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Children's Church, Lessons

Free Church (Interactive!) Object Lesson: Jesus’ Forgiveness

I know you are thinking– interactive object lesson? Is that a thing? Well, it is today. This is one of the best lessons that I was able to do with my kids to help them learn about Jesus’ forgiveness in a fun way. It is super simple and very effective. It is easily adjusted depending on students’ age. The only thing I am going to say is that you need really good erasers like these.

Also read: How to Structure Children’s Church in 6 Easy Steps

Free Church (Interactive!) Object Lesson: Jesus' Forgiveness. This lesson is great for Children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group. Becca's Music Room.

Jesus’ Forgiveness

 

Materials:

 

Bible verses:

1 John 1:9 Free Church (Interactive!) Object Lesson: Jesus' Forgiveness. This lesson is great for Children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group. Becca's Music Room.

Procedure:

  • Have students draw a large heart on their paper. If you’d prefer, you can print out large hearts instead.
  • Ask the students if the heart is pure. Since it is clean, the answer is yes.
  • Tell them, sometimes even when you are trying to do a good job, we mess up anyway. What is a way that we may mess up?
  • Once a student tells you a sin, tell them that sin clouds up your heart. Write the sin on the heart (big!) and have the students do the same.
  • Ask the students what might happen after that. True to connect all of the sins. For example, if the first sin they offer is stealing, then tell them you might lie to cover it up because you don’t want them to know. Then write the next sin on your heart and have students do the same.
  • Repeat these steps until the heart is full of bad things.
  • Now ask them, do you think that Jesus still loves you even with this? (Yes!) But do you think he can live in your heart with all of that stuff? (No.)
  • We need Jesus’ forgiveness sometimes. Can someone tell me what forgiveness is? How do we get it?
  • Read 1 John 1:9
Free Church (Interactive!) Object Lesson: Jesus' Forgiveness. This lesson is great for Children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group. Becca's Music Room.
It should look similar to this when finished with the “sins” part, but with whatever sins your students come up with.

Also read: Free Church Object Lesson for Putting God First

  • Ask them “So what do we need to do to be forgiven?” Once they say that you need to admit it and ask for it, ask them, “Why do you think that you need to say it out loud?” (Because we don’t want to hide that it happened. We have to admit it so that we are being honest.)
  • What else do you think would be a good thing to do? Guide them until they answer that you should talk to the people that you wronged.
  • Go through each of the sins on the heart and “make it right” by talking to the person you wronged, making it right, and asking for Jesus’ forgiveness. Each time, erase the sin from the heart. Have the students do this as well. (This is why you need good erasers like these!)
  • Once it is clean, ask the students if they will think it will sty like that forever. (No.)
  • Tell them: It’s probably not going to stay pure forever. Even if you try hard, you will probably mess up every once and a while. The important thing is that we try to do our best to be like Christ, and that we ask for forgiveness when we mess up—and quickly after! We don’t want to end up filling our heart with sins, because then we will have a lot of stuff to fix.
  • Give the students a few minutes (play a quick worship song) and ask them to think about something they may need to ask forgiveness for, and to pray for it. At the end, pray a general prayer over them that they will learn from this lesson and try to keep their hearts pure.

There we have it! If you need some more things to do, you can check out My Kids’ Favorite Church Games or my Pinterest page to find things to do.

There you go! What is our favorite object lesson about Jesus forgiveness? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Teaching!

Free Church (Interactive!) Object Lesson: Jesus' Forgiveness. This lesson is great for Children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group. Becca's Music Room.

 

Elementary Music, Management

Routines You Need in the Music Room

All teachers know that classroom management is essential for learning. This is very true in the music room—without classroom management, how can you play instruments or do dances? An essential part of classroom management are routines. Routines keep things orderly. And if students do them enough, they will be so second nature that you do not even have to help (or at least that is the end goal—we may get there one day!).

Honestly, even though it is March, not all of my classes are to the autopilot stage yet. There are a lot of factors that go into that fact, but honestly, I think a lot of it is that some classes just don’t care. I think this because I have a lot of classes that can do all of the routines we will talk about without any help.

So what kind of routines do you need? This will be different for every class and every school. you have to think about things that students do often in your classroom. These would the very basics:

  • Entering the room
  • Exiting the room
  • Getting supplies
  • Bathroom/water/tissue/etc
  • Movement in the classroom

Now, you may have more routines than this. You may have centers movement, turning in work, dealing with instruments, etc. These would be the very basics of routines in the music room.

Again, these will all be different depending on your classroom. We all have different classrooms with different students and different set ups. We all have different “crazy tolerances”. (AKA how much we are willing to let students wiggle or sit strangely, etc.) All of these things affect how you do your routines.

I am going to let you know my routines, as well as ways that I have seen other teachers do it. If you have anything to add, please leave it in the comments!

And don’t forget to subscribe!

Also read: Phrases for Classroom Management in the Music Room

Routines You Need in the Music Room. You need each of these routines to ensure a smooth music class! Becca's Music Room



Routine #1: Entering the Room

I will admit, this is one that my students and I have not totally figured out yet. Now, my kids have assigned seats (and if yours don’t, fix it quick!), so they come inside and sit on their assigned dots. They know (and I tell them every single day) that if they come in quietly and quickly, they will get a class point (you can read more about that here).

For people who do not have assigned seats, I have seen other teachers that brought the line inside and made a circle, keeping the same order. They held hands just to make sure it looked good and then they sat down.

