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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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  2. In Social Studies we use a lot of gestures to help us remember our vocabulary words.
    First we learned what a Globe is. Then we learned about the Equator. Finally we learned about the Prime Meridian. We learned them in this order and we were able to add on to what we had already learned, gestures included.
    1. Globe (cup your hands together and pretend you are hold something small, round and precious)
    a. Definition- A round model of Earth (imagine holding a big bowl and stirring with your pointer finger.)
    2. Equator (hands clap together in the middle of your body)
    a. Definition-An imaginary line (spread hands as far apart as possible, left and right) that goes around the middle of the Globe (we use the previous gesture for globe and emphasize stirring around and around with pointer finger.)
    3. Prime Meridian (clap your hands together but one hand is on top of the other)
    a. Definition-An imaginary line that goes from the top (hand on top of clasped hands goes up and shakes back and forth) of the Globe to the bottom (hand on bottom sinks down as low as you can and shakes back and forth).
    Our hands became the imaginary lines that we discussed. No one missed these questions on the test! What a success!
    Brandi Young

  3. Brandi,
    Nice job! Those gestures will certainly help them remember the terms! Here are 25 certification points!

  4. Julia Berry / Chapter 12 / October

    The three core knowledge terms I use throughout the day include, deductive reasoning, inquiry skills and brainstorming. These core terms are part of my gifted goals and objectives.
    The first core knowledge term is deductive reasoning. Students learn how to deduce clusters of information in order to come up with the correct answer. Our classroom gesture will be holding out our arms and cupping our hands like we are holding a big ball. Students will slowly start to shrink the ball until the fingers on their hands begin to touch. Students will eventually shrink their hands into two fists, which will symbolize the deducing of information.
    The second core knowledge term is inquiry skills. Students analyze individual questions, suggest ways to improve them, and come up with new questions. This helps to increase critical thinking. Our gesture for this term will be to draw the shape of a question mark in the air. When and it’s time to add the dot at the bottom of the question mark, we will all click our tongue once.
    The third core knowledge term is brainstorming. It combines flexibility, fluency, originality, and elaboration techniques to produce a large quantity of ideas in a group setting, where shared ideas inspire new ones. Each thematic unit we study will begin with brainstorming. (e.g. “What makes The Wonders of the World so wondrous?”) Our gesture for this term will be placing both hands on the side of our heads wiggling our fingers as fast as possible, and gently tapping the top of the head. This gesture represents those dendrites rapidly firing for brainstorming!
    I do have a word wall with new terminology for my units. When we are going to discuss a new word the gesture for word wall will be to form a W using the index, middle and fourth finger pressing in and outward movement. This gesture will help them to remember to look at the word wall when we are discussing a new word.
    In addition to the core gifted knowledge terms, I also am teach a math unit called Daffy Definitions to help my students remember new math terms. They will be creating definitions along with illustrations. I will also introduce gestures for the new math terms. Some examples include:
    1. What did the acorn say when it grew up? Geometry (gee, I’m a tree.) The gesture for a point they will use their index finger and point like they are ringing a door bell for the property of points in geometry.
    2. What is a dead parrot called? Polygon (Poly gone.) The gesture for a polygon will be joining both index and middle fingers to form a closed shape with straight lines.
    3. What did the tree develop after standing in a box all spring? Square Roots! The gesture for square roots will be making a check sign.

    1. Great gestures Julia! Here are 25 certification points plus 10 bonus points!

  5. Three Gestures for Core Knowledge
    7th grade Life Science

    1) All year we will discuss living things. To gesture for living things, we lace our fingers together and place them over our heart. While we say living things, we pump our hands twice; like a beating heart.

    2) Being organized and having an orderly structure is a core concept that is discussed frequently during the year in both conceptual and academic contexts. To show organized and orderly, we hold open one hand, palm facing upwards. We take our other open hand and hit the side of it across our open palm 3 times.

    3) Taking in and using energy is an essential idea related to biology. To show taking in energy, we move our hands and arms quickly toward our bodies. To show using energy, we move our arms quickly by our sides like we are running.

    1. Above post is from Rebecca Murphy

    2. Rebecca,
      Great gestures for your science curriculum! Here are 25 points for you!

  6. In third grade we learn various types of nouns, such as, common, proper, abstract and concrete. For a concrete noun the gesture is both hands molding something into the shape of a ball. Both hands twist from top and bottom to right and left side to show something you can see. An abstract noun gesture is covering each eye with a hand to show that this type of noun is something you cannot see. Other concepts learned are types of genres, such as, biography and autobiography. We make the gesture of pointing our thumbs to ourselves to show that autobiography is a story about the very same person that wrote it. Biography is pointing outward away from us in order to show that it is a story about someone written by someone else. In math, we remember commutative property by associating it as the "switcheroo" property. We gesture this by using our pointer fingers and moving them back and forth from right to left, crossing each other. This is to show the numbers being flip flopped.

    Liz Cheney

    1. Liz,
      Great gestures! Here are 25 certification points!

    2. Chapter 12 Mirror, Hands and Eyes Bethany Kirkland

      Using gestures as part of my teaching has made a huge difference with what my students are remembering. Most of my students are language impaired and gestures add a little “funtricity” while improving their memory! Using Hands and Eyes draws attention to important concepts being taught. Students know to fold their hands and look at me for new or important information. My students love using Mirror to reinforce new concepts and gestures.

      I use a lot of ASL finger spelling to introduce new concepts. For example, Matter (making the ASL “m” sign). Everything is made up of matter. (Wide arm sweep, then ASL “m“ sign). Matter (ASL sign for “m”) is made up of parts too small to see. (gesturing fingers close together, then pointing to eyes). Matter (making the ASL “m” sign) is any thing, (pointing to a table, book, or any object), that takes up space, (using an upward sweep with both hands).

      Matter (gesturing the ASL “m” sign) has different states or forms.

      Solid (gesturing closed fist), for example, wood (knock on table).

      Liquid (gesturing hand up, fingers wiggling down, like in rain) for example water (ASL sign “w” tapping chin, sign for drink).

      Gas (gesturing with hands swirling one above the other with fingers wiggling, take top hand and close fingers in an upward motion as in pulling something up and away) for example air (waving hand in air).

    3. Bethany,
      Great job! Here are 25 certification points!

  7. Kay Spencer
    Chapter 12

    This chapter certainly encouraged me to be more intentional with my gesturing.

    Here are four gestures I’m including in my instruction.

    1. When teaching addition, I slowly raise my arms in a rounding motion ending with my fingers locked in front of me. The gesture demonstrates coming together or joining.

    2. When teaching subtraction, I slowly raise my arms in a rounding motion ending with my hands behind me. The gesture demonstrates leaving or taking away.

    3. When teaching the reading strategy visualizing, I move my open hand in a circular motion on the side of my head.

    4. When teaching the science concept erosion, I place my hands perpendicularly in front of me and make a sweeping motion to the left to indicate the soil moving away.

  8. Carrie Wood
    Ch. 12 Mirror, Hands, & Eyes

    In Kindergarten we learn about nouns and teach that they can be a person, place, or thing. When I teach this, I say “Mirrors On” and the students repeat “Mirrors On” and raise their hands, palms out, and get ready to mirror me. Then I say “Mirrors With Words” and they repeat what I say. I say, “A noun is a person (point to myself), a place (point down), or a thing (cup hands like I’m holding something). The students repeat my words and actions.

    Another core knowledge term that I teach with gestures is punctuation marks. For a period I punch the air with my fist. I draw a question mark in the air and say question mark in a high tone of voice. Last, for the exclamation point, I draw it in the air and say it in a loud voice.

    A third core knowledge concept I teach using mirrors, hands, and eyes would be sides and vertices. For sides we put our arm flat in front of our bodies. To show vertices we put two arms together and form a fist with 2 hands to represent the vertex.

    Carrie Wood

    1. Carrie,
      Nice job! Here are 25 certification points!

  9. In my Kindergarten classroom I use Mirror, Mirror with Words, and Hands and Eyes to introduce and teach all new concepts. The recently adopted Florida Common Core State Standards mandate the identification of “genres” of the books and literary selections that are introduced and used in the teaching of English and Language Arts at all levels.
    When introducing the term “genre” I told the children that it is a fancy French word so we use a sweeping gesture with circular hand motions to represent it. I further explained that the “genre” simply tells (both hands cupped around mouth), what kind (shrugging shoulders with palms pointed upward), of story (both flat hands together with palms pointing upward mimicking a book), it is. We repeat this sequence frequently using Mirrors with Words and Teach-Okay.
    Once my students became familiar with the meaning of the word “genre”, we started to discuss and label the different genres of stories that we read during Whole Group and Small Group Reading Instruction.
    1. The gesture for “Informational Text” is pointing to brain with both forefingers then making a book shape with both open-palmed hands.
    2. The gesture for “Fantasy” is wiggling fingers circling around the head to represent that it takes place in the imagination.
    3. The gesture for “Fable” is crossing arms over chest then extending them outward with palms up because fables generally have a moral or teach a lesson.
    4. The gesture for “Tale” is taking a flat hand and moving it down in a stair-step movement because tales are passed down from generation to generation.
    5. The gesture for “Poetry” is the ASL symbol for “r”. This is in conjunction with our sequence for rhyming words which is: Rhyming words (ASL symbol for “r”) sound the same (both hands cupped around ears) at the end (touching elbow with fingers). We use this because all poems have rhythm and at this stage most of them contain rhyming words.
    When reading stories or literary selections we repeat the script and gestures for “genre” first and then identify the genre of the selection by saying, “The genre (sweeping gesture with circular hand motions) of ________ (state the title) is __________ (state the specific genre while use the gesture that is associated with it).
    Julia Simons

    1. Julia,
      These are great gestures! I may steal some of them to use with my 5th graders! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  10. Chapter 12/Debbi Gardner
    The stages of the Water Cycle are an important and basic element in understanding Earth and the patterns of our environment. My students have been very successful with the vocabulary associated with this concept by using the following gestures:
    Condensation: Students raise both open hands about eight (8) inches in front of forehead and pulsate them as if an expanding “cloud”. The students chant, “Con-den-sa-tion!”
    Precipitation: Next the students face their open hands, palms towards the floor, pulse in a downward motion and lower the hands while chanting, “Pre-cip-i-ta-tion”. (Pulses are on the syllables.)
    Ground Water/Runoff: As hands reach the waistline, students move fisted hands across their bodies chanting, “Ground-water-runoff!”
    Evaporation: Finally the students flip hands, palm up, and pulsate in an upward motion while chanting, “E-vap-or-a-tion!”
    (Repeat the action several times.)
    My class really enjoyed these gestures and chant.
    The process of division has been challenging for my class. Here are some gestures that are helping them with the process:
    Divide: Left arm is raised to form a line parallel to the floor.
    Multiply: Left arm tilts to angle with the right arm crossing it to form an “X”.
    Subtract: Right arm “draws” a large “S” in the air as it lowers.
    Bring Down: Right arms with fingers together, raises, and then “chops” in a downward motion.
    Remainder: Left hand opens and closes to make a talking-type motion as it crosses the body.
    These motions are very quick and sharp.
    Identification of the parts of speech and their position in a sentence is also a challenging skill for some of my students. I am trying this simple gesture to help these students locate and identify “articles”:
    1. “Here is the noun”—Place open hand in air.
    2. The article comes in front of the noun”—Place fist in front of hand.
    (I have to reverse my hands so that the students see the gesture with the article in front of the noun.)
    Deborah Gardner

    1. Deborah,
      Nice job! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  11. In Math we learn many vocabulary terms that are used and built upon as we continue on throughout the year. Math tends to build upon prior knowledge of terms used. I wanted to do something fun with the motions while I was teaching my children these vocabulary terms. I use the memory gestures that are linked to the core concepts.
    1.) Tens Frame- hold up both hands(ten fingers) while saying "a tens frame has ten spaces." When we say frame we make a frame with our hands.
    2.) Tens and Ones - When we say "tens" we hold up both hands/ten fingers. When we say "ones" we hold up our index fingers on both hands.
    3.) Count on - While saying "count on" we make a rolling motion with our hands (ex. like you do when you're doing patty cake patty cake--- roll them up) and we move forward a couple steps.
    4.) Count back - Do the same as above only you reverse the motion and move backwards a couple steps.
    5.) Addition - Make a plus sign with arms and say, "Addition uses a plus sign."
    6.) Subtraction - Make a minus sign with both arms folded in front of you and say, "Subtraction uses a minus sign."
    7.) Digits - Point to fingers as if counting while saying "digits."
    8.) More - Spread arms wide open while saying "more."
    9.) Fewer - Scrunch up shoulders and bend over a bit while saying "fewer." ( The motion is how you would look if you were cold)
    10.) Greater than- Make greater than sign with your fingers (index and thumb) open them wide while saying "greater than"
    11.) Less than - The same as above only don't hold fingers open as wide.
    The students have fun with this and we do it everyday for review. And of course, I break up the vocabulary words doing only 3 at one time and have the students do teach-okay.
    Karlyn Davis

    1. Karlyn,
      Great job! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

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  13. In fourth grade writing is bound to core knowledge. Figurative language is an excellent was to add power to writing. My gesture for figurative language is making a figure eight in the air with my hand. This gesture helps the students to look beyond the words for the implied meaning. For example, if I use an idiom, I use the figure eight motion as I am saying the idiom. This helps my ESE students understand the words mean more than what the words say.

