It took me long enough to take up the advice from my teammate Maren and make a visual for the epic "STOP" I like to do with my hand when I'm teaching guided reading. The interruptions had become such an issue that I was literally putting up my palm every 4 minutes. I did enough modeling, guiding and releasing to teach elephants to not interrupt that valuable small group time...but first graders? Apparently not. Enter The Stop Sign.
Ridiculously simple, but incredibly effective. First graders will obliviously talk to the hand; they just don't seem to get this rude and abrupt social cue. Use the universal stop sign and they will hang their heads and immediately turn back around.
The tape looks a little tacky on this one, and so does the ruler it's stuck to. But it works wonders.