Friday, November 13, 2015

Creating Magic: Music in the Classroom Part 2!

Happy Birthday to ME! 

Ah, music. My favorite thing <3.

A few days ago, I shared some ways you could engage your students in the content through music.  Today, I want to share how you can use them for brain breaks!

We all need them.  Students.  Teachers.  Our brains can only take so much learning.  A quick 3 minute break can do the body good.  Get the blood flowing, freshen up the brain, get ready for the next thing.

In my room, we have the totally awesome..... BLUE BUTTON!

An idea I stole from Ron Clark - except his was red.

For every content area or worktime, the kids and I are working towards a celebration.  A Blue button dance party - they call it.  We are working hard the whole.entire.time.  Challenging our brains, working together, solving problems, listening, modeling school expectations, and sharing ideas.  When we do an outstanding, awesome job- we solve a tough problem, we've been working hard the whole time, someone shared a really cool, efficient strategy - "Oh yeah - y'all are so awesome you totally earn a .. BLUE BUTTON CELEBRATIOOOOOOON"

**Boing** (That's the sound of our button - they love to hit it!)

The lights go off

Someone turns on the disco ball

The music comes on

And for about 3 minutes, we just let loose.

We may dance to The Whip & Nae Nae, the Quan, I like to move it, Sugar, Uptown Funk, Shake it Off, Brave - whatever I'm in the mood to play.  Sometimes we even do this one...

Who doesn't love the continental drift? No matter how many times they've seen it, they always shout - THERE'S THE PRINCE!! (yeah yeah, you said that last time)

I have a playlist on my desktop that allows me to pick quickly so there is no time wasted with loading.

After 3 minutes, its a quick call and response to regain attention and back to work.  Kids know to turn the lights on, turn off the disco ball, and hurry back.

Now, this did not happen over  night.  It takes modeling.  It takes practices.  It takes goal setting.  But once you've done it enough, they'll have it down.  And my kids know that if they waste time and don't get back to their seats or to work  - then the next Blue Button Celebration they earn is taken away.  The don't want that to happen so they just do what's expected.

These little breaks are so fun and are just what we need to get our blood flowing and get ready for the next thing.

What are you waiting for... go grab your own blue button!


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