    Drawing conclusions and making inferences are a huge part of the core knowledge. The gesture I use for this skill is to hold my left hand out with my fingers spread apart. Then I run my right index finger between the fingers on the left hand and this symbolizes reading between the lines, which is what you do when you draw conclusions or make inferences.

    Finally, summarizing a reading passage is essential to core knowledge. The gesture I use for this is to hold my index finger and my thumb out about an inch a part and say give me the short version. This help the students know I want only the facts or essential parts.

    Dian Isert

    1. Dian,
      Nice job on the gestures! I really like the inference one! Watch out for the pesky editing errors "Figurative language is an excellent was to add power to writing." Here are 20 certification points! Save these in a word document to submit later.

  14. In the past, I made up hand gestures to go with the skill I was teaching. I thought it was entertaining for my students, and thought it would help them remember the concept. Now that I know how much gestures assist them in learning I will see how creative I can be when I teach and gesture more often.

    1. When teaching character I circled my finger around my face, while repeating characters are who or what the story is about.

    2. When teaching setting I held my hand our palm up and made a motion to encompass the room or surroundings, repeating the setting is where the story takes place.

    3. For the order of operations in math, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, we would chant and use our gestures. Please- Parenthesis and hold our hands out ( ) in the motion. Excuse- Exponents, gesture make air quotes with one hand for exponents in the air. My- Multiply, gesture cross our arms in front of us. Dear- Divide, gesture take our hand and move it up and down in front of our faces dividing it in half. Aunt Add- gesture make a plus sign with arms in front of us. Sally Subtract –gesture hands in front of us palm down and move it back and forth.

    1. Tonya,
      It is nice to find out that you were already doing something valuable for your students isn't it! Here are 25 certification points!

  15. Here are some of the gestures I use for core knowledge in my classroom:

    •Multiplication: We throw our arms up in the shape of an “X” to represent the “x” symbol used to represent multiplication
    •Addition: We make the “+” sign using our two index fingers to represent the “plus” or addition symbol
    •Subtraction: We use our arms and make a big alligator-like chomping motion and pull it into our bodies quickly, showing that we are “taking away” something.
    •Division: When I introduced division, we talked about “dividing” a pizza between every one in the class. So our motion for division is holding our left hand out, palm up, and pretending to cut it into pieces with a pizza cutter.
    •Exponents: I teach my students that exponents “have the power” to tell their base what to do, so we flex both bicep muscles up towards the sky when we say the word exponent.
    •Greater than: We make the shape of an alligator mouth with our right hand and “chomp” towards the imaginary number to show that the opening of the greater than symbol is always facing or "eating" the larger number.
    •Parenthesis: We curve both of our hands towards each other to mimic the shape of parenthesis. Students hands should look like this: ( )
    •Effect: We use the word effect in all subjects. To represent this word, we hold both hands up by our heads and shake them back and forth while shaking our heads at the same time.
    •Noun: We show that a noun is a person (by pointing to ourselves), a place (by pointing anywhere in the room), or a thing (by popping our shirt collars).
    •Observation: Our sentence for observations is as follows: We use our five senses to make observations about people, places, and things. To represent our five senses, we touch our eyes, ears, mouth, nose, (like the song) and rub our fingers together. To represent observations we hold our fingers around our eyes like we are looking through binoculars. To represent people, places, and things we repeat the motions for noun.

    Meghan Holliday

    1. Meghan,
      You have created a nice variety of gestures that will be very helpful as your students learn these concepts! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  16. Some gestures I have used this year in my classroom are:

    Animal Unit:
    Adaptation- Students put hands down arms like they're adding scales and then quickly bring fingers to mouth like teeth
    Behavior- Students slowly creep hands and then quickly move them
    Living Thing- Students pump hands over heart and hold hand in front of mouth while letting out a breath
    Vertebrate- Students straighten their back and touch their spine
    Invertebrate- Students slump over, swinging arms as if they have no backbone
    Camouflage- Students slowly lace fingers over eyes

    Plant Unit:
    Germinate: Students bring pointer fingers together and "grow" them
    Pollinate: One finger "flies" to a fist (flower) which explodes into a flower (fingers out)

    Language Arts:
    Parts of a Letter:
    Heading (tap head)
    Greeting (wave and add an air comma)
    Body (cross arms on shoulders and shift shoulders to show an indent)
    Closing (touch knees and add an air comma)
    Signature (stomp feet and cursive write name)

    Author's Purpose (Hands on hips)
    --Persuade (use hands to pull imaginary rope)
    --Inform (shake finger)
    --Entertain (jazz hands near face)
    Cause: Hold up hands like a question
    Effect: Punch other hand

    Increase (Start crouched down and grow)
    Decrease (Shrink from above)
    Addition key words (Chant addition key words such as 'altogether' and 'in all' and make an addition sign every time)
    Subtraction key words (Chant subtraction key words such as 'how many more' and 'borrow' while making a subtraction sign every time)
    Commutative property (switch hands)
    Identity property (hold out hand like a mirror and a number one)
    Zero property (make a zero with hands, other hand holds up numbers that get sucked in the zero)

  17. Madeline,
    I love your Author's Purpose gestures-I'm stealing them :)! Great job, here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus for your extra effort!

  18. Lesson is the rock cycle in middle school science:
    We start with metamorphic rock, (gesture is a pound of student’s fist on the desk). We then say with melting (hold hands palm up and open and close fingers to indicate melting), the metamorphic rock becomes magma. Magma is gestured by holding hands open, palms down, fingers curled, and moving the arms back and forth. Magma is cooled – gestured by fanning their faces with their hands, into igneous rock. Igneous rock is gestured with open hand put on the desk. Weathering/erosion is gestured by shaking fingers like getting water off, turns igneous rock into sediment. Then compacting/cementing, gestured by bumping fists together turns that sediment into sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock is gestured by tapping fingers on the desk. By adding heat/pressure, gestured with cupping one hand over another and squeezing, to sedimentary rock, it becomes metamorphic rock.

    Obviously there are many stages in this cycle that can go back and forth, but the gestures work well. It takes several repeats and lots of teaching to the students for them to get the gestures, but it makes a world of difference and you can see them using the gestures when doing independent work or tests.

    1. Amanda,
      Great work! I could really visualize those differences in the rock cycle! Here are 25 certification points!

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  22. Chapter 12 Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    Third Grade Mathematics

    1. Decompose a Number: “When we decompose a number, we…break…it…DOWN!” Spoken rhythmically, two fists are side by side; when I say “decompose,” fists are rotated outward, in a breaking motion. Next, I separate my hands, right hand held approximately waist high, fingers spread, palm flat, I push downward three times, and speak rhythmically with emphasis, “…break…it…DOWN!” I am standing while I do this, and I add a little wiggle, almost as if I’m doing a dance step. The students are seated; however, they mirror my words and my hands. The students usually chuckle at my dance moves, but this adds a little “funtricity,” and helps them to remember.

    2. Dividend: Hold up each index finger, fists together, and then spread hands and arms wide and say, “The dividend is the largest number in a division problem, and it is usually written first.” (For example, 24/4= 6, or 24÷4=6)

    3. Divisor: Hold up each index finger and middle finger, fists together, and then tap these fingers together three times and say, “The divisor is the smaller number in a division problem, and it is usually written second.” (For example, 24/4= 6, or 24÷4=6)

    4. Quotient: With thumbs touching and pinky fingers touching, make a ring with your hands (three middle fingers are pointing upward), as if you are making an imaginary crown. I say, “You are the Queen (or King) of long division because you know (the answer) the quotient.”
    5. Additional Fun Math Material for Long Division: The “Matharena” (It is “performed” to the tune, “The Macarena”); students will need to stand alongside their desks for this one! Motions are done to the count of four (one, two, three, and four). Please note: A similar dance concept was originally created by my long-since-retired cooperating teacher during my student teaching days long ago; her name is Mrs. Branco.
    Divide: Hold right fist and forearm in front of you, hold left fist and forearm in front of you, bring forearms and fists together, and then separate them (We are “dividing” arms apart.).
    Multiply: Move right hand to hang down along right side. Move left hand to hang down alongside left side of body. Bring right (fisted) hand up to cover heart (elbow bent). Bring left (fisted) hand up to cover right side of chest; with the elbow bent (This forms an “X” in front of you).
    Subtract: Bring left arm down to side, and then with your right arm, reach out in front of you and “take away” the imaginary numbers in front of you (Do this four times).
    Bring Down: Place hands on hips, bend at knees slightly, straighten up, and then take one hop backward.

    Jacqueline Nessuno

  23. Jacqueline,
    What fun! I tried all of your gestures and they are very helpful! I imagine your students love being in your class! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  24. I have been using gestures to teach math concepts. Core knowledge of the base ten blocks has been the recent area of focus. I show students to hold up one “long” finger to represent a “long” tens bar. I have students count down to ten on their “long” finger to show ten ones units in a “long” tens bar. I have students hold up all ten fingers and make a “flat” sandwich to represent a one hundred “flat”.

    I have been teaching core knowledge of rounding concepts using gestures. Students use their hand to go from middle of air, counting down 0-4, making a sharp line in the air for each number. Then students raise their hands and make a stop signal for “the number stays the same”. Students make a sharp line in the air and go up for 5-9. They then say that the numbers goes up one and put a thumbs up.

    Lori Crigler

    1. Lori,
      Nice work! Here are 25 certification points! Save this is a word document to submit later.

  25. In kindergarten we have to learn a lot about books. I’ve taught them several gestures that we review almost daily:
    Title- The name of the story!
    (Hold open your hands with the sides together like a book.)
    Author- The author writes the words!
    (Gesture writing by pretending to hold a pencil and write on your hand.)
    Illustrator-The illustrator makes the pictures!
    (Gesture painting on your hand.)
    Fiction- Fiction is fake from the author’s imagination
    (Point to head with both hands.)
    Non Fiction- Non fiction is not fake!
    (Gesture taking a photo to show that the pictures are real.)

