Management in Specials

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FarFromHome, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2013

    I'm currently teaching music and was wondering if anyone could give me tips on a classroom management system for specials classes (music, art, PE, etc.). Is there one you've seen one of your specials teachers use, or do you have ideas that you think would also work in music?

    I have a system in the regular classroom, but I don't think it would really work in the music class. I usually have the kids sit in groups and give points based on behavior and other things. The team with the most points at the end of the week gets to pick something from the treasure box. This couldn't work for music because of the large number of classes I have and my lack of time with the kids

    The problem is that I only see my kids for music 5-7 times per quarter. They have specials on a rotating schedule, so about every week and a half they have a whole day of specials classes. My school is big, so I have 40 different classes. Most of my classes aren't bad, but this is just an area I want to improve for next year. A lot of kids think of music as just the fun, play time and I want to make sure they have fun, but are also listening and learning.

    If anyone has ideas I would really appreciate it. Thank you!!
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 17, 2013

    Our art teacher does the same as the regular ed teachers - she practices rules & procedures until the class "gets it." After that, those who don't follow them aren't allowed to participate in the "fun stuff" (painting, etc.) until they show that they can and will follow correct procedures.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2013

    Thanks pwhatley. I feel like I practice the procedures but I think maybe I need to make more specific rules. I don't have that many. The biggest issue is talking. I'm worried about my upcoming 5th graders. They were really hard to handle in 4th grade-they just talk constantly. It doesn't help that most of the 5th grade classes will have 32-33 students.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 17, 2013

    You could do something like this:

    Since you have so many classes you might give each one a page in a binder. When the class comes in open the binder to their page and display it on the board's edge. On their page is simply: M U S I C, or some other music-related term. If the class as a whole is well-behaved and worked on learning the content they get a sticker beside one letter (or mark it off, or just spell out the word one letter at a time...so the page starts blank). When they have spelled the word they get a special music day. Since you see them six or seven times a term, this would work well because it would give them a chance to earn the reward each quarter with even a couple "off" days.
     
  6. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2013

    I am super strict about procedures. SUPER STRICT! Art is a little different than music because they can work independently. After I give directions, the expectation is no talking for 5 minutes. They may talk quietly after that but if I have to remind them twice, they go back to 5 minutes of quiet.

    I try to phrase it positively, i.e. talk about getting into the "art zone" and finding their focus to work on their artwork, and how our brains really don't like it when we talk and make art at the same time!
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2013

    Thanks JustMe! I like that idea!
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2013

    Thank you! I think one problem is that the music teacher before me put up with a lot more than I'm willing to. They're used to talking and being really loud in music. I'm pretty strict so it really bothered me this year when I was having to ask them so many times to be quiet. And it's really difficult to build relationships with the students when you hardly see them!

    I went to workshops this year and bought a lot of resources to help have a lot of fun lessons that still include a lot of content. My students just want to play the whole time and don't want to listen to instructions between activities.

    I think another problem is that I'm worried too much about how they view music class. When I was in the regular classroom, I had a few students that were scared to go to one of their specials because the teacher was so strict and not very nice at times. I don't want kids to dread coming to music. But I know I need to be more strict if I want to be happy in my job!
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 17, 2013

    Sounds to me like you are on the right track!
     
  10. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2013

    I know how you feel - I was in a similar situation. But I am more often than not told that I am too nice, not too mean! Having clear expectations in the classroom means that art class is more fun and they get to make more choices. Be consistent with the rules that you set up and they will follow :)
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 18, 2013

    Thank you! I feel pretty consistent with the rules I have, so I think having more specific rules will help. I think I need to be more willing to have kids sit out if they're not behaving or listening. I hate making them sit out since I don't see them much, but hopefully it will help with behavior.

    My best behaved classes are probably kindergarten and 1st grade-I think that they adapted to my expectations pretty quickly. It's the older grades that remember what they used to get away with! Hopefully having me for a second year will help them get adjusted.
     

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