Click here to see my post on the new color-coding system I am using for seating and supplies:
OK, so on with the show. Today I am so so excited to show you the magnet board that I finally finished last week:
If you saw my classroom setup post (which you all have, since I know you all follow directions carefully!?!), you saw an almost-completed version of this board, which is hanging next to the front door of my classroom. The reason I wanted to make sure you read the posts on both behavior management AND color-coding is because this board covers BOTH of those things!! It is an oil drip pan from the auto department at Walmart, hung with some command strips (the same thing I did for my kids' calendar). Let's go through the two main functions of the board:
I made squares of each color I have for the student chairs and supplies (yes, using the same rolls of duct tape) to assign groups for music centers, classroom jobs (such as fixing chairs or putting away supplies), and tracking points in school-wide contests I am planning to run. I will also have magnets with pictures of a few of my "special" instruments of which I only have one- my bass xylophone, gong, slapstick etc- to indicate that someone from that group has first dibs on that instrument when they are choosing something, so that I can be sure to spread the love around the class throughout the year. It will not only help me to keep track of these things but will also help the students to answer some of their own questions (although I'm sure they will still ask anyway...) and remind students who can't keep an organized thought in their brain for more than 60 seconds.
Where my board is now hanging, I used to have this:
I have been using a sticker chart every year until now. Each class had a row of stickers to earn and they got to choose their favorite music activities when they finished a row. It has been great to me over the years, but it's time to move on. I looked at a lot of music classrooms using clip charts, with a clip for each class that can go up or down, including some really cute ones that go up a keyboard or guitar. I loved the idea of using an instrument like that, but the more I thought about it I really did NOT like the idea of a clip chart. Too many maintenance issues. After writing my post about my kids' calendar/chore chart, I realized that I could use the magnet board idea in my classroom too- and this is the result.
This entire board is actually pieced together from scraps. The duct tape I already had for all my other color-coding, the letters (which have magnet dots on the back in case I decide to put something else there later) are leftovers from the pre-made cutouts I bought to make the behavior management posters and MUSIC letters, and the keyboards are made from extra white contact paper and black painter's tape which I used to make my DIY interactive whiteboard.
I made little magnets with the name of each class on it. I had to make them small so they would all fit on one key, but they will quickly get spread out as they move up at different speeds so it won't look so crowded. Right now they are all on the bottom black key (all the K-3 classes are on the bottom keyboard and 4-6 is on the top). Instead of earning stickers to fill a row, they will work their way to the top black key. Once they earn that first incentive, they have to start back at the bottom but this time on the white keys (so it will take a little bit longer). The third step will be to go up all the black and white keys by half steps. I LOVE the idea that they earn the first incentive more quickly, but then they have to up the ante each time! By my calculations it should take most classes about half a year to go through those 3 steps, and then they can start over on just black keys.
I am still waffling about the incentive when they complete a set of keys. In the past I let them vote on their favorite music-related activities and we did them together (usually a music talent show, game like freeze dance, free instrument choice, or a favorite game/song from class). I am considering making some or all of the "reward days" into center options so that a variety of students can pick things they want instead of having to endure what the majority wants after working so hard. My issue is I really like the idea of talent shows and full-class games. So my current thought is make the first two (for just black or white keys) centers and make the 3rd (for the whole keyboard) a full-class one.... Thoughts??? Please leave a comment here or head on over to my Facebook page. I'd really like your input! Let me know what you think of my new board too. Improvement? I definitely think so :)