    1. Josephine,
      Nice job! Here are 25 certification points! Save this is a word document to submit later.

  26. Lori Hahn

    Chapter 12 Mirror, Hands, & Eyes

    In my gifted resource class, grades K-5, we recently finished a unit on Chemistry. While studying the atom, initially some of students were getting the parts of the atom, their locations and charges, confused. This was true, particularly with the younger students.

    The basic terms we used were the following:

    1. Electrons
    2. Protons
    3. Neutrons

    The nucleus was also included in this, as it is key to the locations of the three parts of the atom.

    Using these terms, as well as the nucleus of the atom, I came up with following hands and eyes for the students to model the parts of the atom

    For the neutron, which is a neutral particle, I would point to the “nucleus” my fist, and then use the baseball “safe” signal representing neutral.

    The hand signal for the proton was to use my two pointer fingers to make a plus sign and then point to the nucleus (fist).

    For electrons, the motion was to hold up my left hand balled up in a fist to represent the nucleus, my finger on my right hand.
    (This would be held in like the “number 1”, like you might see at an FSU game! Go Noles! Sorry, I had to throw that in there! My students liked it, as well!)

    I would then use that finger to go around the fist (nucleus) in fast orbital patterns, as an electron would do. I did all of this in dramatic fast motion fashion, and asked them to do the same.

    Students would model this, with the same dramatic fast motion fashion. Once we started doing this, even the younger students (K-3) were able to distinguish the particles and their respective locations in the atom and charges much more quickly and with more ease!

    1. Lori,
      I am impressed with the age range you introduced your lesson to! Nice gestures! Be careful when editing your post. 'Using these terms, as well as the nucleus of the atom, I came up with following hands and eyes for the students to model the parts of the atom' Here are 20 points for you. Please save your post and awarded points in a word document for later.

  27. I recently taught my students perimeter in math. Many students were still struggling with the difference between perimeter and area. I researched some songs online and came across a song with the lyrics, "Perimeter, perimeter, goes around and round, all up all the sides, and then you write the answer down!" Although I liked the song, I wanted to create hand motions to help the students to remember HOW to find perimeter. The hand motions are as follows:

    "Perimeter, perimeter"- tracing an invisible box with your finger in front of your face
    "Goes around and round"- change invisible box to an invisible circle and make circling motions.
    "Add up all the sides"- make + sign with arms
    "And then your write your answer down!"- pretend to write

    My first graders love doing this song. I have even seen them using the motions when they are completing an independent assessment.

    1. Megan,
      That is a cute song to help remember perimeter. The prompt asked you to "Invent and describe gestures for three core knowledge terms" and this has only included the gestures for the term "perimeter", even though there were three motions within that term. Here are 20 certification points for your effort.

  28. We are currently studying weather in Kindergarten. It is time for a weather check!
    "What is our weather today?" Our weather gesture is looking up at the sky with one hand shielding our eyes with an inquisitive look on our faces.
    "Is it sunny?" Our sunny gesture is to make sunglasses with our thumb and forefinger encircling our eyes.
    "Is it rainy?" Our rainy gesture is to flutter our fingers from face height downward to the ground like gentle raindrops falling down.
    "Is it windy?" Our windy gesture is to take our index finger and swirl it up into bigger circles. It looks like a tornado. My students get quite competitive to see who can make the windiest and wildest tornado gesture!
    Our weather checker walks to the window to declare today's weather.
    Our graph helper logs the weather and we check for a pattern. Our pattern gesture is two hands open, two hands closed. This is repeated several times to make a pattern. The pattern changes to a more complex one as students master easier patterns. For example, we started with open, closed, open, closed. We are up to open, open, closed, closed. My students are very attentive so they copy the pattern accurately. They usually earn a one second party after the weather check and we move on to our next subject.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Krissa White

    1. Krissa,
      Nice job! I could visualize all your little kinders doing these cute gestures! Here are 25 certification points to save in a word document to submit later.

  29. In my behavior classroom, gestures do more than help to cement vocabulary into my students minds: they also ensure that students are busy and on-task. Like Coach B. says, "If a students whole brain is focused on learning, there is little space left for challenging behavior". Here are some gestures I've made up:

    1. Fractions: I say a fraction represents a part (touching fingers on one hand one-at-a-time) of a whole (swiping my left pointer finger over all of the right hand fingers)

    2. 7 continents: North America - Hands high above head
    South America - Touch Floor
    Europe - Put on top hat like a distinguished gentleman
    Asia - Bow like a ninja
    Africa - motions like drumming in front of chest
    Australia - Throw a boomerang - wait - and catch it!
    Antarctica - Shiver and hug arms close.

    3. Prediction - prediction is to make a smart guess (tap head like Rule 4) about the future (either point ahead, or pretend like your looking in crystal ball).

    This is only my 1st year with WBT and I'm looking forward to the time when gestures come second nature and I do them without even realizing. I also plan on using Magic Mirrors more often to allow my students to super-charge their critical thinking with their very own gesture development!

    1. ADLutz,
      Nice variety and energy in your choice of gestures! Here are 25 points for you! So glad to have you in the book club!!

  30. So sorry about spelling on number 3: I meant to say pretend like 'you're' looking in a crystal ball!

  31. When I want to make sure student know that a sentence I am reading has an exclamation point I put both hands over my head, palms together, then bring them down like an explosion.

    When teaching the rock cycle and describing types of rocks, igneous rocks start out with my palms up, slowing closing and opening like bubbling magma. For sedimentary rocks, I slowly stack one hand on another, then repeat that motion simulating the layers of sedimentary rock. Then, I squeeze the hands together creating the rock. For metamorphic rocks, I squeeze my head between my hands and then simulate heat escaping my ears with my fingers twirling in the air.

    Steve Sublett

    1. Steve,
      These are all great gestures! I can see that they would be very helpful. Watch out for pesky editing errors "..I want to make sure student know" and "slowing closing and opening". Here are 20 certification points.

  32. In kindergarten much of the core knowledge for reading and writing focuses on whether a word is a “Red Word”, aka a Kindergarten sight word, or a “Green Word” a word you can figure out using phonics.

    Red word: the students hold up their hand like a stop sign and then use their index finger to tap their heads 3 times. This means “stop, you just have to remember me”.

    Green word: the students clap their hands together and then pull them apart slowly. This means, “stretch me” (say the sounds to read the word).

    In Mathematics we learn about composing and decomposing numbers.

    Composing: students make 2 fists and hold them out in front of them but separate and then hit them together (to show combining).

    Decomposing: students hold their hands in front of them like they are holding a stick and pretend to break it.

    1. Nichole,
      Great gestures! Here are 25 certification points!

    2. Can you tell I just document that I received the points or do I copy your post and save it into the document?

    3. Nichole,
      Copy and save the post and points into the document :)

  33. I have often used gestures in ESOL lessons to help my students understand what I´m saying. I have gestures for basic instructions like read, write, match, work together, listen, look, etc. For core terms, I normally have some kind of visual that I draw on the board, especially for the verb tenses.
    For gerunds pinch your nose. When you pronounce “ing” your nose should vibrate so pinching your nose will remind students of the /ng/ sound and that gerunds have an ing.
    To teach suffixes with a gesture mimic a robotic arm picking up the suffix and attaching it to the other hand. It would be fun to add robotic sound effects too.
    A gesture for the past tense could be pointing backwards over your shoulder. I always use this gesture to remind students to use the past form of the verb when talking about the past.

    1. Adrienne,
      Great gestures! I can see that this element of WBT will fit well with your subject! Here are 25 certification points!

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  36. Grade 2 Science:
    A force is a push or pull:
    Push: Pretend you are using both hands to push someone on a swing.
    Pull: Pretend you are playing tug o’ war. Use both hands on one side of body and pull.
    Motion: Put both arms bent in front of you. Rotate them around each other fast and slow. Arms go over and under each other.
    Friction: Rub hands together as if you are cold or as if you are rolling something between them.

    Scientific Method:
    Question: Raise shoulders up and down with hands beside you as if holding 2 trays.
    Hypothesis: Point to head and look as though you are thinking about something.
    Procedure: Say, “Step 1, step 2, step 3.” Put one finger up, then 2, then 3.
    Results: Put hands up to each side. Put palms up. Raise and low arms as you say, “What happened?” Look as if you are surprised to see something.
    Conclusions: Pretend you are writing on a clipboard. Look very serious and say, “Why did it happen?” “What do I wonder now?”

    Here are some gestures I do for word study:
    When there is a consonant before Y in a word. You have to change the Y to I and add es, ed, or ing.
    Use both hands and move them to show that something is coming before something else. Then put both hands up to make a Y. When you say change the Y to I quickly clap hands together above your head and make an I. When you say add ed , es and ing stick your head out and in for each letter you say. Push head in and out two times for ed and es, and 3 times for ing. Say ed, es, and ing in a low grunt.

    When there is a short vowel before a consonant in a word you have to double the consonant before adding ed or ing.
    Use one hand and push it down to the ground when saying short. Use the same before motion as above. Make fists and pump them both in front of you when you say double. Use your head and push it in and out when saying ed or ing. Be sure to say it in a low grunt.

    Suzanne St. Laurent
    Grade 2

    1. Suzanne,
      I love your word study gestures (with the grunt!). Great job! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  37. Ch. 12 Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    My students love Mirror Words. I can barely get the words out of my mouth and smiles spread across their faces. One of their favorite times to use Mirror Words is with math.

    Place Value- to show that each place is ten times bigger. Hold out all ten fingers to show the number ten. Cross your arms like an X in front of your chest to show “times.” Then shoot your arms in the air and bring them down to your sides like jazz hands to show “bigger.”

    Acute angles- take your forefinger and thumb and make the shape of a small V and say in a small, high-pitched voice,“It’s a cute little angle.”

    Obtuse angles- hold one arm out to your side, parallel to the floor and hold the other arm diagonally up in the air so that it looks like your holding your arms wide open. In a deep voice we say, “Obtuse!”

    Sometime when they have trouble staying focused, we mirror the definition for daydream. This is one of my students’ favorites. A daydream is when my mind wanders.
    The sign we use for day is to make the ASL sign for the letter “D” and say “A day” Then use your forefinger of both hands to draw the shape of a cloud above your head. Using both hands, point to yourself and say “is when my,” point to your head with both hands and say “mind.” Finally, with your fingers pointing outward, make small circular motions with your hands around your head and say “wanders.”

    Jackie Rabin

    1. Jackie,
      The daydream gesture is a great idea! Here are 25 certification points!

  38. In first grade, many big ideas are presented and taught to children such as time, money, addition, subtraction, and comparing numbers using greater than or less than. Utilizing WBT is a wonderful way to keep these ideas fun while reinforcing them in a way children can easily remember.

    While presenting addition (addends and sum), I like to hold my two hands out palms facing out, and bring them together to show that two addends are the numbers that you add together to get the sum. With the lower numbers I also use my fingers to represent the number (4+4=8)

    Subtraction is different I typically pull one or both hands behind my back to show the “taking away” aspect of subtraction. We had many, now some are gone, how many do we have left? Same as addition, I will represent the numbers using fingers.

    Teaching greater than and less than is particularly fun because you get to be the gobbling hungry alligator. I form my hand into the greater than or less than sign and pretend my hand is gobbling the bigger number. I also love using sound effects during this time NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!

    Time is also fun because we get to become a human clock. When we teach the o’clock both hands go straight above our heads together to show that the big hand is always pointing to the twelve when we say o’clock.

    Another gesture I like to use is when we talk about brainstorming ideas. I typically trace the outline of an imaginary thinking bubble around my head. “Today I want us to brainstorm ideas as to what would happen if Santa quit his job!” while saying the word brainstorm I would make the cloud to represent thinking to yourself.

    After we use that gesture, we have a think pair share. At this time students will bounce ideas off of each other and maybe come up with more My think pair share gesture is point to your head, cross your two fingers, and point to a partner. Children often love doing this because they like to point to each other and giggle.

