I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle from Mrs. Miracle's Music Room to blog about my 2016 New Year's resolutions!
I have decided this year I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. I tend to get bothered by little things and get worked up easily so this year I'm going to work on being positive and not letting the small things get to me so much. The last half of 2015 was extremely stressful so to help with stress I'm going to crochet more and use my adult coloring on my iPad! :)
After I had my daughter I worked hard to try and lose the weight and try to get myself feeling better. Nothing seemed to work until 3 months ago when I started Isagenix (meal replacement shakes). I have never felt so good and have been able to lose weight and inches in such a short amount of time! So I plan on continuing my journey with Isagenix and make it a part of my lifestyle. It's helping me get healthy and will help me stay healthy so I can keep up with my two kiddos!
I started a new job this year at a 3-5 building. I'm loving working with older kids but it's like starting all over as a new teacher. I have to create everything from scratch. At my new school, the 5th grade musical is the only performance that I am in charge of but it is a huge production and a lot of work. So my resolution for my classroom is surviving my first 5th grade musical!
Like a said above, I started a new job this year and am having to find my way and create everything new. Because of this, my store and blog have been pushed to the side and I haven't had much time. So I made a resolution to stay more organized with my store. I wanted a seller planner where I could keep track of statistics from the beginning of the month to the end of the month, a planner to help me set goals for my store as well as all my social media outlets. I was having a hard time finding something that was fitting my needs so I created my own seller planner to help myself stay organized and to help myself set goals for my store and my blog. If you're looking for something similar you can find my seller planner here.
Those are my resolutions for the New Year and I think they are pretty attainable! Here's hoping that I can be successful. What are some your New Year's resolutions?
Today I'm linking up with Mrs. King to give you a little tour of my new classroom. At my last school, I thought I had a pretty big room. When my principal walked me into my new room I was literally speechless! It's HUGE and there are so many resources!! Then the day came for me to set my classroom up and within 5 minutes of being there, I called my husband (who was dropping the kids off at the sitters to come help me) and told him needed to hurry because I was overwhelmed. This is a pano of my room before.
It's huge! The problem that I was having was that there were chairs, flip form risers, a divider and 2 pianos. Everything stayed in my room so I had to get creative with where I put things so it didn't look awkward. Here's the finished result:
I like how it turned out because the front of the room is clearly where structured learning will take place and the back of the room is nice and open for movement and instrument activities. Here is what the front of the room looks like by my white board:
I'm super pumped that I only have 2 bulletin boards to worry about. My last classroom had A TON of bulletin board space and year after year it became impossible to think of new ideas. So the divider I mentioned earlier helps divide the space a little and also keeps students in the back row of chairs from touching the xylophones.
There is also a little storage closet in my classroom. When I say little, I mean teeny tiny! But with such a small space I have BIG plans! I'm going to turn it into a recording studio! So when we're recording ourselves playing an instrument, singing a song, etc. Students will have a space in my classroom to go that will be quiet and won't pick up any of the extra noises in the classroom.
My plan is to create step-by-step directions for recording and uploading items to Schoology on the brown wall. Students will use the open counter space to place their iPad for recording. Can't wait to see how this works!!
I still have a few more things to put up here and there but for the most part my classroom is set up the way it will be the whole school year. I can't wait to get started on Monday!
So last year I embarked on my blogging journey and if you scroll down, you can see it didn't work out so well. This year I'm making a goal for myself to post at least once a month. If I can do more, great! So in that almost one year time span A LOT has changed! I got pregnant, had a baby, and got a new job! On June 6 we welcomed our beautiful baby girl!
She is seriously the BEST baby ever! She's already sleeping through the night! So I'm not as sleep deprived as I thought I would be which is awesome! About a week and a half after having her, I received a phone call from another principal in my school district asking if I wanted to come in for an interview for the 3rd-5th grade music position open in his school. I went in for an interview 2 1/2 weeks after having a baby and ended up getting the job!! I'm so excited for this position. I have been teaching K-2 for the past 5 years and am ready for a new challenge. Older kids can do a lot more and I'm even more excited about how I can incorporate technology MORE into my classroom and won't have to worry about spending half the class finding the "home button"! :) I ended up taking the first week of school off for maternity leave and will be starting on Monday. My next post will be all about my classroom and how I organized and decorated it! I can't wait to show you!
I have found that having a set of specific rules and expectations for the iPads have been extremely helpful when it comes to classroom management. I see students twice a week for 30 minutes and I set aside one class to go over rules and expectations for when we use the iPads. While I don't like taking away from them learning music, I have found that it is definitely worth it.
