Classroom Management: Entrance Procedure

This is a simple yet effective method I use to start every music lesson. It has helped me assess the student energy level, shift it in a direction I want, and set a nice tone at the beginning of every lesson.

I stand at the entrance of the classroom to wait for students' arrival.
Why this is important: 
  • I don't let the students rush in. If they rush in, it will take much more effort to refocus their energy for the class.
  • It communicates to the students that I am ready for them.

I greet students by name when they line up and make eye contact with me.
Why this is important:
  • The student is putting the effort to follow the correct procedure. Me acknowledging their effort makes this work worth it.
  • Other students want to interact in the greetings and focus their attention on lining up correctly and greeting me.

I tell the students what we will do in the lesson that day and ask them if they agree with the agenda.
"Today we will sing 3 Japanese songs, practice page 1 & 2 of the rhythm drills, and play ukuleles. Is this okay?" and I wait for their nods in agreement or receive their feedback.
Why this is important:
  • Students will know what to expect from the lesson.
  • Students set up the classroom according to the lesson activities.
  • Students hold me accountable for time management. If they see we are spending too much time on rhythms and there are only 15 minutes of class left, they speak up!
  • Asking the students if they agree with the agenda gives them a chance to modify it. Sometimes they remind me to do something I forgot about, like "Ms. B, last time you said we would start with ukuleles."

I expect all students to walk into the classroom quietly. If they run or shout, we all go back to the line and try again
Why this is important:
  • I like setting a calm state of mind at the beginning of every class.
  • Music instruments in the classroom can get damaged when students run.
  • Students can get hurt if they push/are pushed by someone else.

We sing our school song at the beginning of every class
Why this is important:
  • The students remember the lyrics to the school song and can sing it correctly at school events.
  • It communicates consistency and structure. We always start the lesson with the school song.
  • Students like predictable lessons.
Note: if you don't have a school song, you can choose an anthem for the year or season.

Different people are chosen to pass out instructional materials every class.
Why this is important:
  • Builds a feeling of ownership for the classroom and classroom materials.
  • It gives all students the opportunity to earn Class Dojo points.
  • All students learn where things are stored and kept (music textbooks are in the back storage room separated by class, for example. Students don't see this part of the room on a day-to-day basis, but get the opportunity to go back there when they're chosen to pass out materials.


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