I have also seen where they sat in assigned seats, but the teacher had music playing that they were listening to immediately. This is something that I have not done, but am going to try. I’ll let you know how it goes!



Routine #2: Exiting the Room

Again, depending on how you have students set up, this will change. My students have assigned “dots” that they sit on. We skip some rows so that they have space, so I have students on green dots, purple dots, red dots, and “brown dots” (carpet squares). To line up, I have the green dots stand and walk towards the door. Then the purple dots stand and walk away from the door so that they can go down the green row. Red and brown follow. This has worked very well for me.

Line order? You may ask. I always tell them we will get in Mrs. Davis’ line order first. Then I count down from ten to give them time to get into their line order.

Note: Some classes have had problems getting into their line order, so I just say that their teacher can do it in the hallway if they want to.

Also read: Keys to Classroom Management in the Music Room

Routines You Need in the Music Room. You need each of these routines to ensure a smooth music class! Becca's Music Room

Routine #3: Getting Supplies

This one is so important! Especially if you have a lot of supplies to get in a day. Try to make it as streamlined as possible.

For example, if we are coloring, then I put the paper, clipboards, and crayons right next to each other. This way it is easier to get all of the things.

I do this by rows as well. I tell them I am looking for a row sitting criss cross applesauce and quiet to pick. Once I pick a row, they stand up, stay in the same order and come up front. Then the walk around to the other side and go down their row. This way, no one walks through the carpet (AKA less likely to step on a hand). They should all still be in the order the sit in when they get back.

If you have tables or have students in groups, you could have students pass out the supplies. You could have them pass the supplies down the line until they get to the end. But there must be a system.

And if you do have that sort of system, I would definitely get these organizers.

Use the same system for picking up the supplies as well.



Routine #4: Bathroom/Water/Tissue/Etc

That is very vague, I know.

This routine is for all of the extra stuff. Are you going to let the students go to the bathroom during class? Do you have a sign out sheet? Do they ask you? Can they just get up and get tissue?

In my class, I like to minimize movement as much as possible. I do not like students walking around if I don’t know where they are going, so I require students to raise their hand to ask for these things. Even tissue. Especially because a lot of them like to go to blow their nose or go to the bathroom when they are bored. And they like to intentionally walk past people to talk to them. Yes, that’s a thing.

I only do bathroom as an emergency, and I tell them if they go they will not get a ticket (PBIS—same as a Dojo Point) because we are not supposed to go during music. This deters most of the kids who are just trying to play.

With blowing noses, I will let them but only one at a time so they don’t talk. Again, they have to raise their hands.

And I don’t do water unless someone seems like they are dying.

Note: if we have a really active day, like dancing or parachute, then I will usually play a video at the end and let them get water one at a time.

A lot of people use hand signs so that the teacher knows without calling on someone what they want. I do not. If you do, let me know how it works.

Another idea that I like but have not tried is having students write their name and destination on a dry erase board stuck to the door like this.

Also read: Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat, Take a Seat

 

Routine #5: Movement in the Classroom

This is also a vague name for a routine. Essentially, what will students do the rest of the time? Like if you have to move from one activity to the next.

Again, this totally depends on your activities and what is going on.

A big on is centers.

If you are moving from one center to the next, what do you do?

I indicate the end of centers by playing a rhythm and having them clap it to me. (This requires them to put down anything in their hands.) Then I say “1, 2, 3, 4 put everything down, get off the floor AND FREEZE!” Students clean up their stations and stand. I always make them point to the next station to make sure they know where they are going. Then I say, “5, 6, 7, 8, hurry don’t be late.” And they go to the next station.

This took a few times of doing it before students really got this down, but now it is like second nature.

Also, I did not make that up. I got it from my mentor during student teaching and I have no clue where she got it from.

For pretty much any other movement, I call students by row. And I always tell them I am looking for the row that is sitting the nicest.



So those are the main routines for the music room! Of course, there are quite a few other routines that are not as major. Again, everything is going to depend on your students, your lessons, and your room. And of course, your “crazy tolerance”. (I totally made that term up, by the way.)

Subscribe and check out my Pinterest page for more classroom management and music lesson ideas!

What are your favorite routines in the music room? Feel free to share your routines in the comments!

Happy teaching!



Routines You Need in the Music Room. You need each of these routines to ensure a smooth music class! Becca's Music Room



Children's Church, Lessons

Best Easter Sunday Activities for Church

I am going to be honest, I used to struggle with Easter Sunday activities so much. I never knew what lesson to do. The kids are all hyped up on sugar. It’s just kind of ridiculous.

I know you are probably sitting there thinking, Becca—you talk about Jesus raising form the dead. Easter Sunday activities are so easy.

Yes.

However.

At least at my church, most of them can tell the story of Jesus raising from the dead about as well as I can. They hear it in Sunday School, on Wednesdays, from their parents, from me, etc. You may recall I have a similar issue on Christmas (you can find one of my solutions here).

Anyway, I don’t want to tell them the exact same thing that they already know. So I try to find different ways to do the job. So here are four of my favorite Easter Sunday activities to help tell the story of Jesus raising from the dead— for kids who know the story very, very well.

Best Easter Sunday Activities for church. Great for children's church or sunday school. Includes an object lesson and some hands on fun Bible searches. Becca's Music Room

Let’s Put it in Order

This is actually a new one I am trying this year.