I start by going over the rules. I created six rules posters that I go over with the students so they understand how they should use and take care of their iPads appropriately. We take time to talk about why each one is important and what could happen if we don't follow them. The rules are:
1. Always carry your iPad with 2 hands.
2. Wash your hands before using your iPad. (This rule is more for classroom teachers when students eat snack)
3. No food or drinks near the iPads. (I actually have an area in the room where students put their water bottles when they bring them for PE so they are out of the way.
4. Only use the apps the teacher tells you to use. (This is HUGE! )
5. Only use the iPad while you're sitting down.
6. Always walk while you're carrying your iPad.
You can get the posters here for FREE!!
The second thing I go over with the students is "3 Before Mrs. B!" This means that if students have a question they should ask 3 other students around them before they ask me for help. Most of the time, questions are about steps that they have to take and for the majority of the time half the class is able to follow along. So when someone has a question the chances are very high that another student can help them. This provides students with leadership opportunities as well as allows me to help students who are having any technology issues that another student can't help with. This has been a life saver. There are up to 25 students and 1 of me and having this little phrase has helped save the stress of trying to help EVERY student. It's just not possible especially in 30 minutes! Here are the posters I made for that. They aren't available in my TpT store but if you would like a copy you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also change them to match your name.
The first 2 pictures are bigger posters that I hung on my wall and the 3rd picture with the 2 rectangles are the pictures I printed up and taped on the back of each chair so that it was right where students could see them as a friendly reminder!
Hopefully you find these tips helpful in your class!
Last year was my first year my entire school was 1:1 with iPads. The one thing I found to be the most challenging with every student having their own iPad is classroom management. How do you successfully manage 20-25 students while they have iPads?! It can be very overwhelming. Throughout the school year I will share some ideas that I have tried and that have worked for me.
Today I will share some signs that I have created. While standing up at the front of the room and saying what app to go to seems like a very easy direction to follow K-2 students can't follow it. So I created these signs as a visual for students. If they didn't hear me say the app they know to look on the board and the sign will be there. Not only is it a great visual, but it also is a great reminder for what apps they are using and a reminder that any other app is off limits for that class. These I have found to be very helpful and you can find my "Apps We Will Be Using" signs in my TeachersPayTeachers store here!
Today I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for "My Music Room Set-Up". I've been seeing so many posts on Facebook and through this linky party of music rooms set up and I feel like I might be the last one to go to school! I just started this week and my room is not totally done yet but I'm excited to finally share my pictures!! My room isn't totally done but I will be posting more throughout the year so check back often!
So this year I wanted to have a superhero theme in my classroom so everything you see will have a hint of superhero! :)
This is the bulletin board right outside of my classroom.
This is what the students see as the walk into my classroom I'm thinking about adding a city beneath it.
This is the view from my doorway.
The next two pictures are views from the doorway and what the back of my room looks like.
This is what the front of my room looks like.
Now here are some up close pictures of the decorations in my classroom.
4-S Line Posters.
Superhero Clock Decorations
My large calendar to help me keep track of everything going on because I can't remember anything and my desk area!
Marzano Proficiency Scale
Different Voices Posters and Large and Small Ensemble Posters
Orff Power! Bulletin Board that has my Orff Posters on it. There's a bulletin board to the left of this one that is still blank and I'm still thinking about what to put on it. Any ideas?!
This is my Superhero Behaviors Bulletin Board with my Superhero Rules posters. The first picture shows it with just the rules posters and the second picture shows the beginnings of what the finished bulletin board will look like. Each class has their own superhero logo and all the students will sign their logo as a "contract" to say that they know all the superhero behaviors and promise to do their best all year to follow them in music.
So that's everything in my room. I'm going to be adding little things here and there and will share those pictures with you as they are added. This final bulletin board is an interactive bulletin board I created for our fine arts department. Each fin arts teacher gave me 5 fun facts. Then students go up to the board read the question on the envelope and try to guess the fine arts teacher. They pull the notecard out of the envelope to reveal the answer.
Thanks for reading.
A couple of days ago I posted some products in my store that I can't wait to use this year in preparation for the big Back to School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. This post is to show you some of the purchases I made and can't wait to use in my classroom!
1) Aileen Miracle's Essential Questions for the Music Classroom. These will be great to help get students to develop their critical thinking skills and are nicely aligned with the new national core music standards. These will be a great way to help me get started incorporating the new standards into my classroom.
2) Cori Bloom's What to Listen For in Music Bulletin Board Set. I want to incorporate listening into my lessons more often and I want students to be able to have a nice vocabulary when it comes to describing instead of just "it's good", "I like it". Not only is this an awesome display for the classroom but it's perfect for teaching students the different vocabulary they can use and will be a great resource for them to reference while listening!
