Hello, darlin’, and welcome. I’m so happy that you are here. This is a topic I’m excited to talk about. Because man has it made a big difference in my classroom in the last few weeks. Don’t you just love it when you come across an idea, you give it a try, and wow you’re just blown away, like why didn’t I think of this before? Well, that is exactly how I feel about this strategy I’m going to share with you today. I want you to get a big bang for your buck out of it. So I’m going to tell you exactly how I have utilized it and found the best results. I’m talking about classroom management with a music box.
Classroom management, as you may know, is one of my favorite areas to discuss and improve. I really feel it is a big joy killer in the classroom if you don’t have it under control. If you are feeling overwhelmed, like “I don’t think I can go back again tomorrow,” classroom management is probably your area you need to improve in. But don’t feel alone. It is the one of the biggest problems all teachers face.
Has your class turned chatty?
So we’ve been in school a couple of months now. The new has definitely worn off that little honeymoon phase where all of our students are completely engaged because everything is new and basically they’re not comfortable enough to be as chatty as they normally are. We are left with little chat monsters that like to talk and to interact with their friends. You can’t put them anywhere in the classroom because they just won’t be quiet.
If this resonates with you, today’s strategy is going to be a game changer because it was for me. As wonderful as my students are, and as great as my classroom routines are set into place and all the other management tricks that I use, my class still gets chatty from time to time when it is not appropriate. So a friend of mine told me about using a wind up music box. I’m talking about one of those little jewelry boxes with a ballerina inside. When you open it the music comes on and you close it the music goes off. If you do not have one of those, friend get on Amazon right this minute. Have it rush delivered to your house because this is a big old deal.
Thankfully my Reagan had one and she gave me permission to bring it to school. It will remain there the entire year, I promise.
How the Music Box Method Works
So basically you use this music box to quiet your chatty, unengaged, or distracted class. It’s a wonderful auditory and visual cue to help you keep that talking under control. When you bring it to your classroom, you show students how it works. You wind it up, and you help them notice that when you open it, the music plays. When you close it the music stops, and as it winds down, the music runs out.
Anytime my students are chatty, and I don’t want to say, “Boys and girls, quieten down” or use one of my callbacks to grab their attention, I will simply walk over to my music box and open it up. Of course it plays music, and it might take a moment for your students to realize that it’s on. But anytime it’s open, the music is running out. And my students know that if they can keep that music from running out, at the end of the week, they are going to be rewarded.
Getting Music Box Rewards
The goal is to not let this music run out by Friday, because if there is music left in our box, we are going to celebrate with a reward. So you’re probably thinking, what kind of rewards are you going to give your students? I’m talking about simple Fun Friday rewards. So the first time that I used this strategy, here is what the reward was. “Boys and girls, if there is music left in our box on Friday, we’re gonna have stinky feet day.”
Oh my goodness, you would not believe how powerful stinky feet day is. It just means students get to take off their shoes in the classroom for stinky feet day. They wanted this so bad, and I really use my language to hype it up and make it something special all week. I even included it in our morning message. It was just some extra fun added to our literacy learning. I do morning message every day, and those kids giggled when I signed my message, Mrs. Stinky Feet.
From One Teacher To Another
I have to credit my friend Susan for giving me this idea. Susan uses her music box only during center time. I have used mine throughout the day at any time when I just need another way to quiet the class.
Another question you might have is what happens if the music runs out? Well, this is our little teacher secret. When my students are out of the room, I give the windup a few go arounds. I don’t actually want it to run out of music, because that music is what quietens them down. So basically, it will never run out of music. But guess what, they do not know that! I’m going to use this tool as long as I can to get the benefits that I need. Eventually it may grow old friends, I’m not saying this is a year long tool. This is something you use as long as it’s effective, and then you find something to replace it.
Another Classroom Management Tool – The Happy Bag
It’s similar to the Happy Bag. I have done full posts and videos about the Happy Bag, one of my favorite management strategies. But the Happy Bag doesn’t last forever. Neither will this music box reward if you use it day in and day out, week after week. But it is just one of those great tools to have in your toolbox.
And to help you implement this strategy in the way that I have with a weekly Friday reward associated with the music box, I am including a big list of Fun Friday ideas (see the download below). This list has all kinds of ideas that you can use that are cheap, free, absolutely fun and exciting for your students just like stinky feet day was for my kids. It’s just a list for you to reference when you’re planning these kinds of things, whether you use the music box or some other kind of management trick. We also are going to have bubblegum parties and bring a stuffed animal to school day. All of these things are simple, cheap and mostly free, and will definitely help your students to respond well when they hear that music on.
I hope you’ll give this strategy and try, and I hope you share your go-to strategies for quieting a chatty class over in our Primary Teacher Friends Facebook group. Share your most successful strategies with other teachers who may need them post in our group.
Have a wonderful, blessed week with your kiddos stay joyful, stay passionate, and until we meet again, go make a difference, teacher friend.