Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dazzling Discipline

Today, I'm blogging from the amazing Artie and Denise Music Symposium in Branson, MO. This conference is 3 days of diverse workshops for the elementary music educator. It's so wonderful to connect with fellow teachers and share new resources, as well as tried and true favorites. Also, "The Bulletin Board Lady," Mrs. King is here! She is leading a session all about workstations. HOORAY! I can't wait to hear all the fun ideas she has. Check out here blog here: Mrs. King's Music Room

Anyways, back to discipline. I am linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for a linky party all about discipline. My first year, my principal said I was one of the best first year teachers he had seen with discipline. I took that as a huge compliment, but the students have risen to the challenge the last two years. To encourage them, have a positive learning environment and hold them responsible, I've added a few new tricks to my bag. A couple of these ideas are going to be things I'm tweaking for the fall as well. Enjoy!

If you have followed my blog and lesson plans, my classroom is very active. Rarely, and I mean rarely, are my students sitting for the majority of class. We do active listening, dances, singing games, instruments, etc. I hope to start using centers in the fall as well. I have had numerous comments from staff, parents and the students that music has completely changed. They are more active and "injured" in music class than in P.E. They are having fun and enjoying music - something that wasn't really the norm for many years before me. This speaks to my philosophy of music. If the students are active and having fun, the behavior problems and wiggles go down. Granted, we constantly go over boundaries and guidelines throughout the year, but the students always come in being ready to learn and move around somehow. Some days, it's hard to keep up with them! 

I can't remember who I got this from (Pinterest somewhere for sure!), but I love the idea of year-long seating charts. I do the traditional ones for primary kids, but it takes forever to do 4-5 seats charts per class per grade each year. With 5 classes of each grade, it's a doozey! Anyways, I found this idea for my older students and I've really enjoyed using it. I have their beginning of the year and "sub" spots always in my binder. However, by October, I give them somewhat of a choice. Each row is a color (red, green or blue). Out of my cup, they pull a popsicle stick each day. Whatever color they draw, they can sit in any seat in that row. If they get the lucky music note stick, they can sit anywhere. They expect this every day and even have to remind me! If it's a problem, though, they go back to that beginning of the year chart for the rest of the year. They will get on each other about it! It's hilarious! I've seen other teachers do similar things with numbered spots, shapes, etc. Try it out - I was pleasantly suprised!

I have several students that need to take breaks in music to be successful. It is also the second step on the behavior chart for the room and most classrooms. With my younger students especially, they like to wiggle and pick at things when they have to sit out. It bugs them and they beg to come back in! Still, I found this free sign from Music and Technology to use for a rest area. I already have mine in black and white, posted on red cardstock and laminted. There will be one on each side of the room in the fall. Hopefully this method works out a little better and gives the students a preview to the different pictures of "rest." Here is a preview of her picture:

I make mistakes in the classroom. It's a given! If I joke, they joke. I also love having fun and being silly. I try to create that bond with all of my students. When the students respect you and know you are human (gasp!), they work hard in your class. They also know that if I'm not happy because of behavior, then something is really wrong. I am normally always happy, so that's bad news bears! When the humor is gone, it means business or their fun activity is taken away. In the end, when the kids are happy and I am happy, there's less distraction, outbursts, idle hands, etc.

I thought I would share a fun behavior trick I learned just this morning - the laser pointer! I feel like a dork saying this, but the light bulb came on this morning. Our district is very active with technology. I don't have a smartboard, but when I am running the projector or the students are working, I have to be up in front away from them. If we are reading music off the screen, board, or doing dances, I have to keep running back and forth to the projector. In doing so, the kids get disruptive or those two cherubs in the back began goofing around (yes "cherubs" is used lightly, ha!). The result is a disruption and loss of learning time. Enter, the laser pointer! Artie Almeida used her laser pointer all the time today! She could instruct the sessions, help with dances, instruments, etc. and still keep everyone on track. This would really help me when I need to separate Steve and Jimmy (examples only!) or help Donna learn how to handjive, and so on. I'm pretty sure I ordered a laser pointer and interactive mouse in my end of the year supply order. Fingers crossed - I can't wait to use this!

I've loved looking at other blogs that have already linked up. So many great ideas - you can never have enough different strategies for behavior! If you are in the Branson area, you really should check this conference out. It's only day one and the resources are endless. What are your thoughts on discipline? Have you tried any of these strategies before? I am always open to more ideas and suggestions. It's only the end of year 3 - I still have a lot more learning to do :)

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas, Christine! Thanks for joining the party, and have fun in Branson! :)