3) Yellow brick Road's Kindergarten Music Interactive Notebook. I can't wait to use this tool in my classroom with my kindergartners! There are so many activities for each concept and student can keep track of what they are learning and look back at what they did learn! I may have to go get the ones for first and second grade! She has them available up until 5th grade! Such an awesome idea!
I also was able to purchase some really cute clipart that I can't WAIT to start creating with! What are some products you purchased that you can't wait to use in your classroom?
Thanks Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music for the super cute graphic.
I'm so excited about the TpT back to school sale! My ENTIRE store will be 20% off plus when you enter the code: BTS14 you'll get an extra 8% off! Woo hoo! Here of some of my favorite products that I love to use and look forward to using this year!
This year I plan on having a Superhero theme in my classroom. I recently created a Superhero Classroom Decorations Bundle and I plan on hanging up everything in the bundle in my classroom! I can't wait to see my student's reactions especially the boys!
The Rhythm Fly Swatter Games are a HUGE hit in my classroom. They are perfect for reviewing rhythms or filling in time if I have an extra 5 minutes here or there. I made one for almost every holiday so it never gets old!
I LOVE doing this SMART Board lesson with my kindergartners. First thing, I love the song! Second, I love hearing their sweet laughter whenever a new verse is revealed. It just makes my day!
I love incorporating technology into my classroom and it's great because all my students have their own iPads and GarageBand. This is a project that I look forward to doing every year because the students are so engaged and get so excited when we share our compositions!
Those are a few things that I can't wait to use this year in my classroom. Now i must go make my purchases! So much on my wishlist! I'll post tomorrow about the products that I purchased and how I plan on using them!
I apologize for not blogging as much. I started the blog and my life got nice and crazy so I have been slacking on blogging as well as creating new materials for my store. We have been in the process of buying a new home and have been packing like maniacs! Tomorrow is finally the closing and moving day so it will all be over soon!
On top of that, I kept telling myself at the end of the school year that I was going to be so motivated over the summer to produce more materials for my store now that I have more time on my hands but to be honest I have been thoroughly enjoying my extra time at home with my husband and my son Teddy.
My blog post today is based off of inspiration from my son. Teddy is the happiest little 1-year old I have ever met. He loves laughing and playing and just loves being around other people. Even though he is very happy we have our days. Ya know those days where you just want to plop your child in front of the TV to watch a show because that's the ONLY thing that will make them happy? Well, Teddy doesn't like TV. We've tried Baby Einstein, Elmo, pretty much anything and everything. He just isn't interested which I guess is a good thing because he's more focused on playing and having fun. But this summer we have found something he LOVES! Super Simple Songs YouTube videos!
Awhile ago, pre-Teddy, my sister-in-law told me about Super Simple Songs because her kids loved them and I actually use their BINGO video (Below) with my kindergartners. They love learning the song BINGO and the animation and different activities for each letter make it fun and engaging for them.
So, since summer has began and we've been watching more and more of these videos my husband (also a music teacher) did a little research. They sell CDs! And not only do the CDS have the regular singing track like the videos but some of them come with the sing-a-long versions as well! How awesome! You can buy them on Amazon or iTunes!
One of Teddy's FAVORITES is "Walking in the Jungle". It's super cute and I'm excited about how I can use it in my music class.
I plan on showing the video, because it's just too fun not to and then add a musical twist to it. At the beginning of the year I plan on buying some of the CDs with my budget money and I'm going to buy the one that has this song and the sing-a-long track (Super Simple Songs- Animals) and change the words just slightly to go like this:
"Walkin 'round the classroom, walkin 'round the classroom, we're listening, we're listening. 1 step, 2 step, 3 step forward, 1 step, 2 step, 3 step back. stop! listen!"
As a class we will do the walking, stomping, skipping, etc. around the classroom and sing the song together. When we "stop! listen!" One child will be chosen to to go to the designated instrument spot in the classroom and they will play an instrument and the class has to guess which instrument is being played. This activity helps with aural recognition of the instruments but also has students working on the proper playing technique if they are chosen to play. I would definitely do this activity with Kindergarten and maybe as a beginning of the year review activity for 1st grade.
I encourage you to check out some of their songs and videos if you haven't already. They are so cute! They also have some great songs that can be used/adapted for a circle song and for hello/goodbye songs.
I'm excited to start off my blogging adventure by participating in a linky party hosted by Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room. This linky party is all about dazzling discipline ideas for this school year. Below are some tips and tricks that I have found helpful in my years of teaching!