Have students tell you different parts of the Easter story. Ask them what they know. Make sure they do not have any questions. Make sure they hit all of the points that you are using in the game.

Before class, write parts of the Easter story on pieces of paper with the Bible verses where it occurred on them. (You are going to want to use all four of the Gospels so that students can’t just use the numbers to put them in order.) Have students put all of the pieces in the order that they occurred.

Have students work in groups. If you have mixed age groups (like I do) make sure that you pair younger students with older students so that it will be more even. Someone in the group needs to be able to read. You could also do it without the references and just tell them that everything is in John. Or Matthew. Or whichever one you pick.

Also read: Free Church Lesson for Putting God First

Resurrection Rolls

This is pretty much the most wonderful object lesson EVER. One of my friends found it years ago and wanted to do it, and we have used it every single year since. You can find the original here.

Basically, you use a marshmallow (the big ones! I use these) to represent Jesus (because he is pure). Tell the students that he died for their sins. When he died, they put a bunch of stuff on his body so it would smell better.

Roll the marshmallow in melted butter and then in cinnamon-sugar mix. They put his body in a tomb, so you wrap it up in a crescent roll. Make sure it is sealed tight. Put the rolls in the oven (with a teenager to watch them!) until cooked. Have students bite into them and ask them what they find—the marshmallow will be gone. Because Jesus conquered the grave and rose again.

Just be careful because they might say, “He melted!”

Tip: Use aluminum foil on the pans so that it doesn’t stick to them. Trust me, when the marshmallow gets stuck to the pan, there is no getting it off.

The other article has all of the details (it’s where I found it!), so give it a read before you do it.

Bible Verse Egg Hunt

Have students hunt for Easter eggs. (Click the picture above or here to get them at a decent price on Amazon) In each one, put a Bible verse.

Depending on the group, the verses could be about different things. I have done this with verses about love, verses about the Easter story, etc. This year we are going to read prophesies of Christ—so verses that predict Jesus or that predict him dying and raising again. Have students hunt for the eggs.

Have each student read their verse out loud (you can write it on there or have them find it in their Bibles) and talk about what it means.

I am going with prophesies this year because I want the students to see the God knew exactly what was going to happen and had a plan the whole time. That is the main goal for this year.

Here is the one I am using. It is not the prettiest, but it does the trick! (You do not have to use all of the verses): Prophesies of Christ

Also read: My Kid’s Favorite Church Games

Egg Hunt

And of course, you can always just do an egg hunt. Not as educational, but it is fun.

Best Easter Sunday Activities for church. Great for children's church or sunday school. Includes an object lesson and some hands on fun Bible searches. Becca's Music Room

 

So those are my top four! We will be doing at least three of them this year (I am not sure about the normal egg hunt).

Of course, we always spend some extra time dancing to help us burn off the energy of the morning’s candy!

Don’t forget to subscribe or follow my Pinterest page for more posts!

What are your favorite Easter Sunday activities? Let us know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

Best Easter Sunday Activities for church. Great for children's church or sunday school. Includes an object lesson and some hands on fun Bible searches. Becca's Music Room

Elementary Music, K-2, Lessons

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!)

As a music teacher, I try to encourage academics in music as much as possible. That does not mean that I sacrifice musical integrity or that we just read textbooks all day, but it does mean that I try to fit in math, science, social studies, and reading wherever possible. This lesson, with Five Little Monkeys, incorporates math and reading perfectly!

I am pretty sure I got part of this lesson I got from another website, but I cannot find it anywhere. I had already planned on using this rhyme, and the high/low fit perfectly. And if you can know what website the high and low part came from, please let me know so I can link it!

You can also do this without the book, although without the book, there is no reading aspect to it. You can read extension ideas at the bottom of the post.

You can read about my 3-5 Boomwhacker and Science lesson here.

And don’t forget to subscribe for more ideas!  

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!) Really fun lesson for younger music students to teach high and low and steady beat. Also includes reading and subtraction/counting. Becca's Music Room.

Five Little Monkeys

Focus: I can differentiate between high and low. Materials:

  Procedure:

  • Start by gathering the students together and reading the book Five Little Monkeys. Most of my students knew the book already, so just be aware that may happen. Have students hold up five fingers at the beginning and lose one each time. After every monkey ask (So five take away one is what?).
  • PS: At least in Georgia, Kindergarten phrases it as “take away”. During 1st grade, they learn subtraction, but depending on what time of the year this is done, you may still need to say “take away” instead of “subtract”.
  • Tell them that we will read it again, but this time a little bit silly. We are going to use our high voice and our low voice. So we will read the first part normal, but when we get to “Mama called the doctor and the doctor said” we use our high voice, and when we do “No more monkeys jumping on the bed”, we use our low voice. Demonstrate this for the students.
  • After demonstrating the first time, allow students to join with you if they have figured out the words. They can also do some simple actions (Hold up the number of fingers for the monkeys, pretend to bob their head on bumped their head, and then put hands up for the high part, and down for the low part.).
  • Go through the rhyme again, but this time, after each monkey, have a few students write on the board (or have everyone write on their own board) the subtraction problem. So the first time it will be 5-1=4. Pick different students each time so that everyone gets a turn. Be prepared to fix some of the problems, even though it feels like they ought to be able to do it themselves.
  • Performance time: Have two students come up to the front. Everyone in class will do the first part of Five Little Monkeys. One student will have a solo in their high voice on “Mama called the doctor and the doctor said.” And one student will have a solo in their low voice on “No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”
  • Continue until time runs out or everyone has had a chance.

