Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Worked for Me Wednesday

I'm excited to link up with the awesome Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for her "Worked for Me Wednesday" linky party.  For our posts, music teachers will talk about something we've done before that we've found that has worked for us!  After you read my idea below, simply click on this picture below to go check out some more posts with great ideas!

My post today is about my magical wind chimes.  Yep, they're truly "magical" in my little music world.  Well, at least for behavior management!!! 

Years ago, I was teaching a very chatty first grade class and trying so hard to come up with something...anything to grab their attention and keep it.  I am still not sure how I came up with this and how it worked and has continued to work for years, but I would bet money on the fact that it works because kids WANT to use their imaginations naturally.  So....this is what happened one very magical music class:  
"Boys and Girls, the strangest thing happened the other day!  I was teaching a class and by mistake I came over here and played the beautiful sound of these wind chimes and the next thing you whole class just...fell asleep!!!  The WHOLE class.  AND then, the STRANGEST thing happened, when I played the wind chimes again, the class woke up, BUT, they had NO idea that they fell asleep.  They just sat up, looked at me, and smiled, like nothing had happened at all.  It was so magical.  I mean, I wonder if it only works on that class....or maybe just on amazing listeners out there....I mean...I wonder...would it...maybe work...on don't think so.....well, maybe I should just try.....(cue the wind chimes...and down they go with a giggle!!!  Silently "asleep")  WHAT in the world just happened!?!  These MUST be MAGICAL wind chimes!  Wow!  I wonder if I play them again...(they all wake up and look around).  "Kids!  You fell asleep!"  "huh?  no we didn't...etc." - I mean, no way would it ever work more than once" (wind chimes - down they go...giggles, etc.)  And so on.  

They.  LOVE. this.
From the day I introduce this, I now have one of the BEST classroom management tools ever.  Simply play the wind automatically "fall asleep" and I can teach while they're silently attentive!  I use this for all of my "listening lessons."  They love it and ask me if we are going to play the "wind chime" game constantly.  I use it with my "Carnival of the Animals" unit when I want them to focus their listening.  I can tell you that I've had less than a hand full of "non-believers," but with a little persuasion, eventually, they cave in.  I usually just say, "Well, these really only work on the best listeners..." and MOST of the time they lie down...only once in 15 years, have I actually said to a child, just play along and have fun with us.  Again, deep down, it's all about "play" and using their imaginations - for most, it's just natural.  I love their "acting" skills, too.  "What?  Who me?  I wasn't sleeping."  hahaha! 

I have to also share that one year, we had a part-time music position added to our school.  This teacher had some 1st grade classes with students I had the previous year.  She was teaching a lesson and singing a song where there were wind chime parts and played them - to suddenly whole class laying down on the floor pretending to be asleep!!!  hahahahahaaaa! Oh my goodness did I crack up laughing when she told me this - I remember her describing it as turning around and seeing her class of "narcoleptic children and being totally confused."  They told her later about the magic wind chimes - but what a gift to know that my silly idea had STUCK with them.  Ha!!!!

So, that's my idea that TRULY "Worked" for me.  I hope you enjoyed it!  Please feel free to comment below if you enjoyed this post or even share something that completely has "worked" for you in your music classroom.  Thanks for stopping by!