While this can be time consuming it is totally worth it. It not only helps you organize the students and keep the behavior students away from each other but it also helps you with getting to know everyone's name. I don't know about you, but I see 300+ students a week and getting to know their name becomes challenging! I use the iPad app "Smart Seat", to help me create my seating charts. I don't know what I would do without it!
Smart Seat allows you to create seating charts that can include a picture of the student and their name! You can e-mail the seating charts to yourself and print them out (This is even great for when you have a substitute!) Not only can you create seating charts but the app also allows you to take attendance (you can mark a student present, absent, tardy) and then randomly select students to answer questions or come up to the board. This is a great technique because each student has to be focused and paying attention because they could be called on anytime. After it selects a student, that student stays yellow and it will not select that student again until you restart it. If a child is absent it will not choose that student. The app recently was updated and now you can create random groups! You choose the number of groups you want and the app creates the groups for you.
I have found this to be extremely helpful. Creating a routine in your class helps students understand what is expected during your class and it provides a structure to what you will be doing.
My Class Routine:
1. I begin every class with Singing attendance. I sing to each student ("Hello Sally"- s m s m) and they respond back ("Hello Mrs. Banas"- ss ml s m). In kindergarten we sing a hello song all together and then later in the year do singing attendance but sing hello to Panda instead. Panda is our school mascot!
2. Next we sing our Learning Target song and go over the learning target for that day. (Check it out below!)
3. Next we review any concepts or materials taught from the previous class followed by any new materials.
4. Class ends with lining up using our lining up cards followed by our Goodbye song.
All students love being rewarded for doing their very best work especially my K-2 graders! At my previous schools I used my SING card idea where students could earn "SING" cards during music class and at the end of class they would put their name on it and put it in their classes drawer. At the end of the month we would have a drawing and students who got picked won a prize. The more "SING" cards in the drawer with your name on it the better your chance. While this was a great idea and worked for some kids it became very challenging. Some kids never won, and I was running out of money for prizes! So I came up with another idea that was an incentive program for the ENTIRE class.
I now use Rockin' Good Behavior. Every class begins music with 4 music notes and each classroom has their own music staff. They can lose notes throughout the class time based on their behavior. At the end of class after we sing our Goodbye song we look at the board where the 4 notes are to see how many we earned. If the class had 3-4 notes, their note on their staff moved up 1 line or space. If they had 1-2 notes left, their note on their staff stayed the same. If they had 0 notes left, their note on their staff moved down 1 line or space. When a class gets to the top line of the staff they earn a "Free Day" in music. At the beginning of the year I choose the free day and it's usually a game or activity that reinforces concepts we have learned or are learning at the time. Towards the end of the year I begin to let students choose and vote for their free day.
This classroom incentive has been great and allows students to work as a team because they are earning the free day together!
Sometimes there are students who have a hard time and may not be having the best day in music. I only see students twice a week for 30 minutes so I never like having a student sit out, but there are times when students can be extremely distracting to others or not safe and this is where my "Rest" Area comes into play. If I have a student who is misbehaving I will send them to the Rest Area, which is in a place in the room separated from any main activities we may be doing during class. I tell students that while they're in the Rest Area they have to go over the 5 classroom rules (on a bulletin board) and think about how they can do a better job the next time they participate in class. I usually only have them stay in the Rest Area for a couple of minutes unless I see they need more time.
Having this extra area in the classroom is a great tool to give a student time to cool down or to just take a break and to gather their thoughts so they can make better choices next time they join the group.
Practice, Review, and Consistency
This I think is the MOST important thing to remember. When setting rules and expectations, students need time to practice the skills you are expecting them to do. At the beginning of the year, really take time to explain your expectations and give the students a chance to practice them. While this may take a couple of class periods and can get repetitive, you'll be happy you did it in the middle of the school year.
After longer breaks (winter break and spring break), review the rules and expectations again with them. I usually take the first class or two after break to go over the rules again and practice them again because they will forget. By reviewing the rules you are reinforcing the behaviors you expect from them.
Finally, stay consistent. Whatever rules you expect them to follow, be consistent. Always have the same rewards or consequences for behavior. If you see students are having a hard time lining up at the end of class, go back and review. If students have to take time out of their music class to practice lining up I can almost guarantee they will remember to do it better next time!
I hope you found these dazzling discipline ideas helpful! Thanks for reading!
I'm married to my wonderful husband David and am a mother to the sweetest and happiest little 2 year old boy and 3 month old Daughter! I teach 3-5 general music in Glenview, IL and love to incorporate as much technology as I can into my teaching.
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