Also read: Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat, Take a Seat

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!) Really fun lesson for younger music students to teach high and low and steady beat. Also includes reading and subtraction/counting. Becca's Music Room.

Extensions:

  • Students could play rhythms or keep a steady beat on instruments.
  • Students could act out the scene, starting with five “monkeys”, a mom, and a doctor.
  • Students could write down each of the math problems and then draw pictures to accompany each one.

My students (even my second graders) really enjoyed this lesson—even more than I anticipated! They were asking for weeks if they could do the Five Little Monkeys rhyme. From a teaching standpoint, it is great. Students keep the steady beat, move with actions, differentiate between high and low, and use reading and math skills. Talk about a win for everyone!

Don’t forget to subscribe for more content, or check out this Pinterest board for more teaching music ideas.

Click the picture below to check out the book!

What is your favorite book to use with you students? How do you incorporate academics into your classroom? Let us know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

 

Children's Church, Lessons

Free Church Lesson Using Our Talents for God: Talent Show!

If you have been reading the blog, you know that in my Children’s Church, we have been talking about using our talents for God. Last week we summed it up in the best way possible…. A talent show!

The idea was actually from one of my teenage helpers, and I thought it was brilliant.

And my kids did even better than I anticipated.

If you missed any of the previous posts, you can read them here:

 Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God: Talent Show! The perfect way to end a series in children's church, youth group, or sunday school about using our talents for God. Becca's Music Room

And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new posts!

Also read: Free Church Object Lesson for Putting God First

 



This whole series was based on a few chapters in this book. I absolutely loved reading it, and it really helped me dive into the concept of arts and God. I haven’t totally come to grips with balancing arts and God, but it has certainly helped.

Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God: Talent Show! The perfect way to end a series in children's church, youth group, or sunday school about using our talents for God. Becca's Music Room

This lesson was very informal. As soon as we started, I let them know that things would be different today. We played a game (because they had ALL the energy this week!), and then I told them what we were going to do.

  • Start with a review of the previous weeks. Ask students to name some ways that we can use talents for God in arts, sports, music, academics, etc. (It helps if you throw something and let them catch it, like a ball or stuffed animal.) Ask them the two main questions:
  • Can we use all of our talents for God? Answer: Yes!
  • What determines if we are using our talents for God? Answer: If you are thinking about God in your heart, then you are using your talents for God.
  • Ask them you say what a few of their talents are.
  • Tell them that today, we are going to use our talents for God and have a talent show.
  • Make some suggestions for ideas of what they could do (write a story, draw a picture and show it to everyone, make a play, play soccer with a few other kids, etc.). Give them a set amount of time to work on what they would like to do for everyone.
  • Have everyone take a seat and talk to them about good audience behavior—we don’t laugh at people, we always clap when they are finished, etc.
  • Watch the magic happen!



If you have younger students, they may need more structure than this. In that case I would have them classify their talents (music, art, sports, etc.), and have a designated thing that they can do. For example, if their talent is art, have them draw their favorite Bible story. If their talent is sports, then have them dribble a basketball, etc.

Also read: My Kids’ Favorite Church Games

I know this isn’t the most innovative lesson ever, but the talent show was definitely the best way to end this series for us. I hope you have enjoyed it as well! Don’t forget to subscribe for more content!



Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God: Talent Show! The perfect way to end a series in children's church, youth group, or sunday school about using our talents for God. Becca's Music Room



Elementary Music, Management

Keys to Classroom Management in the Music Room

Classroom management is essential to learning. No learning can happen if a class is loud, crazy, or not in their seats. Trust me. There are quite a few “keys” to classroom management—today I am going to focus on the three top keys to classroom management.

For the record, I am definitely not an expert. I have learned a lot in the short time that I have been teaching, and I am trying to share that with other people. Hopefully this can be helpful!

If you are looking for more specific strategies, you can read this post about specific classroom management systems.

Keys to Classroom Management. Becca's Music Room. Basics to having an orderly classroom when teaching elementary music... or any subject!



Key #1: Clear Expectations

I cannot stress this enough.

One of the most important keys to classroom management is having clear expectations.

Because if students don’t know what is expected, how can they do what you want?

This is hard for music teachers in particular, because we see so many different classes. I have been in that situation where you swear you told a class something, but you didn’t. Somehow, you told the other 29 classes, but not this one.

The other difficulty is that we only see the students for a short amount of time. Sometimes, they just plain do not remember.

Having said that, make sure you go over procedures at the beginning of the year AND as it comes up.

Every time.

Every. Time.

Until it is perfect.



For example, every time every one of my classes gets in line, we talk about how. I always say: We are going to get in line. I am looking for people who are quiet. I am looking for people with their hands in their pockets or folded. We need to do a good job so that we can…. (get a class point, earn a sticker (I use these— super cheap and the kids can pick their color), whatever the management system is, insert here).

And as soon as the first students get in line I start with: I see only person with their hands in their pockets. Thank you so-and-so for being quiet.

It gets tedious, but it is necessary. If I forget, I regret it.

The same thing with getting supplies. We talk about how to pick up the supplies, we talk about what is appropriate to do with them, we talk about what to do with them when we sit down.

The more specific you can be, the better.