    Finally, my last gesture is teaching the magic e! Magic e comes into a word and makes the vowel say it his name. So I like to wiggle my fingers in the air when we talk about magic e and then quickly point while saying “say his name”.

    1. Caroline,
      Great evidence of Funtricity in your gesture choices! Here are 25 points!

  39. Science Grade 1
    One of the units of study in our first grade class is New Plants. The children are tested on their knowledge of what plants need in order to grow. I would show the class the gestures for food, light, and water. This would make a great Triple Whammy sentence. The gesture for food could be pretending you are holding a spoon and feeding yourself. The gesture for light could be shading your eyes from the light. Moving your hands in a wave pattern in front of you could be the gesture for water.
    Another of our science units is called Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. The gestures for these are simple. For silt, rub your thumb against your next two fingers indicating that it is soft and very small. Pinching your thumb and next two fingers together can identify sand. The gesture for pebbles would be cupping your hand as if you are holding several pebbles in it.
    Our last unit in science is called Sunshine and Shadows. In order for the class to remember the three things needed to make a shadow, I would introduce gestures for each. I would use my gesture for light (used in the New Plants unit) of shading my eyes. I point to myself as a gesture for an object. I find that the class relates to the fact that they are the objects blocking the light. I tap on a wall or the floor for my gesture for surface. Again, this would make a great Triple Whammy sentence. So many uses for Whole Brain Teaching!!
    Liz Howard

    1. Liz,
      Great job using these in a variety of subjects! Adding the motor cortex will help them remember these terms so much longer, and help develop a better understanding as well! Here are 25 certification points and 10 bonus points for the extra gestures!

  40. For reading I use many different gestures to help students master reading skills.
    When we are reading together and I want my students to follow along and track I will say, “Tracking fingers up!” My students will say, “Tracking fingers up, yes!” They will then hold up their index finger to show they are ready to read.
    To indicate a noun the students say “noun” and hold up the first three fingers as they say “person, place, or thing.”
    To indicate a verb students say “a verb is a doing word” while moving each arm back and forth at the same time.
    Irish Brown

    1. Irish,
      Tracking fingers is a great idea! Oops~ double check the prompt (Coach B. requested that you make up new prompts that weren't in the book- verb was described in the prompt). Here are 10 certification points for your effort!

  41. In language arts, the students are frequently asked to support their answers. When we talk about supporting our answers, we remember it by saying “back up with details.” To go along with this phrase, we now pat our backs with both hands.

    We also have to summarize what we’ve read in language arts. When I taught summarization, I explained to my students that it means to give the short version. When we talk about summarizing, or giving the short version, we put our thumb and index finger close together as if we are saying that something is small.

    While studying story elements, we remember what the setting is by holding our hand above our eyes as if we are searching for something. This helps my students remember that the setting is a place and in a story we need to search for where the place is!

    Kasey Wicker

    1. Kasey,
      Great gestures! Simple and effective! Here are 25 certification points!

  42. There is a challenge in creating gestures for many of the various musical terms taught in a K to 5 music classrooms. The music vocabulary that can be taught is endless and different grade levels will be learning different terms. However there are a few essential “common core musical words” that are used in all grade levels. Below is my list of gestures that will help students remember the essential elements of music. Each word and gesture can be used in Oral Writing Activities at the end of class and during teach ok. These gestures can also be used during any Einstein Triangles comparing and contrasting exercise. Here are the words,

    1. Timbre – Timbre is an important word in describing how an instrument sounds. The quality of an instruments sound is very important. To make the gesture one should fold their arms in a capital “T” formation to show the importance of the word followed by their right hand clasping around their ear (as if they are eager to hear more).
    2. Tempo – The universal term for the speed of a song is a word used by every music teacher and musician in the globe, it is also why there is an importance for a gesture. To perform this gesture, move your arms like you are completing a marathon race.
    3. Dynamics – The universal term for how loud and soft has two major parts to it; forte means loud, and piano means soft. Often music teachers need to tell their students how loud or soft their students should be performing. This gesture should help. To perform the gesture students should hold one finger over their lip while their other hand is over their stomach like they are in a choir for the piano dynamics. For the forte level students will cup their hand around their mouth to make a megaphone while their other hand is over their stomach like they are in a choir.
    4. Composer – While talking about a composer or a piece of music, students in music classrooms can perform this motion whenever they say the word composer. Students will pretend to rub their fake composer bears while scribbling in the air with their other hand.
    5. Improvisation – To describe the art of improvisation (making up music in your head without reading any notation), students should move their arms like they are mixing a larger pot and then move their hands to their brains.

    -Jason Thomashefsky

    1. Jason,
      Great use of gestures and fantastic explanations of the words! I found myself making the gestures and pretending to be in your music class! Here are your 25 certification points and 5 magical bonus points!

  43. In first grade we do a Science Unit on Force and Motion. To help students recall key vocabulary terms, we came up with the following gestures:

    Force – As we say FORCE, we hold our hands out one on top of another as if we are holding a sword and bow forward (as in “may the force be with you”).

    Motion – For this word we put our hands out as if we are on a boat and it is rocking back and forth and we are trying to keep our balance.

    Push – Since the normal gesture for push is similar to our gesture for a period ending a sentence, we use both hands as if we are pushing someone on a swing.

    Pull – We put both hands out as if we are holding a rope and pull like we are playing tug of war.

    Gravity – We put our right hand on our right shoulder and left hand on our left shoulder and slouch down as if we are being pulled into the ground.

    Position – We place our hands one of top of another and position ourselves as though we are professional baseball players up to bat.

    Friction – The basic way we would have gestured friction is too similar to the gesture for the sight word “all” so we had to come up with something different. Our gesture for friction is to make a fist with both hands and turn them toward each other and put them together (as if they are moving against each other).

    ~ Heidi Treffert

    1. Heidi,
      These are very effective gestures! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  44. Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands, and Eyes

    1. Metamorphic Rock
    Teacher: Mirror, words (hands up)
    Class: Mirror, words (hands up)
    Teacher: Metamorphic Rock is created by heat and pressure. (Metamorphic rock is gestured by waving your fingers from out to in and meeting in the middle creating a circle with your thumb and fingers, heat is gestured by wiping your brow and pressure is gestured by pressing your hands together).
    Class: They then mirror with words and gestures just as the teacher has done.

    2. Division
    For my class division is a chop sign. I have used this quite often lately due to working with fractions greater than 1.

    3. Question Mark
    While working on sentence structure we came up with gestures for a period, exclamation mark and a questions mark. Period was a fist into the other hand, an exclamation mark was slapping your hands down at your side and standing up straight and a question mark was represented by a shrug of the shoulder with your hands out.

    1. Karen,
      I like the metamorphic rock gesture! Check out Coach B's latest Brainy posters (from last couple of webcasts - you can find them on the WBT website). He has some great posters for punctuation and more! Here are 25 certification points!

  45. I work a lot with my students on prefixes, suffixes, and base words. These are three concepts that they easily confuse. To help them distinguish between the three, I have always had them draw a box around the base word, draw a head under the prefix, and draw a tail under the suffix. I want to attach a gesture to each of these drawings, that will further enhance my students' understanding of these concepts. This is what I came up with for next year:

    For base word my idea is to start with both of your pointer fingers together in front of you. Then separate them and draw a box in the air, with both fingers meeting at the bottom of the box.

    For prefix my idea is to use your pointer finger and draw a circle around your face.

    For suffix my idea is to reach behind you with one hand as if grabbing a tail. Then pretend to slide your hand down the tail.

    1. Joyce,
      These gestures will add some FUNtricity to your affixes lessons! Here are 25 certification points!

  46. Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    Creating gestures for core knowledge was not a challenge for me. Apparently, I make gestures so often in the classroom, I was used to this aspect of Whole Brain Teaching. However, the challenge for me is to use the SAME gesture for a core concept every time. It was very helpful to have many words already created from the WBT website to use during my Language Arts block. I know there are math words as well, but I did end up creating a lot of these on my own because they just seemed to come to me as I was planning.

    Three gestures for Geometry:

    1. Congruent - Hold up one hand and say, "same shape." Hold up the other hand and say, "same size." Put hands together and clap three times with each syllable as you say, "con-gru-ent."

    2. Solid Figure - knock on desk (or whatever is closest to you; floor, wall, etc.) two times as you say sold. Then use your hands to make an imaginary air square as you say figure.

    3. Vertex - The point (make an air point with your finger) where the edges of a solid figure meet (The pointer finger will make a line horizontally. The pointer finger on the other hand will make a line vertically. Both fingers meet.).

    The next two words have become an important part of our Language Arts block.
    Two bonus words:

    1. Text Evidence: Open hands like a book until it lays flat. Leave on have lying flat. Take the other hand, make a fist, and gently pound it into your other hand (the text).

    2. Dig Deeper: Pretend you are getting ready to make mote for your sand castle. Take your hands and scoop the first layer of sand out. Now scoop a bit deeper. Third time scoop as deep as you can get.

    Heidi Baird

    1. Heidi,
      Fantastic! The Power Pix helped me stay consistent with my gestures for teaching core standards. Here are 25 points and a 10 point Bonus for the extra gestures! Wahoo!

  47. These three gestures come together to illustrate the process of breaking down and rebuilding land.
    1. Weathering– bumping fists together and then spreading fingers apart and wiggling.
    2. Erosion-moving wiggling fingers (weathered material) horizontally across body.
    3. Deposition-drop hands lower, spread flat, and stop movement.
    Since the actions above are ones I already use, I thought I should come up with something now, too. Here are some reading ones.
    1. Infer- hands out at head level, point to head, then burst outward (taking text clue and background knowledge, and coming up with your inference).
    2. Predict – finger “reads” across hand, point to heard, spread fingers and gesture outward (read text, combine with background knowledge, predict)
    3. Sequence – hold up one, two, three, ect. fingers in sequence
    Sheryl Larson

    1. Sheryl,
      Adding these gestures to Power Pix will really reinforce the meanings and help them have a deeper understanding! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus!

  48. I love making up gestures and sayings to help my students remember things. It is so exciting to see them during parent teacher conferences repeat the phrases and motions for their families.

    Expanded Notation – Expanded notation (clap hands together and then push hands out horizontally) is adding the 10’s (wiggle 10 fingers) plus (put arms perpendicular to each other so they look like an addition sign) the one’s (hold up one finger). This can also be extended when the numbers we are expanding have hundreds. You will say the whole thing but insert hundreds (draw a square in the air like the hundreds base ten blocks) and continuing with the tens and ones.

    Inference – An inference is reading between the lines. I found an equation for inferences which says the following: “What I read + What I know = What I infer.” When I ask students what an inference is they say “An inference is what I read (they hold their hands with the palms facing up and together like a book) plus (they put their arms perpendicular to each other so they look like an addition sign) what I know (they point to their brain) equals (they hold their arms parallel to each other and horizontal in order to make an equal sign) what I infer (they put on hand on their hip and put the other hand in the air).

    Symbol – This year we learned about American symbols. We learned that symbols are a picture that stands for a person, place, or thing. As students say the definition they hold up their hands in a square and use their pointer finger to pretend to take a picture. They stomp their feet to represent stand for. Then they point to themselves to represent person, point around them to represent place, and wave their hands wildly to represent a thing.

    Amber Hartzler
    2014 Intern

    1. Amber,
      Great job! I appreciate your attention to detail in your posts! Here are 25 certification points!

  49. Cause and Effect:
    I teach my students that the cause always occurs before the effect. With my fingers making a sprinkling motion above my head as if it is raining, I explain to my kids that the rain is the CAUSE. I then pretend to take out and open my imaginary umbrella, place one fist on top of another as if I am holding the handle, and sort of cast it towards my shoulder like I am holding the umbrella. I then explain that the EFFECT is I got my umbrella “beCAUSE” it was raining.

