in it.

  53. Marty,
    Good gestures and love the because clapper! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 BONUS POINTS!

  54. I am very anxious for the school year to start. I have spent the whole summer preparing my classroom the WBT way. Now to get the students there and apply all this knowledge. I know on a daily basis I will be winging many new gestures, but the gestures I came up with quickly were ones that I will use during whole group reading.
    Questioning– Tapping the side of their head, making a face like they are thinking Main Idea- Pat on their heart. Main idea is the heart of the story.
    Prediction- Rubbing chin and make a face of thinking of what they think is going to happen next.
    Stretch out words – Place hands together and stretch out.
    These are only a few gestures, I am looking forward to coming up with new ones every day or seeing what my students can come up with.
    Lori Wessing

  55. Lori,
    Nice gestures! Best wishes for a great year! Here are 25 points!

  56. Chapter 12 : Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3c Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
    To help students with the vowel team convention - 2 vowels go walking the 1st vowel does the talking rule. We hold 2 fingers up, then turn them upside down to walk. Then we use sign language letters, as an example, for the combo ea – students show “e” and make the sound of the “e”. We continue with this strategy for all the double vowel combos. I always used the rhyme, but when adding hand gestures, I did see more students remembering the rule.

    CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

    One strategy our math curriculum uses to help students is the part/part/whole concept. When using this strategy I have the students hold up one fist and say part, the other fist and say part, we put them together that equals the whole. We practice this with addition sentences and input the numbers below 5 to begin with so that they can see the result of what we are adding. As an example 3 + 3 = 6. One hand holds up 3 the other hand holds up 3 – then we bring the two hands together so that they can see 6. When using this strategy there has been less counting on their fingers.

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
    Retelling proved to be a challenge for most of my class last year. The student’s only wanted to tell one detail. I had to break it down and show them gestures to help encourage them to share more. When we would discuss stories I told them to start with three main points, the beginning, the middle and the end. I had a paper folded into 3 columns. When they would tell me the beginning of the story, both the student and I would hold up 1 finger for first and I would point to the first column on the paper. For the middle, we would both hold up 2 fingers and I would point to the middle column. For the end of the story, we both would hold up 3 fingers and I would point to the last column. As we continued through the year, I added more columns to help them delve a little deeper. Having them hold up their fingers and using the visual cue of the folded paper seemed to help them retell more facts from the story.

    1. Terri,
      Good ideas for gestures. Here are 25 certification points!

  57. One core concept we need covered in our first grade class is that of “number bonds.” (Our district uses Singapore Math, so this is a key concept to understand.) The answer to the question, “What is a number bond?” is “A number bond shows the parts of a whole.” My gesture for number bonds is to wave 2 hands high above the head, one hand with 2 fingers up and one with 3 fingers up when we say “the parts” and bring them down in front of our chest when we say “whole.” This gesture is reminiscent of the addition gesture, but adapted to teach number bonds.

    Another core concept I want to teach this year is the vowel rule. “What is the vowel rule?”” The vowel rule is that every syllable must have a vowel in it.” One way I teach this is to have children realize that every vowel sound opens the mouth, so the gesture is to hold one hand below the chin as we emphasize the syllables in each word of the answer, our chin will hit our hand. (CCSS.ELA.RF.1.3d)

    The last core concept I have created a memory gesture for is digraphs. (CCSS.ELA.RF.1.3a) Students do not really need to know the word digraph, but I will probably teach it to give them a common anchor for those tricky digraphs they will learn. “What is a digraph?” “A digraph is when 2 letters (hold up two fingers, waggling them separately) come together (swoosh as fingers snap together) to make a new sound.” Then demonstrate again with gestures as they learn each digraph: s – h, /sh/, /sh/, /sh/.

    1. Jeni,
      These are good introductory gestures. I'd like you to think about the number bonds gesture. What happens when the numbers get bigger than 5? Will the gesture change? Here are 25 certification points!

  58. Proton: Smiling faces and cross one pointer finger over the other pointer finger forming a plus sign

    Neutron: straight/ bored face and a fist

    Electron: frowny/angry face, 1 arm placed horizontally in front on chest to represent a minus sign

    Dominant trait: flex arm muscles (dominant) then point to hair (trait)

    Recessive trait: arms hang limp and sway from elbows down (recessive) then point to hair (trait)

    Speed Formula: Speed = distance x time

    Speed: move pointer finger fast in an arch through the air

    Equal: one arm over the other arm horizontally in front of the chest

    Distance: two hands start next to each other, palms touching and then move apart

    Times/multiply: arms crossed in front of chest forming an X

    Time: students tap at an imaginary watch on their wrist with their pointer finger of opposite hand

  59. Erin,
    Great gestures! Your students will surely remember these ideas. Here are 25 certification points!