Say we are picking up scarves (if you haven’t figured out from this lesson and this lesson, I LOVE scarves!) for an activity. This is word for word what I will say: When I see a row that is quiet and criss-cross applesauce, I will call them to come up front and get a scarf. Remember, we do not walk through the people, we go around. When you get to your seat, put the scarf on the floor and hands on your shoulders. If my hands are on my shoulders, am I touching my scarf? Should I hit people with my scarf? Throw it up in the air? Should I put it in my mouth? No. If you do those things, you will lose your scarf.

It seems like a lot of talking, but it is very helpful.

And trust me, the one time you forget to say that we are not putting our scarves in our mouth, someone will do it.

Also read: Free Music Lesson: Bizet Scarf Routine



Key #2: Reinforcement

You would think that students could remember things like “Don’t throw your marker in the air” for five minutes.

They can’t.

Or at least, most of mine don’t. Maybe you do not have these problems and the keys only apply to me. But I doubt it.

As soon as we start to do something, I point out the behaviors I like. When we get the supplies, like I was saying, I immediately go into: Oh good. I see one person with their scarf on the floor thank you for putting your hands on your shoulders. Thank you for not touching the scarf until we are ready.

It sometimes feels ridiculous, because it is constant. But it is helpful.

And yes, it even works on fifth graders.

Sometimes I just look around the room and start counting how many people are doing XYZ. Or I will point to everyone sitting the right way and say “Good”. And that is all it takes for a lot of classes.

What about the ones that it doesn’t work with?

Add something tangible. Stickers or music tickets or points or something. Once I added my class points (I talk about it here), students had something concrete to work for. They know that if they do what they are supposed to, the class can get a point. And they need that if their class is going to win the party at the end of the year.

And with some classes, I add something extra. If you get so many points, they can do freeze dance or a song they like or Disney sing along or something of that nature that gives them a more immediate reward.

Also read: Really Specific Classroom Management Systems for the Music Room

Keys to Classroom Management. Becca's Music Room. Basics to having an orderly classroom when teaching elementary music... or any subject!



Key #3: Consistent Follow Through

This is the biggie. It is the most important of the keys.

If you say you will do something, you HAVE TO DO IT.

Every. Time.

So if I said you would lose your scarf if you are throwing it in the air, I have to follow through.

If you say you will call mom, you have to call mom.

If you say they can earn freeze dance, you have to let them do it.

This is the biggest of the keys, because it shows that you mean what you say.

I do this with instruments all of the time. I use Mrs. King’s phrase (check out the awesome post she did on classroom management here!) of “If you play before I say, I will take your instrument away.” And you know what? Every single time, someone plays their instrument. And then they go sit out. At the beginning of the year, they would look at me like I stole their puppy. I heard a lot of, “Give me one more chance!” But I would reply, “I mean what I say. I said it would happen, now it is happening.”

Side note—I let them earn it back, because students not working is not helpful to anyone. Most of them are very careful.

And sometimes, you just need that one person to lose it for everyone to get the picture.

Now that it is almost March, they believe me when I say it. That doesn’t mean they do it perfectly, but it means they do it less. And they no longer look at me like I am sealing their puppy.

Also read: Lessons form my First Semester Teaching Elementary Music

These are the very basics of classroom management—keys that must be in place for everything else! You can read about Specific Classroom Management Strategies here. And when everything fails, you can read How to Destress After a Crazy Day of Teaching (I’m not going to lie, right now it’s been a long two weeks!).



Let us know your keys to classroom management in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe for more ideas!

Happy Teaching!

Keys to Classroom Management. Becca's Music Room. Basics to having an orderly classroom when teaching elementary music... or any subject!



Children's Church, Lessons

Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God– Music

Music! Music is one of my favorite things. I am a music teacher—I went to college for Music Education and specialized in voice. I currently teach elementary music (hence: why the blog’s name is Becca’s Music Room), which I love most of the time.

So I was really excited to talk to my kids about ways we can use music for God.

Now, some of you may not agree with me on all of the points. I have been singing in choirs since middle school. I have taken piano lessons. I have given recitals where I have sung opera and art songs and oratorios.

Some of those songs were about God. And a lot were not.

And you know what? During all of those instances, I feel like I am praising God. Sometimes even more so than in church on Sunday.

It is something about music that makes me feel connected to God, even when I am singing about French birds (no, I am not making that up). I truly believe that God honors the dedication and practice. He pours out his presence and his spirit of creativity on us.

I don’t sing on Sundays because I teach Children’s Church, but I still honor God with music.

I do it every day when I teach school, even though I do not say his name or sing songs that have to do with him. But I am still honoring God with my talents because I am showing his love to the kids and teaching them about music.

So I went into teaching this lesson with that in mind. You can be a worship leader and honor God with your talents. You can play trumpet in a jazz band and honor God with your talents. You can play Mozart on piano and honor God with your talents. You can teach elementary music and honor God with your talents.

I want my students to see all of those sides.



This lesson, even more so than some of the others, was inspired by reading this book. It is a wonderful book, and talks in depth about praising God with art—even when it is not in the most obvious ways. Because so much of my life is dedicated to art—both in music and in my painting hobby—I related very well to the book. It is also a quick, good read.

