Sunday, 24 August 2014

Music Teams

Sometimes when I say "I'll post pictures tomorrow" I actually mean "I'll post pictures a year later." Not good, Lauren. Not good at all. You can shake your head at me as you read this post from last September. 

One of the organizational strategies I used last year was to split my students up in to Music Teams. I kept the kiddies in the same team (for the most part) for the 5 months I was there, except with my grade 4s who needed more moving around. I found this worked really well, especially when it came to handing out supplies. 

My brilliant idea was to create six Music Teams named for the periods of music history: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, and Post Modern. When I'm back at work in January I plan to do a Music Spotlight of some sort on each of these periods so that my students can feel extra connected to their Team. My classroom chairs were set up in three rows with an aisle in between - making six groups. 

Each team had a Team Leader. The leader got to sit in a special chair (I taped a Team Leader sign to it) and was the person I would call on to pass out their team's notebooks, rhythm instruments, or to get their materials basket. The Team Leader chair rotated every two weeks. I tried to make it random so that the students wouldn't be able to predict who the Team Leader would be. The students were pretty excited when it was their turn to have the chair. Next year I may try to make them even fancier. I'm thinking a feather boa?!? What is fancier than that?

I have control issues (which teacher doesn't have that problem?). One thing that drives me super crazy are kids stealing my pencils. Yes, stealing not forgetting to return them. Since 400+ kids go through my room every week I used to lose a lot of pencils. This post on Mrs. Q's blog gave me the idea of duct taping the ends of my pencils. Amazing! I went to Dollarama and got six different rolls of colourful duct tape - one for each Music Team.

I not only duct taped my pencils but my markers, too. That way I'd know which team left the lid off their marker or who left the marker lying on the floor. The Team Leaders were responsible for making sure that they had 6 pencils and 8 markers in their bins after each activity. Only a few students took the duct tape off, so that is a success in my books. This was a fabulous strategy! The shelf life of my supplies was extended and I always knew who didn't clean up after themselves.