Do you ever have a hard time getting the kids to get themselves ready for the day? Are your students scrambling to pack up their belongings in their backpack at the end of the day?
I have a simple solution to that problem. Every morning I play a calm, instrumental song. The students know they have until the end of the song to get ready for the day. Getting ready for the day means, putting their lunch away, sharpening pencils, getting everything out of their backpack that they need for the day, putting their backpack away, and turning in their homework. These are known as the “Morning Procedures.” Once they’re ready for the day, they begin writing in their daily journal.
I use the same procedure for the end of the day. I choose a different song that is similar to the morning song. The students have until the end of the song to get their homework folder, sign their behavior sheet (they circle the color green if they had good behavior), get their backpack and lunch, and clean up their area (trash or pencils on the ground, etc.). These are known as the “Closing Procedures.”
I also have a quick song I like to use for cleaning up after an activity. Let’s say the kids have been working in group on creating a poster that explains a sea creature. I play the clean up song and they have until the end of the song to have their markers or colored pencils put away and their poster turned in. This one I like to use the Spongebob Square Pants theme song. The kids like to sing along and it motivates them to move quickly.
Using this method helps so I’m not constantly reminding the kids what I want them to do and there is a clear expectation of what needs to be done and how long it should take them. I also have 2 posters in the room explaining Morning Procedures and Closing Procedures.
Great places to get calm music are Walmart, Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond. Have you ever been in one of these stores and they have the sample CD’s that you can press and hear what songs are on the CD (add oddly enough, they’re NOT located with all the other CD’s)? Those are the ones I use. They usually have all sorts of categories like spa music, classical, jazz, Mediterranean, and even Celtic. Try it out. See if it works for your class.