This lesson is conversation based, like the others have been. If you have missed any you can read them here:

Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God-- Music. Conversation based lesson for teaching students how they can use all of their talents for God-- even beyond the most obvious ways. Works with children's church, sunday school, and youth group. Becca's Music Room



Using Talents for God: Music

Bible Passages:

Psalms 98 (main)

1 Samuel 16:10

Lesson:

  • Ask if any of the students have a talent for music. If you do, or one of your other teachers does, go ahead and talk a little bit about it now.
  • Ask the students what some ways we can use music for God are. You will probably get a lot of “We can be worship leaders!”
  • Say: Great! Being in a worship band is a great way to honor God. You use your talent to bring people closer to him. Do you think that is the only way that we can use music talents for God?
  • Read Psalms 98
  • I heard some interesting things in here. It said to praise God with singing. But it also said to use the harp (show a picture of a harp if they don’t know what that is). The harp is kind of like a piano. Does the piano say words? Well if the piano doesn’t have words, can it still honor God? It also talks about the trumpet. When you play trumpet, you buzz your lips (allow the students to buzz their lips. This is a similar sound to a motorboat—put your lips together and then push a lot of air through them.) If you are buzzing your lips, can you say words? So how can we praise God with our trumpets?
  • I think that I know a verse that may work here. 1 Samuel 16:10 says that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. So it doesn’t matter if I am singing or playing trumpet—it is what is in my heart that glorifies God!
  • So if I play tuba in a band at school, can I honor God in that? And if I sing in a choir and our songs are not about God, can I still honor God in that? Yes! God loves music—he created music! If we play music with the intention of honoring him with it, then we will honor him!

Also read: Free Church Object Lesson for Putting God First

Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God-- Music. Conversation based lesson for teaching students how they can use all of their talents for God-- even beyond the most obvious ways. Works with children's church, sunday school, and youth group. Becca's Music Room



  • Now, do you think God like it if we play flute but we never practice? And we don’t work on it? No. God loves it when we work towards something. He sees when we practice every day, and he rewards it with us getting better. We can honor God just by working hard on our music. And music is hard. You have to practice a lot to be good.
  • Can anyone think of any other ways we can honor God in music? (I got “We can write songs about him.” “We can make songs that teach people about him.” “We can have a concert and give the money to charity” and “We can help people in our band or choir and be nice to them so they can know about God.”)
  • If we have a talent for something, should we hide it? No! We should share it. We can do that by playing music for people, and also by teaching people.
  • (I teach elementary music, so I was able to share a bit of that. We talked about how I teach music, but I try to show my students God’s love through that—hopefully by me loving them, they will see God’s love through me. I can also give them the skills they need to worship God with their music. (We also talked about how teachers in public school cannot teach about God. You do not need to go that far, but it came organically for us since I am a teacher.))
  • End the service with something musical. You could have them dance or sing along with a worship song. (My kids LOVE this one—they request it every week!) We played a music game, which is my thing because I do it in school all week. Or you could sing a song with them—Father Abraham is a big favorite.

Also read: My Kids’ Favorite Church Games

How do you use music for God? What did you students come up with? Let us know in the comments!

And don’t forget to subscribe for the rest of the series, and other Children’s Church Resources!



Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God-- Music. Conversation based lesson for teaching students how they can use all of their talents for God-- even beyond the most obvious ways. Works with children's church, sunday school, and youth group. Becca's Music Room



 

3-5, Elementary Music, Lessons

Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat, Take a Seat

This is one of my favorite games! I learned it from my mentor during student teaching. I am not sure where she got it from. I haven’t seen it in any books or on the internet. If you know where Extra Beat Take a Seat comes from, feel free to let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

I have also used it during a long term substitute job, and the first week of school during my first year.

It is easy to figure it out, musical, and fun.

It is also good if you need to travel to classrooms. I have used it many times for that. Just do it with hands instead of rhythm sticks.

Also read: Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Boomwhackers and Science

Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat Take a Seat. A really fun rhythm game for upper elementary. Can be played with rhythm sticks, drums, or no materials at all! Becca's Music Room



Extra Beat, Take a Seat

Focus:

I can count rhythm patterns.

Materials:

Also read: Phrases for Classroom Management in the Music Room

Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat Take a Seat. A really fun rhythm game for upper elementary. Can be played with rhythm sticks, drums, or no materials at all! Becca's Music Room



Procedure:

  • Have students sit on a circle on the floor.
  • Start by having students play a short rhythm on repeat. I like to use quarter note, quarter note, half note. I play the first two with rhythm sticks on the floor, and the last note tap together. This, by the ways, is the “We Will Rock You” rhythm, so get ready to hear someone sing that.
  • Once they have the rhythm down, tell them to put their sticks down and listen. Tell them you are going to play the rhythm three times and three times only. And then do it. Count out loud so that they can hear what you mean.
  • Have them play it with you, three times and three times only. Someone will keep going—use that as an example.

Also read: Free K-2 Music Lesson: Sempre Libera Scarf Routine

Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat Take a Seat. A really fun rhythm game for upper elementary. Can be played with rhythm sticks, drums, or no materials at all! Becca's Music Room
Here are the rhythms in notation. D for playing on the floor, and u for playing sticks together.



  • Tell them that you are going to play a game. They have to play the rhythm first three times and three times only. If they make an extra beat, they have to take a seat (sit in the middle of the circle). Then the class will try it again. Once the whole class (or whoever is left!) gets it right, then the round is over and everyone can rejoin the circle.
  • Once students get three times down, the round is over. The next time everyone will play the rhythm five times. Keep moving up by two each time. I usually go to eleven, and then find a new rhythm. You can do that or choose something else.
  • Once they get to whatever your magic number is, get a new rhythm.
  • My second rhythm is quarter note, quarter note, two eighth notes, quarter note. Play the rhythms as down-down-up-up-up. Again, if you make an extra beat, then you take a seat.
  • The third rhythm that I use is eighth notes, eighth notes, quarter note, quarter note, quarter note. this one goes down-down-up-up-down-up-down

A few tips:

Use a djembe to play the rhythms, because students can hear it over their sticks. This will help them keep the beat study.

