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  • 1.  What are some important nonverbal clues?

    Posted 05-11-2017 03:23 PM
    Recently I met a student teacher and was told by another teacher that when he's thinking – that he frowns. He was told that this makes others, especially children, think he's mad at them.He is trying to change this upsetting habit by consciously raising his eyebrows and smiling a bit. That started him wondering if there are other non-verbal cues that he should be aware of, and how can he use non-verbal cues to contribute to peaceful communication for children and adults?

    Marilyn Shelton

  • 2.  RE: What are some important nonverbal clues?

    Posted 05-12-2017 06:46 AM
    In my classroom we often used a quiet "thumbs up" to acknowledge something positive and it was great to see how quickly the children used this to communicate not only with staff but with each other as well :-)

    Another thing that we did was to implement a thematic unit about facial expressions and other body language. Using photo's, games, even gross motor activities discussion was opened for the children to be able to understand that different people use different ways to show how they feel. I am in training to become a Therapy dog Handler and I have a "special" in mind where I will bring the dog in and teach the children how dog's communicate. This is 2-fold...can prevent a bite, and is a great way to introduce different ways we humans communicate without using words.

    Karin King
    Trumbull CT

  • 3.  RE: What are some important nonverbal clues?

    Posted 05-13-2017 05:17 AM
    I began using some ASL- based signs (sometimes modified to our purpose) when I had a couple of hearing impaired students, and I discovered that all the students learned and began using them quickly. Both students and teachers found them especially useful as non-verbal (and non-distracting) reminders during group times, or at other times when we should be quiet or not interrupt. Soon, students would use them to remind one another .... We used the ASL sign for the letter "R" to signal "respect" (as in "be a respectful listener"). We used the ASL sign for "sit" as a reminder to sit down; the "L" sign beside your ear to remind someone to "listen";  the sign for "toilet" ("T" sign with wrist twisting back and forth) to ask to go to the potty. Students are encouraged to use the flat palm up, along with the words, to firmly tell someone to "Stop!"  Once those caught on, students eagerly learned to use the ASL signs for "more, please" at snack time, and signs for "please," and "thank you." You can learn ASL signs at, and other sites.

    Tina Charney
    Suumit School of Ahwatukee
    Phoenix AZ

  • 4.  RE: What are some important nonverbal clues?

    Posted 05-13-2017 08:10 AM
    Hello Everyone!

    What a great discussion thus far! Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention!!

    In my classroom (which is considered to be general ed), I have utilized many different types of nonverbal clues. I would also like to add here that I try my best to be more conscious about student cultures as well. I have utilized starting from, a written note, indirect eye contact, a gentle and quick hold on one's shoulder (after given permission from a parent as well as administration), holding an ear (it could be right or left depending on student's comfort level), holding up a certain number by hand (typically below number 5), placing a picture card that demonstrates certain type of behavior (positive or nonpositive), and many more!

    In my opinion, this is a great way to communicate and develop positive rapport with our students. This allows an additional opportunity/way for us to continue conversations with our students, without getting overwhelmed. It does require some preparation, but with student input,  this can turn into great conversation as well as way for educator to maintain positive rapport with our diverse student population.

    Ankit Shah
    Educational Academy for Boys and Girls
    Columbus OH

  • 5.  RE: What are some important nonverbal clues?

    Posted 05-15-2017 02:37 PM
    I recommend using real American Sign Language signs in the U.S. or the native sign language wherever you are. I think it is not a great idea to modify the signs because they are part of a real language that students should be able to use outside of school or for the rest of their lives. I think signs are great for bringing together children who speak different languages. While speaking any language, adding the sign helps anyone know what's being said. But, I hate the thought that someone thinks they could tell you how your face should look when you are thinking!

    Karen Nemeth
    Language Castle LLC
    Newtown PA