    Character Traits and Tone:
    I teach my students that by using the pictures in a story and/or carefully paying attention to the punctuation, we are able to better comprehend a story if we read with expression in our voice.

    Below are a few gestures I would make to match different character traits from a selected text:

    • angry – eyebrows are drawn together, arms are crossed, jaw is clinched, and the
    tone is grumpy
    • happy – eyes are wide open, eyebrows are raised, a big grin on my face, and the
    tone is cheery
    • sly – one eyebrow is cocked, rub my hands together very slowly as if I am up to no
    good, and the tone is very sneaky sounding
    • sad – eyes appear droopy, sniffling sound, mouth has a frown, and my tone sounds
    as if I am crying

    When teaching my students about the plot of a story, I use the example of a roller coaster to help them remember the beginning, middle, and ending parts of a story.

    • Beginning: We pretend that we are buckling our seatbelt and putting the lap bar
    down across our lap. We lean back and hold on to the lap bar as if we are slowly
    climbing uphill making a “ch ch ch ch ch” sound to represent the introduction of the
    • Middle: We take our hands and put them in the air as if we are making dips and
    flips to indicate that the middle of the story represents the exciting parts that lead
    up to the climax of the story.
    • End: We begin to hold our lap bar and pretend that the roller coaster is slowing
    down to demonstrate that the ending of the story explains how the problem was

    When teaching my students about the setting of a story, I point to my watch to help them remember TIME, and I place my hands over my head to form sort of a triangle to represent a rooftop to help them remember PLACE. These gestures help them remember that the setting of a story is the time and place it occurred.

    Kelly Avery
    2014 Intern

    1. Kelly,
      Super job! I could visualize these easily and I'm sure they will stick with your kids! Add some Power Pix and you've hit a homerun! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras.

  50. 1. In science, everything that we learn will come through our five senses. The gesture for five senses will be to take one hand and touch mouth, ear, nose, eye and then rub hands together. At first my kindergartens move slowly. As the year progresses, they will get pretty fast at it. I also use this during ELA when we are talking about sensory details in a story. I have then add an open book gesture to the end of the sequence.
    2. Another key concept in kindergarten is living and non-living. For living, they will hold their hands together over their hearts and make a beating motion as we take a deep breath and blow it out. For non-living we freeze like a statue. They think it is fun to “strike a pose”.
    3. In math, we talk about addition and subtraction second semester. With addition, I have the hold their arms in the air by their sides and then bring them together in front of their bodies forming a “+” sign. With subtraction, they start with their hands in front of their bodies and move one arm straight to their side in the air forming a “-“ sign.

    Kim Kirkpatrick

    1. Kim,
      Great gestures! Here are 25 certification points and 10 bonus for the extras.

  51. Chapter 12 – Mirror, Hands & Eyes

    Here are several gestures I used in my class last year:

    Making Connections: use index finger on each hand and link together, then reverse the link. (ASL for friend).

    Text to Text Connection: put your hands together like a book, slightly to your left, as you say ‘text’. Then close hands, say ‘to’, slide them slightly right and open them again, say, ‘text connection.

    Text to Self Connection: fold your hands open like a book in front of you, say, ‘text’. Bring both thumbs to point and touch your chest and say, ‘to self connection’.

    Text to World Connection: fold your hands open like a book in front of you, say, ‘text’. Stretch both arms open wide and say, ‘to world connection’.

    Inference: hold an imaginary magnifying glass up to your eye.

    Visualization: two hands up making binoculars around eyes.

    Questioning: tapping finger at side of chin.

    Author’s message: tapping side of head.

    Prediction: rubbing hands together.

    Motion Geometry
    Translation: students stand and slide foot either right or left as they say, ‘translation/slide’. Alternative: while sitting; first two fingers ‘standing’ on desk; one slides out and the other meets it as you say, ‘translation/slide’.

    Rotation: standing; pivot on one foot the degree of the rotation. Ie. ¼, ½, ¾, or full turn.

    Reflection: student stands and puts hands up to each side, similar to ‘mirrors’, and says, ‘reflection’.

    Solids: bang hand on table 2 times.

    Liquids: run fingers down in the air like rain.

    1. Bonnie,
      Fantastic job! Your gestures are clear and will help your students gain a deeper understanding! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

    2. Bonnie,
      The gestures for reading strategies are clever. I will be stealing them. I hope you don't mind. ;)
      Jim Hobley, Wholebrainer

  52. Chapter 12 – Mirror, Hands and Eyes.
    Since I am an administrator and not a classroom teacher, I get to go in and teach occasionally, hopefully as a model to teachers of some good WBT techniques. I recently taught a series of geography lessons in a third grade classroom. Here are some of the gestures we used to learn some new concepts:
    1. Physical Features. We learned that physical features are changes in the Earth’s surface. For hills we made a small “m” shape in the air and said, “Hills” quietly. For mountains we made a capital “m’ shape and said, “Mountains!!!” loudly. For rivers we made our hands wiggle through the air following each other while saying, “Splash, splash, splash!”
    2. For the map grid we made our hands parallel and moved up and down and then side to side and said “The map grid is imaginary lines that help us find places.”
    3. For lines of latitude we moved our hands sideways parallel to each other and said “Latitude lines run East and West”.
    4. For line of longitude we moved our hands up and down parallel to each other and said, “Longitude lines run North and South.”
    I find using gestures and verbalizing are a great way to remember concepts.
    Carl Rust

    1. Carl,
      Great use of gestures. The more places that students store information, the greater chance they have of recalling the information. You have made it possible to store this in a visual, kinisthetic form with the motions as well as a verbal and auditory when they say and listen. Great work! Here are 25 certification.

  53. Last year, I used gestures for addition and subtraction. Once I introduced them, the students mirrored me when I was giving directions for a lesson. At the beginning of second grade, there is a lot of review of these two operations. For the rest of the year, there is unending word problems with addition and subtraction, so these gestures are frequently used. I think it is important to use these gestures, especially in word problems because students often use the wrong operation in attempting a solution.
    For addition, the palms of each hand are squashed together, similar to the way you would do with play dough. The hands move together because addition is joining two numbers together.
    Subtraction has an opposite gesture. Starting with the tips of each finger together, as if you were gripping a piece of taffy to stretch apart, move the hands apart, since subtraction “takes away” from one number.
    While students are “teaching” their neighbors how to approach the word problems, they use because clappers to justify their thought of whether the problem requires addition and subtraction. There are peals of joy from teacher heaven while they gesture their way supporting their assertions.
    At the beginning of sustained reading, I remind students of expectations by encouraging them to read the whole time. The gesture for this is to hold your hands as if holding a book (read), then to stretch right hand across your left side of your body and slowly sweep it across to the right (the whole time) while you say “whoooooole time”

    Jim Hobley, Wholebrainer Novice 125 CPs

    1. Jim,
      Great job! Using the addition and subtraction gestures should be very helpful as they repeat them often, helping to keep the meanings clear! Here are 25 certification points!

  54. Core Knowledge Music General Education Classes

    Note names, symbol and values:

    Quarter Note - Make a circle with both hands while saying the note name and then show 4 fingers to show the value of 4 beats.

    Half Note - Make a circle with left hand and put your right hand on the side of the circle (making it look like the note) while saying the note name and then show 2 fingers to show the value of 2 beats.

    Quarter Note - Make a fist with left hand and put your right hand on the side of your fist while saying the note name and then show 1 finger to show the value of 1 beat.

    Tied Eighth Notes - With both arms bent up with elbows at your side, move left hand and then right hand out in a chopping motion straight out while saying the note names and then show a value of 1 beat. ( 2 eighth notes = 1 beat)

    Mitzi Emblidge

    1. Mitzi,
      Great job! I love to see how well the gestures can be used outside of the core classes! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Chapter 12: Mirror, Hands and Eyes

    Creating gestures for common knowledge is a common challenge in WBT. I would like to share five gestures that I have created to go along with core knowledge terms.

    In my third grade class, we use science notebooks to record information from our science experiments. The students need to remember the order in which to record the information. The following gestures will help them to remember the vocabulary words that go along with the scientific process.

    1. Focus Question-Put your hands up in a V shape and then bring them together and down toward your chest to show many ideas down to one question.

    2. Hypothesis- Use left pointer finger to point from head down toward paper to show that we are recording our predictions on paper.

    3. Procedure- Show numbers 1-3 on one hand to show the steps that we will take.

    4. Data- Use left hand to make an L like a graph. Then use right pointer finger to "record" points on the graph.

    5. Conclusion-Put both arms up in the air in a V shape with hands in fists as in "declaring victory."

    Hannah Palmer

    1. Hannah,
      Great job! If they can get these down, it will help them in upper grades as well! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras.

  57. 1.Months:
    January- make fingers wiggle slowly down like snow
    February- trace a heart with you finger over your heart
    March-march feet up and down
    April- hop two fingers on your hand like a bunny
    May- act like you are rocking a baby
    June- act like you are holding and reading the paper
    July- point fingers up in the air like fireworks
    August- pretend like you are fanning yourself
    September- join your hands over your head like a school roof
    October- open and close you hands quickly like you are saying boo!
    November- put your hands in your arm pits and flap like a turkey
    December- put your hands out in front of you making a big Santa belly
    2. Patterning-clap, snap, clap
    3. Sorting- pretend like you are picking things up and putting them into several piles
    4. Scissors- hold your had to the side with the thumb on top and pinky and ring finger down, mover your middle finger and index finger up and down touching your thumb like you are cutting with scissors
    5. Glue dot verses glue puddle: take your index finger and tap the middle of your other open palm for glue dot and the splat your hands together and slide for glue puddle

    1. Melissa,
      Your students will love learning with these gestures! Great job-here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  58. Using the Power Pix has been so helpful for my Mirrors and Hands and Eyes in class, but of course not every topic/concept is covered with those, so I have invented a whole slew of different gestures for those core concepts not covered! It is amazing to see my students remembering the definitions and gestures of these concepts many weeks after I’ve taught them! Here a few of the ones I use:

    1) Maximum- Students expand their hands way outward in an arch over their heads and say, “Maximum” in a very deep, slow voice.
    Definition- The maximum is the largest (hands spread out over their heads again) number in a set of data (holds one hand palm up, while the other hand chops in order from left to right on top of it).

    2) Minimum- Students squint their eyes, hold their thumb and index finger very close together, and say, “Minimum,” in a very quick, high-pitched voice.
    Definition- The minimum is the smallest (mimics gesture again) number in a set of data (holds one hand palm up, while the other hand chops in order from left to right on top of it).

    3) Ocean- Students make an up and down wavy motion with one of their arms.
    Definition- An ocean is a huge (spreads their arms way out) body of water (makes wavy motion).

    4) Factors- Students hold out their left hand palm up, then cross their arms in front of their chest (multiplication gesture), and then hold out their right hand palm up.
    Definition- Factors are the digits (both palms are held up at their sides while being wiggled) that are multiplied (multiplication gesture) together in a multiplication problem.

    5) Prediction- Students squint their eyes and tap on their forehead 3 times to the syllables of pre-dic-tion.
    Definition- A prediction is a good guess (tapping their forefinger to their forehead) about what (hold up hands with a questioning look on their face) might happen next!

    6) Infer- Students put their finger tips on their head and raise them upwards towards the sky.
    Definition- To infer means to make a good guess (tapping their forehead) based on the clues (miming looking through a magnifying glass) from the story (place both hands/palms together and then open them up like a book.)

    1. Brianne,
      These are clear and easy to mirror! Great job! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  59. In second grade, we spend a lot of time teaching place value using base ten blocks. Each base ten block can be demonstrated in a gesture. A single unit can be your pinky finger making a point in the air. A ten stick can be drawing a line in the air with your pointer finger. A hundred flat can be a square made using both thumbs and pointer fingers. A thousand cube can be a closed fist.

