Category Archives: classroom management

Great Classroom Management Tool

I was looking around pinterest and found this:

Stop what you’re doing. Walk over and hand this to a child instead of yelling across the classroom. Great idea for classroom management without disrupting the whole class! With picture cues for the firsties.

Stop what you’re doing. Walk over and hand this to a child instead of yelling across the classroom. Great idea for classroom management without disrupting the whole class! With picture cues for young children and ELL students.

How awesome is this? Usually, the distracting behavior is done by a student who wants attention. By giving them a card without drawing additional attention to them or their behavior, it empowers the students to make a better choice and doesn’t distract other students.

I can’t wait to make them!


Teaching Children How to Listen

I came across this great poster at  This is a wonderful way to teach students how to listen! So many times we say, “listen,” but we forget that children need to be taught how to listen.


I like to use this in my classroom with my little ones as I see good listening behaviors. For instance, “the first row is showing me that they understand that a good listener listens with their eyes because they are all looking at me.”  Reminders like that, given throughout the class, are great cues for the students and creates a positive classroom climate.

Do you use this? Do you use something similar to this? 

Don’t forget to leave a comment on Monday’s post ( to enter to win a door prize from West Music! 

A’s of Audience Behavior

I saw this great poster floating around on Pinterest.  The pin I re-pinned didn’t link to the author so I don’t know where this came from but it’s great!

4A's of the Audience - a quick and simple way to remind the kids how to act during a concert or classroom presentation.

Do you have any cute ideas for audience behavior? I know we all need them!

Find a “Spot!”

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you want the children to find a “spot” in self-space. Or you might have little children who need a gentle reminder about what constitutions “their” space.

Enter: this great idea!

Placemats used as "spots" for circle time.

You can visit and read about how this teacher uses these in her class to keep things organized and safe!

Have you used something like this before? I’ve used carpet squares that were left over from carpet stores or home depot but sometimes they are hard to find. This seems like a much better idea! How else could you use these in your classroom?

Assessment with a Line-up Song!

If you head over to you can see this great Line-up song!

Line-Up Song

Mrs. Dennis (the author of the blog) teaches you how to use this song in your classroom to assess tempo, dynamics, melody, harmony, timbre, and rhythm!

Do you have a song like this? Have you used other line-up songs to assess musical skills?

Friday Fun!

How cute is this idea?

It’s a “rest area.” I think it’s so much more positive than a “time out” or some other negative thing. We know that when children make choices that are not helpful to themselves or others, it’s usually a reaction out of impulse.  A rest area is a kind way to teach children to take a break when they get reactive and impulsive, instead of a “punishment.”

What a clever idea!

Rhythm and Rules Lesson Plan Ideas

Yesterday I posted the following picture which includes rules and rhythms that our Treasurer  learned in her Level I course with Gretchen and Sandy.

Today, I’d like to share some possibilities for using these in your classroom.  These are jumping off points for lesson plans.  Below the ideas, you can see possible NGSSS that might work with.

  • Arrange the rules in different orders and practice speaking them expressively.
  • Allow students to clap the rhythm of the rules (1 level of body percussion).
  • Allow students to use 2 levels of body percussion to perform the rules, changing with each rule/card, or within, depending on the level of your class.
  • Challenge students to use three levels of body percussion.
  • Take out the words and allow students to perform the rhythms using body percussion only, try in a different order.
  • Allow a student (or small group) to “perform” the rules for the class and the other classmates have to figure out which order they put the rules in.
  • Transfer all of the above activities to instruments.
  • Arrange your own class composition using the rhythm of the rules as the guideline.

MU.K.C.1.4              Identify singing, speaking, and whispering voices.

MU.K.S.3.4              Imitate simple rhythm patterns played by the teacher or a peer.

MU.K.O.1.1             Respond to beat, rhythm, and melodic line through imitation.

MU.K.O.1.2             Identify similarities and differences in melodic phrases and/or rhythm patterns.

MU.1.S.1.2              Create short melodic and rhythmic patterns based on teacher-established guidelines.

MU.1.S.3.4              Match simple aural rhythm patterns in duple meter with written patterns.

MU.2.C.1.3              Classify unpitched instruments into metals, membranes, shakers, and wooden categories.

MU.2.S.3.4              Compare aural melodic patterns with written patterns to determine whether they are the same or different.

MU.2.F.3.1              Collaborate with others in a music presentation and discuss what was successful and what could be improved.

MU.3.S.3.4              Match simple aural rhythm patterns in duple and triple meter with written patterns.

MU.3.S.3.5              Notate simple rhythmic and melodic patterns using traditional notation.

MU.3.O.2.1             Rearrange melodic or rhythmic patterns to generate new phrases.

MU.4.S.1.3              Arrange a familiar song for voices or instruments by manipulating form.

MU.4.S.3.5              Notate simple rhythmic phrases and extended pentatonic melodies using traditional notation.

MU.4.F.1.1              Create new interpretations of melodic or rhythmic pieces by varying or adding dynamics, timbre, tempo, lyrics, and/or movement.

MU.5.S.3.2              Play melodies and accompaniments, using proper instrumental technique, on pitched and unpitched instruments.

MU.5.S.3.5              Notate rhythmic phrases and simple diatonic melodies using traditional notation.

Can you think of other ways to use rhythms and rules as a lesson in your class? Please share in the comments section!