You can play this without the sticks—just have students tap their legs and clap. This makes it great for the classroom.

You can add in some simple math practice by asking questions like, “If I have three notes and I play it three times, how many notes do I play total?”

Also read: Music Lesson Ideas: Opera Stories

So there you go! It’s not too difficult, but it is very fun! What is your favorite rhythm game? Let us know in the comments!

Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat Take a Seat. A really fun rhythm game for upper elementary. Can be played with rhythm sticks, drums, or no materials at all! Becca's Music Room



Children's Church, Lessons

Free Church Lesson: Using Talents for God in Sports

This lesson is part three of our Using Talents for God series. Last week’s lesson was on arts. This week is sports.

Sports are really great, because a lot of kids play sports (whether on a team or just in gym class), so they relate to them very well. The connection between God and sports, however, is much less clear than the connection between art and God or music and God. You can still use sports talents for God, but students just have to think a little bit harder.

This whole series is based off of what I read in this book. Although it is really talking about art, it got me thinking about how you can use all of your talents for God, even when they are not super clear.

All of these lessons are discussion based, which basically means that you ask a lot of questions to (hopefully) guide the students to the points you want to make. I really like this, because you can see what the students already think. Also, they sometimes come up with some really great things that I didn’t think of in the first place.

Because of the discussion, it is best with a smaller group. I have 10-15 kids, and it works really well. If your group is larger, I recommend splitting them into groups, or adapting the lesson to a more sermon-y version.

 

Check out part one (Using Talents for God) here

Check out part two (Using Talents for God: Art) here

 FREE Church Lesson-- Using Talents for God: Sports. Lesson for children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group that talks about how we can use sports to honor Jesus. Becca's Music Room

Bible passages:

Luke 10:30-37 (main passage)

Galatians 5:22 and James 4:16 (additional passages)

  • We have been talking about using our talents for God. Last week we talked about all of the ways that we can use our art talents for God. This week we are going to talk about sports. Who here has a talent for sports? Who plays on a sports team?
  • Playing for a team is a really great way to have fun, stay in shape, and make friends. How could we use playing on a team to use our talents for God? (They will probably say that we can tell them about Jesus.)
  • We can tell our teammates about Jesus. But we can also show them Jesus, by helping them and being nice to them.
  • Now, when we play sports, sometimes we lose a game. When you lose a game, should you get really mad and throw things and yell and scream? Should you be really mean to everyone after that? No. Something very important in sports is sportsmanship. That means that you have a good attitude when you lose. It really stinks to lose a game, but it happens sometimes. And that’s ok, because it is just a game. Having good sportsmanship is all about having self-control, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Read Galatians 5:22)
  • The important thing about the fruits of the spirit is that they show that you have Jesus in your heart. Does that mean it is easy? No. But it means that if you invite Jesus into your heart, he will help you have love and joy and peace. You still have to work for it, but they are the indicators of Jesus. You wouldn’t want to have an apple tree with no apples, would you? No. It’s the same with the fruits of the spirit.
  • Another part of sportsmanship is what happens when you win a game. Because just like it stinks when you lose, it stinks for the other team when they lose. So do you think that it would be good to say things like, “We won and we are awesome and we are the best!”?

Also read: Free Church Object Lesson for Putting God First

FREE Church Lesson-- Using Talents for God: Sports. Lesson for children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group that talks about how we can use sports to honor Jesus. Becca's Music Room

  • That is called bragging. It is mean, because people are already upset, and it makes them even more upset. So just like when we lose, we need self-control to not brag or boast when we win. (Read James 4:16)
  • There is another really important way that we can show people God through talents in sports. It I also part of sportsmanship—playing fair. That means that we don’t cheat. We don’t lie. Both of those are against the Ten Commandments. When we show people integrity (who knows what integrity is?) and honesty in sports, they see God through us and know they can trust us.
  • What are some other ways we can show Jesus through sports? (Hopefully someone will say something like helping out a teammate or being nice to people.)
  • Helping people is a great way to show people Jesus! Sometimes in sports, people get hurt. Or they get their feelings hurt. Or they need help with something. Helping them out is a great way to show God’s love. When we do things like that, people can see God’s love without us even saying His name.
  • Read Luke 10:30-37. We can be good Samaritans in sports. What are some ways that we could do that?
  • Lastly, I wanted to show you someone who is really famous. His name is Tim Tebow. He played football in the NFL. And he loved Jesus. He would put a Bible verse on his face every week to show people that he loved God. (Show them a picture of Tim Tebow with the face paint). Now, we don’t all necessarily have to do that, but it is a cool to see that he is a professional athlete who loves God.
  • Now, what are some ways that you can use your talents for sports for God this week?
  • End with a game—since we are talking about sports, a rowdy one would be great. You could also play kickball or soccer or something like that. There are some more great ideas on this Pinterest board.

And that’s it! Hopefully the discussion brings you to a good place. And hopefully this is helpful– sometimes what to say is the hardest thing to come up with!

