16 Ways to Teach Learners to Raise Their Hand to Ask a Question

Are you looking for ways to teach students to raise their hand to ask a question? If so, keep reading.

1. Provide mobility to be regularly near the student when they display appropriate attention-seeking behaviors (e.g., hand-raising).

2. Make sure the student knows when it is acceptable to interrupt others (e.g., in an emergency).

3. Prior to beginning a learning experience, make sure the student knows the rules (e.g., wait quietly until the teacher can help, work quietly at your desk, etc.).

4. Get the student to raise their hand to question any directions, explanations, and instructions they do not understand.

5. Select a peer to model raising their hand when appropriate for the student.

6. Connect with parents to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for raising their hand when appropriate at school.

7. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., raising their hand for teacher assistance) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

8. Create classroom rules: • Complete every assignment. • Complete assignments quietly. • Request assistance when needed. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

9. Praise the student for raising their hand when appropriate based on the number of times the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of times required for reinforcement.

10. Converse with the student to explain (a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., talking out, engaging in a behavior without raising their hand to get permission, etc.) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., raising their hand for permission to speak, or move about the room, etc.).

11. Make sure that reinforcement is not provided for unacceptable behavior(e.g., paying attention to the student only when they blurt out answers without being called on).

12. Praise the student for raising their hand when appropriate: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

13. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

14. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

15. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

16. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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