You know those days when the noise is just non-stop? There doesn't seem to be anything in the world you can do or say to make the little angels stop talking at an incredibly high decibel? Well, I of course have my most talkative class (4th grade) the last class period of the week. They can completely drive me insane. But at last, I have been given a miracle! I suddenly stopped everything as I was passing out their supplies and told them that today they were allowed to communicate with each other, but they were not allowed to use their voices. Anything else was fine. It became absolutely silent and they were working! They had to ask each other for specific supplies so they were writing, pointing, mouthing, whatever else it took. And they had to ask me the same way and I responded silently as well. It was hysterical. They loved the challenge and afterward they really noticed how much more they got done because they weren't spending all their time tal!
king. (I just walked around thinking, "I can't believe they fell for it!") We even decided that occasionally we'll have a "Silent Friday" and try to develop (appropriate) visual symbols to better communicate! Wow!