 

You can go back and check out part one here and part two here. Subscribe to be notified about the next installment!


FREE Church Lesson-- Using Talents for God: Sports. Lesson for children's Church, Sunday School, or Youth Group that talks about how we can use sports to honor Jesus. Becca's Music Room

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Elementary Music, Lessons, Organization

Backup Lessons for when the Plan is not Working

We’ve all been there. At least…. I hope it is not just me! Sometimes, the lesson plan that we want to do is not going to happen. So it is a good idea to have a backup plan. Or two. Or three.

This has happened to me on a few occasions.

There was the time that I showed up at school to find a bunch of fans in my room, and no one could tell me what was going on. (The room flooded, by the way. You can read the lessons I did during that time here.)

There was the time that I went to a meeting twenty minutes before my first class to find out that they were testing in the room next to mine. Which means I could not make noise. And my lesson plan was really, really loud.

I’ve had supplies that didn’t get laminated on time, days that I ended up with extra students and didn’t have enough stuff, days that I found out just beforehand that the counselor needed to spend half of my class talking to kids.

And sometimes, you are sick or tired or just plain cannot make it happen.

And, of course, there are days that my students are just way too crazy for the lesson at hand.

So there will be two main parts to this post: backup ideas for when the lesson doesn’t work out, and what to do so that you do not get in trouble (hopefully) for not following your lesson plan.

Also read: Really Specific Classroom Management Systems for the Music Room

Backup Lessons for When the Plan is not working-- Because sometimes, it just is not going to happen. Ideas that you can use with all of your grades. Keep a few in your back pocket to help you out on teaching days that are difficult. (As opposed to the easy ones?) Becca's Music Room



Backup Idea #1: A Game You Know Really Well

Preferably one that does not require a lot of supplies.

And bonus points if the kids have played it before so you don’t have to teach it to them.

This option is great if your class just has way too much energy, or if you don’t have a lot of time to get things together.

Everyone has those singing games that they have done so many times that they no longer need to think very hard about them.

You know what your versions are. Some ideas are:



Backup Idea #2: Read a Book

Reading a music book is really great if you need the students to calm down. Music books are great, because there are so many of them. There are a ton of extension opportunities that go along with them!

One of my favorite short-notice no-prep ideas is to read through the book straight through once. Read it a second time and make up some movements to go along with it (especially if you read this book—I like to have the kids pretend to play each instrument). After that, I have the students color a picture based on the book.

Super easy. Super simple.

I also leave this for subs quite often.

There are other fancier things that you can do—games, worksheets, lessons, etc.

Here are some of my favorite books. Click on the picture to read the description on Amazon.


Also read: Music Lesson Ideas: Opera Stories

Backup Idea #3: Coloring

One of my favorite lessons is to listen to a song and color.

This is also great for a sub.

Have the students listen to a song. You can pick whatever song you want. Listen once just listening. Listen again, and tell the students to think about what it reminds them of. Give them paper and crayons and let them go to town. Play it a few more times so they don’t forget it.

The older students do better with this, and really enjoy it. For some reason, I didn’t think that all of my students would be so into it, but they were.

You could also do coloring sheets based on songs or units that you are doing. There are a ton of Teachers Pay Teachers stuff for free or cheap.



Backup Idea #4: Watch a Movie

When all else fails, just watch a movie.

I always feel like this is cheating, but it is not.

One more time, watching a movie is not cheating!

Just make sure it has to do with music.

Here are some of my favorite options. Again, click on the link to see the Amazon description.

Backup Lessons for When the Plan is not working-- Because sometimes, it just is not going to happen. Ideas that you can use with all of your grades. Keep a few in your back pocket to help you out on teaching days that are difficult. (As opposed to the easy ones?) Becca's Music Room

Now… what if the principal walks in?

This is always a fear for all teachers. It always cracks me up when I go to trainings and they talk about how you need to be flexible. Because that’s true… but when you get an observation mid-backup lesson, what do you do?

Well, officially, you should always be on lesson plan. Some principals are such sticklers for this that there is nothing I can tell you that will help.

But since we already discussed that that is not always possible… what do you do?

 

Explain the Situation

Let the admiistrators know that you are not doing what your plan is. Tell them why—don’t make excuses, but they should know that you are not just being lazy (hopefully).



Put in a Sticky Note

If you know ahead of time that you will be changing your lesson, stick a sticky note on top of your lesson plan binder, or add a note to your lesson plan if they are turned in online. This way, they can see that even though you changed your mind, you still had a plan.

The last thing you want is to not have a plan.

You could also shoot an email or tell them if you see them.

I knew I had an observation coming up when I found out that I could not make any noise, so I just told the assistant principal that. If she had walked in, then she would have understood.

Also read: Tips for Keeping on Top of Lesson Planning

Add a Clause

I ALWAYS add this to the bottom of my lesson plans.

“If the class’ behavior is not good enough, the teacher will differentiate the lesson by …… If students are still having trouble being successful, the teacher will put on a music-related video.”

I also add an extra activity at the end, just in case there’s extra time at the end.

I fill in the dots with whatever my backup plan is… singing game, coloring, etc.

 

What is your favorite backup plan? Let us know what you do in the comments!

Backup Lessons for When the Plan is not working-- Because sometimes, it just is not going to happen. Ideas that you can use with all of your grades. Keep a few in your back pocket to help you out on teaching days that are difficult. (As opposed to the easy ones?) Becca's Music Room