    We also teach number comparisons. Greater than can be your pointer and middle finger of your right hand making an arrow (you are looking at the symbol so the arrow opens to the left). Less than can be your pointer and middle finger of the left hand (you are looking at the symbol so the arrow opens to the right). Equal to can be both forearms parallel in front of your body with flat hands.

    Second grade also works on fluent reading in whole group reading and literacy groups. A fluent reader should sound smooth, make a wave in front of your body with a hand. A fluent reader should read quickly and steadily, move your arms at your sides like you are jogging. A fluent reader is also comprehending, wrap your palms on the sides of head like your brain is sucking up knowledge. These three movement together demonstrate a fluent reader.

    1. Veronica,
      Nice job! These gestures will be very helpful as your students work toward mastery of these concepts! here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  60. 5 Power Pix I've created for my class:

    1. Capacity: When teaching capacity (capacity is the amount of liquid a container can hold), we roll our hands and arms in front of us to represent waves for liquid, then we bring our arms and hands around to make a big circle (similar to a basketball goal) to represent a container.

    2. Volume: When teaching volume (volume is the amount of space an object takes up), we draw an object in the area and wave our hands around it (space and object), grab the air with our hands (take), and point both thumbs up in the air and move them over our heads (up).

    3. Formula for volume: When teaching the formula for volume (the formula for volume is b x w x h), we move our hand from left to right (base), hold fingers in one hand as if hold on to a stick of chap-stick (width), hold both hands together and bring one hand up high (height), then we all make a big “x” in the air with our arms to represent the multiplication operation.

    4. Inferences: When teaching inferences (inferences use our background knowledge and text clues), we tap on the side of our head (background knowledge), make a plus sign with our arms (for addition because background knowledge and text clues work together), and open and close our hands as if they are a book (text clues).

    5. Line Graph: When teaching line graphs (a line graph uses points connected by straight lines to represent data collected), we make a fist with our hand and move it from low to high (points on a graph) then make a straight line with our arm to show the dots being connected together.

    *I also have a lot of my students create power pix for the class and we practice as a class. I usually do a group of students on one concept and they teach the class as a group. They love doing that! :)

    Ellen Tucker

  61. I meant gestures, not power pix. -Ellen Tucker

    1. Ellen,
      I think it is a great idea to have your kids help make the gestures, they will "own" them, which will help with retention! You chose some great gestures to model each term, nice work! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  62. When I am in a need to create new memory gestures, my first steps leads to the American Sign Language dictionary. Many times, the gestures that ASL learners use are kid-friendly and, as an added bonus, the students are learning foreign language. However, the following gestures I created myself. ~ Monika Fridrich

    Gestures for four components of successful reading
    (CAFE Menu by The Daily 5 Sisters)

    Comprehension (draw a big letter C with your finger in the air) – I (use a pointer finger to point to yourself) understand (tap your right temple with your finger) what I hear (cup your ear) and read (using both palms pretend to open a book).

    Accuracy (draw a big letter A) – I (use your pointer finger to point to yourself) can read the words (pretend to point to each word as you say it). Note: Pointing to words while reading is probably the most important accuracy strategy for kindergarteners. It helps them track the words and identify differences between pictures, letters and words.

    Fluency (draw a big letter F) – I (use your pointer finger to point to yourself) can read (open palms to pretend opening a book) as quickly as (quickly move your right hand around) I talk (make a talking gesture with fingers and a thumb).

    Expend vocabulary (draw a big E) – I (point to yourself) can spy (use hands to make a pretend binoculars) and use (tap fist over fist as hammering a nail) interesting words (put a hand under your chin and make a puzzled face while swaying your head side to side).

    1. Monika,
      These are perfect to work in with your CAFE menu choices! I have used the ASL online dictionary too when coming up with difficult gestures, and that way the kids can watch the professional demonstrating it- lots of fun! Nice work! Here are 25 certification points and a 5 point bonus for your extra gesture.

  63. In my school learning objectives and closing are a focus in teacher effectiveness, I have witness students writing these goals, reading them aloud, turn and talk in a number of different classes, while I am not sure how effective these methods are I decided to bring in the WBT method to help. Now my students can recite our goal and closing any day, anytime to anyone, the administration giggles with approval every time!!

    For my GOALS:
    I CAN: thumbs proudly pointing/poking at upper chest.
    (any goal here: CONJUGATE): slap hand down in air then slide on an ending
    SO: big giant Y like in the song YMCA
    I CAN TALK ABOUT WHERE I GO!!: I can is the same, talk is talking with hands and where I go is fingers walking!

    I have a student set his device for 2 minutes before bell. He shouts and points to his wrist:
    the rest of the students: Mighty fist pump and shout OH YEA!
    two times
    Then we repeat goal together and share examples of how we met goal.

    I use the exact same gestures for our goals and closing every time. Now when an administrator ask my students their learning target I can see them acting it out from the front of the room, there is always a giggle and a nod of approval:)

    1. Rebecca,
      That is a fun way to include your learning objectives in your day! Here are 25 certification points!

  64. I like to use gestures in math. Three core knowledge terms I use gestures for are addition, subtraction, and equal. My first grade students often have difficulty differentiating between these symbols when writing their own number sentences. The motions help them when it comes time to work independently on paper.

    Addition: We talk about joining groups when we discuss addition. To drive this point home and relate it to the plus sign, we join our arms in a “t” shape in front of our faces.

    Subtraction: Subtraction is introduced by talking about taking groups apart. The motion for this concept is to place both arms horizontally in front of our face joined at the fists and then pulling them apart to break the “group” up. (We make sure we have plenty of room for this one! The elbows tend to fly. )

    Equals: The motion for this is simply to place one arm over the other horizontally in front of our face. The motions for addition and subtraction flow into this easily, which is important for seamless transition when acting out a number sentence.

    Before we create our own number sentences on paper, I have the students practice the motions until I feel confident they know what the symbols mean and how/when to use them. Once students have written out their number sentences, they become the teachers and lead the class in acting out their number sentences.

    Elisabeth Thompson

    1. Elisabeth,
      Allowing your little ones to become the teacher during math is a sure fire way for them to not only learn the concept inside and out, but to also feel confident and oh, so special! Win-Win! Here are 25 certification points!

  65. We use gestures sooooooo frequently! Where to start, where to start…
    1.) Prime Numbers- 1 finger (index finger) waving to our sides. We say, “prime numbers have exactly two fingers, 1 and itself” while waving and then moving them in front of our bodies when we say “one” and “itself”.
    2.) Composite numbers- 2 fingers (index and middle) waving to our sides. We say, “composite number have more than 2 factors” while waving and then make a circle gestures in front of our body when we say “more than 2 factors”.
    3.) Convert (as in converting measurement)- make a “c” with the right hand and hold left hand facing up. We say, “convert means to change from one unit to another unit.” We move the right hand “c” on top of the left hand palm when we say the definition.
    1. Transparent- hands up, palms facing, and waving forward (as if you are waving someone down an aisle). We say, “transparent objects let ALL light through.”
    2.) Translucent- hands in front of our face, palms facing us, and fingers interlaced with some spaces. We say, “translucent objects let SOME light through.”
    3.) Opaque- hands in front of our face, palms facing us, and no spaces showing. We say, “opaque objects let NO light though.”

    1. Shila,
      These are great! I will share them with our math teacher! I imagine your students love using these gestures (and have probably really learned to apply them)! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras.

  66. I teach language arts and social studies to sixth graders. Lately, we have been doing a lot of review for our standardized test that is coming soon.

    1. Author’s Purpose: When teaching Author’s Purpose (PIE), I use interesting and engaging gestures.
    Persuade-With big eyes, I use both of my hands to show the “come here” motion. I then put thumbs up, indicating that whatever I am persuading is so good!
    Inform- I use my pointer finger and shake it over and over then point to my head, indicating that something is super important and needs to be remembered.
    Entertain- I dance and snap my fingers indicating that I am trying to entertain!

    2. The Parts of Speech: Nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives
    Nouns- I point to myself, a desk, and make a “roof” over my head using my hands.
    Verbs- I dance, jump, read, walk, or sit. This is the easiest part of speech to show a gesture for!
    Adverbs- Adverbs are a little trickier because it is how you do something. When walking, I swing my arms around like I am walking gracefully. I also do slow-motion actions to indicate that I am slowly doing something.
    Adjectives- Adjectives are also difficult to gesture. To gesture adjectives, I will either point to myself then point to my mouth and do a sad or happy face to indicate that I am either a sad or happy girl.

    3. Geography: Prime Meridian, equator, longitude, and latitude
    Prime Meridian- To show Prime Meridian, I hold my arms from side to side, much like longitude, then use my fingers to show 0 degrees.
    Equator- To show the Equator, I hold my arms up and down, much like latitude, then use my fingers to show 0 degrees.
    Longitude- To show longitude, I hold my arms from side to side.
    Latitude- To show latitude, I hold my arms up and down.

    4. 5, 3, 1: This is a technique I use to see how well my kids think they understand something. 5 means they understand it and could teach it to the class, 3 means they understand it but could not teach anyone, and 1 means they don’t understand it at all. Before I teach something, I ask students to show me 5, 3, 1 on their fingers so I can gauge where they are at on a certain subject. I then do it after to see if they think they learned anything. My students show me this on their fingers and know exactly what I mean when I say 5, 3, 1.

    5. Last quarter we talked about Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and mythology. We read the book, “Black Ships Before Troy.” In the story, there were many different characters. After some time, it was difficult to differentiate between each character. It got so difficult that we started making gestures for the characters. Some of the main characters are Paris, Menelaus, Helen, Achilles, and Agamemnon. Paris was the prince of Troy, Menelaus was the king of Sparta, Helen was Menelaus’ wife, Achilles was a powerful warrior in the Trojan War, and Agamemnon was the king of Mycenae. Each had a pivotal role in the story.
    Paris- Paris played a huge role in the story. Our gesture for Paris was making a heart with both hands and putting them near or faces. Paris was in love with Helen, who was already married. Paris cared only about love throughout most of the story.
    Menelaus- Our gesture for Menelaus was making a pyramid above our heads to represent a crown. While they were doing this, they had a very angry face. He was angry because Paris stole his wife from him.
    Helen- Our gesture for Helen was taking our right hand and putting it over our foreheads as though we were a damsel in distress. She always needed saving throughout the story.
    Achilles- Our gesture for Achilles was grabbing our right ankles and limping. Achilles could be injured on any part of his body but his Achilles tendon. If struck there, he would die.
    Agamemnon- Agamemnon was a great warrior and was also a king. Our gesture for Agamemnon was putting our left hands on our chests and our right hands up in the air as though we were holding a sword.

    1. Hannah,
      You have done a wonderful job assigning gestures to important core vocabulary! I'm sure your students enjoyed mirroring those! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extra work!

  67. Congruent - means two shapes are same shape and same size (I'll make a circle with my thumb and index finger on both hands. Then I'll overlap the circles, and then I'll pull them a part.).

    Invertebrates – animals that don't have a skeleton (bending elbows inwards so arms are across body lace fingers together. While fingers are laced wiggly arms like a worm.)

    Tentacles – extra appendages that are flexible (stick arms out as if making a “T”, and then wiggle arms like an octopus)

    Flat surface - smooth area with no curves or bumps (close hands,without clasping or lacing fingers, parallel to the ground. Rub top hand over bottom hand twice)

    Edge – where two flat surfaces meet (one hand parallel to the ground, turn other hand vertical to ground, placing pinkies together. Hands should look like an “L”)

    Weathering – breaking down of the mineral (form an “L” with both hands, then connect thumbs to make a “w” as you say weathering. When you give the definition, turn the “w” in rain – put hands in air and wiggle fingers as you move hands downward.)

