Sunday, August 21, 2016

Classroom Management Tips 1

My students bring to a notebook, pencil and folder to class starting in grade two. The notebook is used as a creative journal and reference dictionary.

 Studies have shown if you write it down, you learn it faster.

 When I teach a new term, it goes in their book. Example: the Skill is Rhythm. We draw the note symbol-label it and define it.

 In the beginning stages when I do an aural review I sometimes ask: " by raising your hand and looking in your notebook, who can tell me about this note symbol?" Holding up a 1/4 note. The students should answer: " it's called a 1/4 note, has a filled in oval with a stem and gets one beat of sound. "

My students also use their notebook to write down any thoughts they may forget. This deters "calling out " while I am instructing.

My class routine based on a 40 minute session, is a short transition activity while I take roll.
This could be: find your spot, open up a notebook, write down or follow a quick written direction off of the blackboard (2-5 minutes); instruction (5-10 minutes) activity (20-25 minutes) cleanup and review (5 minutes)

Bonus BOOKMARKS: students are rewarded for positive behaviors and achievements.

The students have the option to collect the bookmarks and keep them or they can trade them in.

For example, one bookmark equals 1 aural answer pass or removing 1 written test question. Five bookmarks will add 5 points on a test or they may write their name on the back of their bookmark and put one in my Raffle Jar. At the end of the month I pull out a name and they receive a reward. Sometimes it is a pencil, a small toy, small candy, lunch with me or the principle, choose the activity for the day.

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for all you do
Don't forget to take time for yourself Every Day!

♫Donna Marie & Mary♫

Friday, August 12, 2016

A New School Year

Deep breath in

and out

That's the smell of a fresh new year of opportunity's and journeys whether you are a veteran , a novice or a student teacher.

I always look at every day as the beginning of a new fresh start .

If you are a veteran - Welcome Back!

If you are a novice - Welcome Aboard!

If you are a student teacher, 

be a sponge!

Be a sponge? You are thinking, (what the heck does that mean?)

Well, what I mean is, soak up all the knowledge and expertise of the veterans around you. Not just from your cooperating mentor. Walk the halls sometime and quietly listen, observe and soak in how the other teachers teach, manage and organize their classroom.

Keep a notebook. I am big notebook advocate.  
Just like a reporter, jot down notes to refer back to. 
Ask questions, the master teachers are there to help you. 
We all have walked your journey including these first steps. 
Reflect on what you observed and try ideas out. You'll know if they work for you only if you give them a try. You probably will not do things exactly the same-and that's OK tweak them to make them work for you. Some ideas may work and some may not. Once again, that's OK, throw the not's away!

As a music teacher, we tolerate a different level of sound.
Controlled sound.
After all, that is our subject  -  the Study of Sound. 
Yes, some of the traditional general classroom management skills do work for us with some tweaking. 
If you are new to a school I suggest making an inventory list if there is not one. It helps knowing how many tambourines etc.  you have to work with. 

For me, learning has never been measured against a group of people, but from the growth with in each individual.

As teachers we are not only planting the seeds of academics but the seeds of dignity and self worth.

The greatest reward for me, is watching and listening to my students bring to life what they have learned.

Teachers of all levels, become a child again, discover - learn - experiment, dare to go outside your comfort zone. 

Learning is only as fun and exciting as the teacher instructing the class.

Remind, teach and model that mistakes are not the enemy of success. 
Help your students analyze their mistakes, looking for the reason where it went wrong and to use these mistakes not a stumbling blocks but as steppingstones to learn.

Have a Great Year!

for all you do
Don't forget to take time for yourself Every Day!

♫Donna Marie & Mary♫