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When it comes to teaching…. There’s a lot going on. So if there is anything that I can use that will help my day run more smoothly, I am going to take it. In this post, I’m sharing some of the classroom management tools that help my day go more smoothly– and most of these classroom management tools are things you already have in your classroom!
If you’re reading this because you’re a new music teacher, make sure that you check out my FREE music teacher minicourse. We’ll talk about what to teach, when and how to teach it, classroom management, and more!
1. Card System
We talked last week about classroom management in this blog post and I mentioned my card system for behavior management.
Here’s how it works:
- Yellow card: Student stays at seat but is not allowed to do any of the “fun stuff”
- Orange card: Move to the audience where you can watch but not participate. This is the back wall in my room. Older kids also complete a think sheet during this station.
- Red card: In the audience the rest of class, phone call home, silent lunch for upper grades.
The teacher that I got this from also used green cards for students with extra good behavior, and those people got something special at the end of class. If her case, they had an instrument of the week and the students with green cards got to play them.
Our whole school uses Class Dojo, so I do that instead.
So as far as tools? Literally all I use is laminated construction paper. And it is SO HELPFUL. The students know exactly where they stand, you know where they stand, and it’s a visual representation to help you know that.
In the past I did other strategies, but this one is the easiest for me, and it helps the kids know exactly where they stand.
Click here for a blog post about the card system to learn more.
I use a few different signals to get kids quiet, but the chimes are my favorite of the classroom management tools for noise.
When the students are loud, I ring the chimes at the front of my room. The kids raise their hands until the sound stops.
This is extremely effective, because the kids have to listen until it stops– so they have to stop talking in order to listen to it.
They can also see the other students’ hands, so they now that they need to be quiet as well.
3. Point Board
We also do student v. teacher points, and so I made a simple point board. It just says teacher on one side and students on the other. I keep it in a sheet protector so that I can use Expo markers on it.
I also put it in a binder (I keep it open like it’s a stand) during hybrid learning from their classes so that I could easily move it around the school– and since my principal still likes to randomly have me go to the rooms. I have kept it in the binder so that it is moveable if need be.
At the end of the week (I see music students for a week at a time), I take their points, subtract my points, and whatever we are left with is minutes of game time. I shoot for the kids to have 5-10 (so I try to give 2-3 points per day).
Another one that came out of distance learning– I have a felt board that says mute on one side and unmute on the other.
When students are repeating after me, I will use this to show when it’s my turn or their turn (yes, even while they are right in front of me in person).
This helps especially with my littles, because they can see me turn it around, so they know that is their cue to talk or sing.
5. Turn it in box
Annnd the last of the classroom management tools is the turn it in box. I have one box at the front of the room where students ALWAYS put all of their papers.
This isn’t classroom management specific, but it helps so much with students turning in their work and me not losing it. Plus, then they know exactly where to put it every time.
I actually have two boxes on top of each other, so that I can put extra copies underneath.
I also keep the pencils here so that students are able to put them back easily.
There you go! 5 easy classroom management tools to help you get through the week– hopefully with some structure!