    Erosion – breaking down and moving from place to place (Using ASL make an “e” with one hand when you say erosion. When you give the definition, with your other hand pretend to move something from one side to the other side.)

    1. Megan,
      These are fun gestures and your students will love mirroring you as they learn their terms! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. I think it would be a natural to teach punctuation with gestures, but also to also add sound effects to the gestures. For example:
    1. A period - a quick, short thrust with the index finger along with the sound pwut.
    2. A comma - a little curve with index finger along with sound gkgkgk.
    3. Quotation marks - like a comma, only higher up and twice (gkgkgk gkgkgk.)

    O, how I wish I could take credit for these, but actually, I got them from Victor Borge's "Phonetic Punctuation."
    Well, I suppose I could add some punctuation that VB never got around to inventing.
    1. Semicolon - period (index finger, pwut) with a comma below it (index finger, gkgkgk)
    2. Apostrophe - like the comma, only higher up ( gkgkgk) - distinguished from the quotation marks which are also high up, but double ( gkgkgk gkgkgk).
    3. Parentheses - open with curved right hand (woop) close with curved left hand (woop). Note that from the students' point of view, this would go from left to right.
    4. Tilde - for punctuating those Spanish words out loud, make squiggle with index finger accompanied by high pitched (nyeh).

    I know it's a flight of fancy, but in my mind's eye, I see a group of middle schoolers picking up phonetic punctuation and using it in conversation. Maybe not, but it would be cool.

    Well, those ideas are based on someone else's creativity. I need to do some work on my own. How are these for a unit on astronomy?

    1. Sun - hold right hand up at head height, finger tips together, then give a little flourish and splay fingers like sunbeams.
    2. Planet - Hold left hand in front, like a loose fist, then touch right index finger to left hand large knuckle, circle fist with index finger & bring it back around to starting point.
    3. Comet - Hold left hand (head of comet) in a very loose fist in front of right wrist. Right fingers extended, but relaxed. Move comet across body and wiggle right fingers like a comet's tail.
    4. Star - With right & left index fingers pointing up, alternate thrusting them upwards.
    5. Moon - Use right finger and thumb to form a crescent shape at head height.

    Rats! I can't use those, because they're already taken. Each of those gestures come from American Sign Language (ASL) or signing. If we used those in class, the children might unconsciously learn significant portions of a language that would enable them to communicate with the hearing impaired.

    (As an aside, my second daughter and her husband have studied ASL in order to communicate with their children, none of whom suffers from hearing impairment. They use signing to talk to their children in noisy environments or when they do not wish to interrupt a conversation in progress.)

    Okay, let me try some purely creative gestures of my own for a lower elementary science level.

    1. Sky - Hands high, palms outward, fingers spread, moving expansively to the sides;
    2. Cloud - Hands sky-height, but cupped showing cloud shape;
    3. Rain - Hands start at sky height, wiggle fingers while bringing them down;
    4. Mountain - Hands start low and out to the sides, then come up to a peak;
    5. Stream - Both hands move across while moving fingers - flowing motion.

    The following gestures would not apply to all classrooms, but are something I could use in my own niche as a Christian teacher and preacher:
    1. God - Tips of thumbs and index fingers touching to make a triangle just above head height.
    2. Communion - Left hand palm up as if holding bread & right hand as if holding a cup;
    3. Heart - Right hand over heart;
    4. Evil/Devil - Index fingers like horns coming out of my head;
    5. Love - Cross hands over heart.

    1. Craig,
      What a great variety of gestures! Using the ASL signs is a perfect way to introduce our students to a second language while reinforcing the content vocabulary. I can email you Coach B's ebook "Whole Brain Teaching the Life of Jesus" if you'd like to have a copy. If you want it, send me your email address at Great job! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

    2. Thanks, Michelle. It was another case of not knowing where to stop. I have emailed you. Looking forward to seeing the book.

  70. Before we read our books, students usually brainstorm about the subject of the story. After the conclusion, they share their positive opinion with two gestures. If they did not like the book, they can give a thumb down. (The thumb down usually does not happen but is an option.)
    1) Brainstorm: Place your center three fingers gently on your temples to lightly massage them as you think. When you have an idea, make a pointer finger to show you have one idea. If you get another idea, place two fingers up, etc. Continue massaging your temples gently or pause until the teacher gives further instructions.
    2) When raising your hand to give your opinion of the book, if you favor the illustrations, hold up a pinky to represent the letter “I”.
    3) When raising your hand to give your opinion of the book, if you favor the text, hold up your two pointer fingers crossing to make a “t” for text.

    Regina-Champagne Babin

    1. Regina,
      Great job! These are 3 important reading strategies. Here are 25 certification points!

  71. In Spanish I use gestures for ALL vocabulary. There are 2 units that spiral throughout the curriculum from K-6th grade. Generally, I have my 6th graders visit my Kinders to teach the units on colors and weather using the following gestures as these gestures are universal in all of my classes.

    Rojo, red (clap out the syllables while speaking the word in Spanish)
    Verde, green (sway back and forth with hands in the air like tree branches)
    Azul, blue (wave fingers from top to bottom to simulate falling rain)
    Negro, black (cover eyes)
    Amarillo, yellow (make a circle shape over your head like the sun)
    Anaranjado, orange (join your hands together in the middle and slowly drag them apart while speaking the word)
    Café, brown (simulate sipping a cup of coffee)
    Blanco, white (outline a fluffy cloud with your hands)

    Weather vocab-
    Hace frio. It is cold. (Wrap your arms around yourself and shiver.)
    Hace calor. It is hot. (Fan yourself)
    Hace buen tiempo. It is nice out. (Two thumbs up, smiling)
    Hace mal tiempo. It is not nice out. (Two thumbs down, frowning)
    Hace llueve. Rainging (Wave fingers from top to bottom simulate rain)
    Nieve. Snow (Wave hands energetically like tossing snow and say with high energy)
    Hace sol. Sunny (make circle above head with hands to simulate sunshine)

    Bethann Barneman

    1. Bethann,
      You have chosen wonderful gestures, I can visualize all of them easily and I'm sure your students will find them very useful! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  72. A few math gestures:
    Area: Small circles with hand like you are washing the inside of the shape.
    Perimeter: Make a square with your index finger.
    Parallel Lines – Throw out your arm (straight) when you say “parallel”, Throw out your other arm (straight) when you say “lines. Make them look like railroad tracks.
    Perpendicular Lines – Make an L with your arms and then switch.

    Author’s Purpose:
    Persuade: Palms facing upward, bringing them in one-at-a-time
    Inform: Stroke your imaginary beard
    Entertain: Jazz hands

    Confederacy: Point down (to the South)
    Union: Point upward (to the North)

    Sentence Fragment: Chopping motion while saying definition … A sentence that’s been CHOPPED off!

    1. Courtney,
      These are so fun! I will be borrowing the social studies gestures! Here are your 25 certification points and 10 bonus points for your extras!

  73. I teach students (who have no previous knowledge of French) in French. I do not use translation because they would simply wait for the English translation making mastering the French language that much harder. I do, however, use a myriad of gestures and miming to ensure comprehension on the part of my students. Here are some of the gestures that I use:


    hello – wave

    happy – point to your face and draw/outline a smile with your index finger

    sad -- point to your face and draw/outline a frown with your index finger

    so-so – hold hand out palm down in front of you, arm bent at the elbow, tilt hand to the left and the right (pivoting on middle finger)

    here – using index fingers from both hands, point vigorously to the floor

    hot – using one hand, fan yourself

    cold – hug yourself and shiver

    sun – round your arms and reach hands up over your head (arms are making a circle shape around your head)

    moon – make the circle shape of the sun and then collapse one of your elbows towards the other to make a crescent moon shape

    wind – hands over your head, sway your arms back and forth

    rain /snow— hands over head, wiggle your fingers as you lower your hands

    foggy – with elbows parallel to shoulders, place hands in front of face, wiggle your fingers as you slowly separate hands to reveal your face

    cloudy – arms over your head, draw/outline a cloud shape with your hands


    read/ a book – hands together, fingers straight, open hands keeping pinky fingers together, close and open several times

    wash hands – wring/rub hands together as if scrubbing them

    eat – place thumb, index and middle fingertips together and move them close to your mouth


    walk – make a walking motion with index and middle finger on the back of opposite hand

    jump – make a jumping motion with index and middle finger on the back of opposite hand


    plants – extend one arm across your body, parallel to the floor (this is the ground), place the other hand in between your body and your arm and slowly snake it upward perpendicular to the first arm (this is the plant growing)


    heavy – clasp hands together and suddenly lurch forward/down as if someone had just put something extremely heavy in your hands

    even, equal – arms bent at the elbows, hands extended out in front of you, move hands as if they are a scale balancing until they are even

    count – hold up one hand and mime counting the fingers with the other hand


    house – upper arms at your side, bend at elbows and have finger tips meet together in a point (like a roof line)

    Santa Claus – draw/ outline a large belly


    Bien lire et Aimer lire (translation: Read well and like to read) -- I use this as my letter/sound/pre-reading program. It assigns a gesture for every sound (not every letter) in the French language. We use these gestures regularly when trying to identify/ remember words, blend sounds, identify sounds in words, reproduce sounds, etc.

    1. Christina,
      What a fun way to tie in teaching a foreign language to WBT! Adding content words, such as in your Language Arts example, will be very helpful as they master learning to read! Here are 25 certification points and 5 point bonus!

  74. 1. Addition: with my hands by my side, I move my fists up in front of me a tap my fist together
    2. Subtraction: with my fist side by side in front of me, I move them away from one another down to each side.
    3. Consonant: Using ASL for the letter C- I make a “C” and raise it in front of me in a slow circular motion.
    4. Vowel: Using ASL for the letter V- I make a “V” and raise it in front of me in a slow circular motion.
    5. Digraph: show one fingers on each hand. Move your hands together and say “a digraph is two letters that go together and make one sound.” Your hands should end up with your fingers joined into 1 larger lumpy structure.

    Jana Greer

    1. Jana,
      These will be effective! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  75. Core Knowledge Gestures

    EXPLAIN – use hands to mimic pulling a rope toward you to signify “give me more” information

    USE A SENTENCE FRAME (complete sentence) – each hand forms a pinching shape with all fingers resting on thumb. Hands meet in front of body and pull away from each other as though stretching taffy.

    DIVIDE – use hand to chop!

    EDIT – I use the acronym COPS for editing
    C – capitals – arms raised high above head
    O – order – 1,2,3 silently counted off with hand
    P – punctuation – jab finger into a point to represent a period
    S – spelling – hold left hand as a notebook and use right hand to scribble notes

    REVISE – Raise arms in a body builder pose of strength to mimic ARMS acronym for revision.

    PARAPHRASE – use hands to form parentheses to indicate when students need to put things in their own words

    Traci Katz

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    3. Traci,
      (my computer was having issues there!) I like your gesture for "explain"! These will all be simple and effective! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  76. I have used the following three gestures during math for several years and the students love them:

    Add= students cross arms in front of them in an addition sign
    Equals= students place arms horizontally in front of them, one arm over the other
    Measure= students hold up the left hand, facing it sideways. They then tap the middle of the left hand with the right hand pointer finger and then pull away from the left hand. (Like pulling out a measuring tape.)

