Monday, August 15, 2011

Classroom Management Series

Today is the first post from the Classroom Management Series. My Teaching Procedures & Routines Workbook provides a comprehensive list of procedures and routines you'll want to plan for, graphic organizers to assist you in mapping out how you'll run your classroom, detailed steps for executing them and making them second nature with your students and a cover for your classroom procedure manual. Throughout this series I'll be explaining the procedures and routines that I use to manage my classroom.

This week I'll be writing about my morning routines. I'll cover things like attendance, lunch count, communication folders and all that good stuff. It's a challenge to get those things done when you have 23 little people wandering around and getting settled.

My answer to that was...

The Morning Soundtrack

There is always a buzz at the start of the day. Students have to put things away. They want to share stories with you. They have tasks to complete to be ready to learn. It can be chaotic. A few years ago I came up with an idea to “calm the chaos” and it has worked great! I have a “morning soundtrack.” As the children enter the classroom, I start the song. They have until the song ends to complete the process of unpacking and getting settled. They become familiar with the songs and anticipate how much time they have. This allows them to pace themselves and our day gets started in a very timely manner. I selected upbeat songs that appeal to kids and are “classroom appropriate.” I bought all the songs through itunes. My “morning soundtrack” includes the following songs (which you can find on youtube if you want to hear them) :

  • Pumpin’ Up the Party - Hannah Montana
  • Start the Party - Camp Rock Soundtrack
  • We Rock - Camp Rock Soundtrack
  • We’re All in This Together - High School Musical Soundtrack
  • Celebrate You - Corbin Bleu


I play a different one each day of the week. They are fun, upbeat, kid-appropriate and provide just enough time to take care of business and get settled.



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17 comments:

  1. Will you be posting more on your Math Workshops soon? I saw that you were thinking about it, but just curious if you still will. I am wanting to use them in my 5th grade classroom this year, just curious how it all works.

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  2. That is a fabulous idea!! I am still trying to figure out a way to get my morning routine to run more smoothly. I might have to try this!

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  3. @Katie: I am aiming to post about it early next week. I had gone into school to take some pictures which would better explain things, but the cleaning crew had removed everything to do the floors...soooooo...I've basically got it all back in place, but need to snap the pics and finish the write up. It would work great in 5th grade because they can be so independent at that age. :) Jodi

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  4. Great idea! I thought about this once but thought the teacher next door might mind. Do the other teachers in your hall ever complain?

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  5. @Ginger Snaps: I think you'll enjoy it. I really helps them to pace themselves and it also helps me tolerate the chaos of the morning because it all wraps up in 3 minutes or so.

    @First Time: I've never received any complaints. To be honest, I don't know if anyone notices because the song paces the kids so that they tend to be settled before the other classes are. You don't have to blast it. Give it a try!
    :) Jodi

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  6. Love this idea! I use music during Writers Workshop and it is like manna from heaven!!

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  7. Love this idea! I'll have to try it out this year. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Love your song idea for getting yourself ready after recess and before school......I do this idea for clean up but I think I will extend it to other areas as well. I will need to check out your song selections.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sue :)
    http://theverybusykindergarten.blogspot.com/

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  9. Good idea. I play a song at the end of the day to ensure that everyone gets packed up and their daily jobs completed in a timely manner. Being an upbeat song, they love it. And I enjoy watching them dance--often times without realizing it, while they work.

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  10. This is a great way of getting the children to get a concept of how much time they have. I love the idea of using music to signify different points of the day, e.g. morning, break, reading, lunch, tidy up, etc.


    Baggy Trousers at A Crucial Week In The Life of an NQT

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  11. Thanks for the song suggestions! Last year I downloaded copies of songs from shows-- Magnum PI, Bewitched, Muppet Show, etc, and used them for transitions. It was wonderful because each song when with a specific activity. Once the kids were "trained" all I had to do was press the button on my SMART board and they'd line up or begin to clean up. Magic!

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  12. It sounds like your students all enter at the same time in the morning. How might you adapt this for my schedule: kids enter a few at a time, between 7:25 and 7:50 am? Thanks

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  13. Sounds like a great idea! I've just downloaded the songs so I can try it out next year! :)

    Jessica
    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

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  14. I used music for transitions last year while student teaching (3rd grade) and it worked wonderfully! I found a TON of Kidz Bop CDs at a garage sale for a very low price, and they were a big hit! I use them for transitions and as background music during whole class art projects or for brain breaks.

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  15. A couple months into the school year, and my classroom management needs a boost already! I am also wondering how you would adapt this to a classroom where the kids enter as their buses are unloaded, so for instance, I have students coming in from 8:45-9am? I'm thinking the whole playlist can be played each morning and when it's over then the students know they need to be ready.

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  16. A couple months into the school year, and my classroom management needs a boost already! I am also wondering how you would adapt this to a classroom where the kids enter as their buses are unloaded, so for instance, I have students coming in from 8:45-9am? I'm thinking the whole playlist can be played each morning and when it's over then the students know they need to be ready.

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  17. I had a college teacher do this at the beginning of her classes. The only difference was that she chose a song that tied in with the lesson when possible. If you only teach one subject this would work well.

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