Kindergarteners are an enthusiastic bunch. Whenever a question is asked, hands go up, arms start waving, and grunts and other unpleasant noises can usually be heard. God forbid a sprout needed, oh say time or quiet, to think, they’d never get either.

Last year, in a last ditch effort to offer those who needed a little peace and quiet to think some of both, I devised, on the fly I might add (my best ideas come to me that way…), a way for everyone to get the time they needed to think. I don’t have a name for it, but here is how it works.

After I ask a question, children take their index finger and tap it on their chin. This signals ‘thinking’ – it’s nice to look around the room and see all those fingers tap tap tapping away. When an answer formulates, they simply move the finger from their chin to the temple of their forehead. The entire movement is silent and I can quickly see who is still thinking and who is ready with an answer.

Whenever we do a group sharing activity, I model it myself and, naturally, they all want to copy me. Calm, peaceful thinking is always good to see.