    1. Susan,
      Nice job! Here are 25 certification points!

  77. Gestures are my life. I have been using 'college talk', and the Genius Ladder gestures and am obsessed. Last year Biffytoon gestures proved to be an awesome learning tool and 22/24 kids learned 140 sight words!!!
    For the calendar we implemented gestures for the months of the year..
    January... brrrrrrrr gesture
    February..... Heart w/ hands
    March.... leprechaun prnace
    April... rain
    May... grow like a flower
    July.... fireworks
    August... sun
    September... book
    October.... monster
    November.... gobble gobble
    December... ho ho ho santa

    We also added a few for literacy..
    Synonym-hands together
    Antonym- hands far apart.
    Letter- 1 finger up
    Word- hands apart
    Sentence- hands far apart.
    Long- hand coming out of mouth far away from body
    Short- hand comes out fast and short ways from mouth

    1. Wendy,
      These are going to be fun for your little ones! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  78. Reflection #9
    Chapter 12
    Juliann Caveny

    In my room, I use a mix of ASL (American Sign Language) and invented gestures to reinforce key ideas. I also provide a mini-copy of a Q/A sheet (more detailed than a power-pix) for students to attach in their interactive notebooks. (I plan to do the same with power-pix when we start them.) The bold terms are used in the following scripts but also used throughout the year.

    A few gestures I have used to help students better understand SUMMARIZING (two hands open, shoulder width apart and then grasp, closed fists, placed one on top of the other as if taking a large idea and making it more condensed) are in the script as follows:

    We use WORDS (pinch small boxes) and CLUES (hold up a magnifying glass) to answer 5Ws WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, (count/name on one hand) and 1H- HOW (shrug shoulders) questions to construct a PARAGRAPH (make a big box in the air) using our OWN WORDS (tap finger to lips).

    A PARAGRAPH is constructed of COMPLETE (flip open hands out from body, like "I'm done with this") SENTENCES (pinch thumbs to forefingers, hold close together and then draw apart as if pulling a string longer and longer.)

    When reviewing Nonfiction and Fiction, I use the following gestures:

    Writing that is FICTION (brush finger across nose) tells an original, IMAGINATIVE (make thinking balloons with fingers above head) story. Typically, it is read in order and has a clear BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END (point to left, center and right). Most fiction is read for ENJOYMENT (do the wave).

    NONFICTION (finger from lips outward) provides FACTS (ASL "x" --crooked index finger--on hand facing audience) and gives information. NONFICTION (finger from lips outward -- opposite gesture of "quiet") answers QUESTIONS (air question mark) to find out INFORMATION (pantomime digging or scooping with one hand into/across the other)

    1. Juliann,
      Excellent gestures! I like your fiction and nonfiction choices! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras!

  79. Fact Family
    Make a triangle with your pointer fingers and thumbs of both hands then move hands from side to side in a circular shape like the numbers are trading places.

    Expanded Form
    Pretend to grab something out of the palm of one hand, stopping a various intervals then pulling more out like stretching it out to its fullest.

    Equal To
    Hold both hands out in front of you and pretend to weigh two things moving the hands up and down. Settle with both hands even.

    1. Geni,
      Nice job! Here are 25 certification points!

  80. 1. Super Reader (mirror)
    I am a super reader! (hands on hips)
    I looook at the words! (hands form binoculars around eyes, bend at waist and look around room)
    I check the first letter clue! (Hold up one finger)
    I ask “Does that make sense?” (hand on either side of head and waggle head back and forth)
    I sooooound out the words! (hand to ear, bend at waist and listen around the room)
    Because I am a super reader! (hands on hips)
    And I love to read! (interlaced fingers mimic heart beat over heart)

    2. Super Writer (mirror)
    I am a super writer! (hands on hips)
    I use uuuuuupper case (stretch hands up to tiptoes)
    And loooooower case letters. (bend down to the floor)
    I remember spaces (clap syllables to spaces)
    And letters with tails. (wiggle bottom)
    I never forget punctuation (punch fist forward)
    Because I’m a super writer! (hands on hips)
    And I love to write! (interlaced fingers mimic heart beat over heart)

    3. Problem Solver (mirror)
    Wee-oh wee-oh wee-oh! (mimic Minions ambulance voice)
    We have a problem! (hands on cheeks and gasp)
    Take out your big thinking cap! (place a large imaginary hat on your head)
    Did we use the classroom? (turn in a circle)
    Did we ask a friend? (high five partner)
    Did we try something else? (hold up two fingers for “take two”)
    Okay, phew! Problem solved! (clapping “clean up” hands)

    1. Catherine,
      What a fun idea! They will have fun chanting these in rhythm and adding the gestures~ here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for all the extra gestures!

  81. 1. Plant parts- Roots (sit in their seat and wiggle their feet down toward the ground), Stem (They will stand straight up), Leaf (Hold one hand on their hip), Flower (They will make a circle around their face with both hands and smile).
    2. Apple- They will put their hands together for the core or inside. Put two fingers up (from the core) and wiggle them for the seeds. Hands straight for the stem, left hand out for the leaf, and brush their hand for the skin.
    3. Whole- Both hands clasped together for the whole. Bring down the hands to the two corners like you are making an invisible triangle for part and part.
    4. Volume of their Voices- Outside voice (open mouth wide and silently scream while waving both hands above the head), Partner voice (high five your partner), Whisper voice (place once finger over your lips).
    5. Vowel teams- The class will have two fingers air walk and then raise one finger for the first vowel does the talking.
    6. High Frequency Words- water (move hand from side to side like water flowing), house (hands above the head like a triangle, picture (click the camera button in front of their eye like they are taking a picture).
    7. Fish parts- Eyes (point to their eyes), mouth (suck in their cheeks to make fish lips), fins (put both hands together and extend their arms, move the arms like they are swimming), scales (touch the outside of the arm and move it from their elbow to their wrist), gills (point to their neck).
    Charisse Norton

    1. These are great, Charisse! Would love to be in your class using these fun gestures!! Here are 25 points and a 10 point Bonus!

  82. In Social Studies I use a lot of gestures to teach definitions.
    Urban: Arms held up in a touchdown motion to symbolize the skyscraper buildings.
    Definition: An urban community is a city, like Dallas (we live in a suburb of Dallas). There are tall buildings, skyscrapers, and a lot of noise. Urban!
    Suburban: Arms in an upside down V over your head like a rooftop.
    Definition: A suburban community is outside of the city. People often live in houses that are close together. We live in a suburban community.
    Rural: Arms begin bent by your chest, elbows out. Move arms wide in a circular motion, spreading arms into a wide T.
    A rural community has a lot of open space. This is farm land. Neighbors are not nearby.
    Autobiography: Make the symbol for book by pressing two hands together in front of you then open as if opening a book, then make the “me” symbol by pressing right hand into your own chest.
    Define: An autobiography is a book about a person written by the person it is about. A book by me about me would be an autobiography.
    Biography: Make the symbol for book by pressing two hands together in front of you then open as opening a book, then point towards a student and then another student.
    Define: A biography is a book about a person by a different person. If I write a book about ______ (student’s name) that would be a biography.

    Kimberley Nixon
    2nd grade

    1. Kimberley,
      Excellent gestures!I like your suburban and rural gestures - they will have fun with those! (We always said ruuuuuuural ~sounding like a cow mooing in a field to help them remember lol). Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus for the extras.

  83. Tonya Hackett
    The following are four common core math standards expected of my students. In addition to helping teach vocabulary, these sayings and actions help my students know what the lesson objective or “I can” statement is.
    1) Common Core Standard 4.NBT.1
    I can recognize that in a multi-digit whole number, (slide right index finger over all the knuckles on a closed left-handed fist) a digit in one place represents ten times (flash 10 fingers) what it represents in the place to its right. (with right index finger and a closed left-handed fist, rainbow-point from fisted middle knuckle to index knuckle)
    2) Common Core Standard 4.NB.3
    When rounding numbers, (point with both index fingers, roll on a pretend horizontal number line to opposite ends) find the benchmarks. (make muscle arms, one at a time) Look for the mid-point. (look straight up) Mark the actual. (form an X with both arms) Which one is it closer to? (Look at both benchmarks making the muscle arms again)
    3) Common Core Standard 4.NF.1
    Equivalent fractions (one forearm on top of the other) are the same size (show hands as if holding something) of the whole (make hands appear to hold something bigger) even if the parts are smaller than (fingers holding something small) or bigger than. (enlarge fingers)
    4) Common Core Standard 4.NBT.5
    Multiplication (make a large x with both arms) is really the same number (tap right hand two fingers on left hand two fingers making the number symbol) added (make a cross with both arms in front of body) many, many, many times! (dancing disco fingers)

    1. Tonya,
      These are wonderful! I love the "disco fingers" in multiplication! Here are 25 certification points and a 10 point bonus!

  84. The 3 gestures for core knowledge from the ‘Scottish Curriculum for Excellence’ that I have chosen to create gestures for are all in the social studies section:
    • evidence,
    • artefact,
    • significant individual

    SOC 1-01a: I understand that evidence varies in the extent to which it can be trusted and can use this in learning about the past.

    I would begin this aspect of the curriculum with a lesson based around the question: “What is evidence.” My gesture for evidence would be: hold an imaginary magnifying glass and search for clues. My answer would be, “Evidence is something which gives us information about what happened in the past.”

    SOC 1-02a: By exploring places, investigating artefacts and locating them in time, I have developed an awareness of the ways we remember and preserve Scotland’s history.

    I would begin this curricular area with the question, “What is an artefact?” My gesture for artefact would be: hold out your left hand as if holding a precious object and then sweep your other hand round it with the palm facing upwards like someone presenting something beautiful on a shopping channel. My answer would be, “An artefact is an object from a particular time in history.”

    SOC 1-06a: Having selected a significant individual from the past, I can contribute to a discussion on the influence of their actions, then and since.

    My first question for this curricular area would be, “What is a significant individual?” My gesture for significant individual would be: stand with your head held high and your arms crossed trying to look as significant as possible. My answer would be, “A significant individual is someone who did something important in the past.”

    Quentin Dalrymple
    3/4th grade
    Perthshire, Scotland.

    1. Quentin,
      Great ideas! They are simple to execute and will be easy for your students to remember! Here are 25 certification points!

  85. Nicole Desrosiers Weare, NH

    I created these three core knowledge terms during this last school year. It was my first time using Power Pix or my own vocabulary/gestures with students. It was amazing to watch as my students learned and retained our valuable information.

    #1: Question? What is an ant?
    Answer: An ant is an insect with a head, thorax and abdomen.
    (As students recite the answer to the question they begin with palms clapped together and then move the right hand away from the left as they say each body part of the ant as if they are building the ant piece by piece.)

    #2: Question? What is a cirrus cloud?
    Answer: Cirrus clouds are the highest clouds and are light and wispy.
    (As students recite the answer to the question they hold their hands up above their head and draw wispy tails in the air.)

    #3: Question: What does it mean to subtract?
    Answer: When we subtract we compare two numbers.
    (As students recite the answer to the question they hold both palms facing up towards the ceiling, then they will move hands up and down as if they are weighing items in their hands to show that they are comparing.)

    1. Nicole,
      Nice job, these will be very helpful as they review the terms! Here are 25 certification points!

  86. Teacher: Mirror
    Students: Mirror
    Teacher: Now, mirror my gestures. Today we are going to talk about right angles. (Left arm straight out and right arm straight up beside my head) Tell your partner what we are going to learn today using gestures! Teach!
    Students: Okay! (Students will be using the same gestures as the teacher to teach their partner.)

    Teacher: Mirror
    Students: Mirror
    Teacher: Now mirror my gestures. Today we are going to learn about expanded form. (Start with hands in front, stretching arms out as far as they can go. Use emotion when you are stretching.) Tell your partner what we are going to learn today using gestures! Teach!
    Students: Okay! (Students will be using the same gestures as the teacher to teach their partner.)

    Teacher: Mirror
    Students: Mirror
    Teacher: Please mirror my gestures. We are going to learn about 180 degree angles. (Arms should be straight out beside the body, moving your body side-to-side.) Tell your partner what we are going to learn today using gestures! Teach!
    Students: Okay! (Students will be using the same gestures as the teacher to teach their partner.)
    Katlen Downey