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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Tuesday: teacher music stand organization



For this Teacher Tuesday I'm showing you my music stand that I keep at the front of the room when I'm teaching. It is my command center during the day- I really only touch my desk before and after school. Maybe during lunch if I'm lucky. I try to keep it uncluttered and sorted so I can grab what I need without missing a beat during class.

On the stand itself I have three things that are always there: a magnetic clock/stopwatch/timer, my class schedule, and a clipboard with all my seating charts on it. I got the clock in the kitchen section because my wall clock is not where I can see it when I am teaching most of the time. It has come in handy as a timer and stopwatch too though, and it's easier to see at a glance than a wall clock anyway! I made a condensed version of my class schedule with the start and end times, laminated it, and put little magnet dots on the back so I could reference that whenever I need to. I find that I sometimes get lost in the lesson and can't remember when I'm going to need to stop! The clock and the schedule help me stay on track throughout the day.

On my clipboard I have my seating charts for each class. At the beginning of each day I get out the ones I will be using that day and put them in order, so that as I teach a class I can put it at the back and have the next one ready to go. I write down EVERYTHING on the seating charts. Besides the obvious seating assignments, I also have space to jot down grades for informal assessments, part assignments (if I want them to continue working on the same part of a song next class), who has played those instruments everyone wants (like the bass xylophone), notes about the class as a whole, behavior notes tracking (more on that another day...), and anything else I want to remember about a student or class. By the end of each trimester those things are chock-full and pretty worn down, but it is the best system for me for sure! I don't like to have to stop class for even a second to pull out a grade-book, list, or other chart. And I don't want to have to go looking for something when I need information in the middle of class unexpectedly. It's also handy for parent conferences, because it's easy for me to find everything I need about a particular student to talk to parents. Plus I'm more likely to remember where Johnny in Ms. Smith's 2nd grade class sits than what Johnny's last name is- so it's better to have that information by seating rather than alphabetically. **You can download the seating chart I use for free here or get a set of seating charts in several class sizes and configurations here!**

Then we have the make-shift organizer that hangs down from the stand. It's actually one of those cheap aprons from Home Depot. I had seen people using them on the backs of student chairs to hold books and supplies, and bought one to see if they would work in my room. Although I decided against using them for the student chairs, it was a perfect solution for my music stand! Ever have your projector remote sitting on the stand, pick up the clipboard and set it back down on top of the remote, and then spend 10 minutes trying to find the remote? Maybe that's just me... In any case this really helped with that problem! Now all the other bits and pieces I used to keep on the music stand are in one of the two pockets of the apron.


On the left, we have my projector remote and infared pen (for my DIY interactive whiteboard). I use both of them frequently during class but they are constantly either getting lost behind my clipboard or falling off the stand. Now they have their own space where they don't bother anyone :)


I keep all of my behavior management-related things on the right side. I wrote about my letter system in this post on behavior management. The extra letters (for if they earn letters beyond the original word) are in this pocket. I also have my behavior slips and happy notes and a pencil for students to use to fill it out during class if needed.

It's very poorly-made, but I had some leftover fabric from another project that was just the right size, so I hot-glued it over the front to cover the Home Depot logo (and make it look a little less apron-y). Someday I may go back and spray paint it or something, but for now it's functional and cute enough to not bother me too much when I use it :)

Do you keep a music stand at the front of the room? What things do you have on it and how do you organize all of your stuff? Leave a comment below or come join the conversation on facebook by clicking on the link in the header!

15 comments :

  1. I used to keep a music stand at the front for the very same reason. I didn't like missing a beat as you say :) I too considered putting those aprons on the backs of my chairs, but didn't. I would've loved to have the types of chair I had when I was in school, the ones with metal racks attached underneath.

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    1. I know right? :) I tried to think of an easy/cheap way to DIY something like that but so far, to no avail...

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  2. Do you have more info about your seating chart format available?

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    1. Yes! Thank you for asking. I've added the links to the post above but you can download the one I use for free here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seating-Chart-Elementary-Music-1328886 And you can get a whole set of seating charts similar to mine but in different formations and class sizes here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seating-Chart-Set-Music-1350295 Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

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    2. Can you tell me what the S H B stand for on your seating chart?

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    3. Yes! I used to use a sticker chart for behavior management, so the S stands for sticker (I kept track of who had had a turn putting up the sticker for the class). The H stands for Happy Note and B stands for Behavior Slip.

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  3. I saw a blogpost of yours on the Music Teachers Facebook Group and now I'm hooked. Having a stand at the top of the room is a great idea, I'm just finished my student teaching placement and towards the end I started using a stand. I love how organised yours is - I'll definitely have to adopt something similar!

    www.katiebombatie.blogspot.ie

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    1. Glad to have you here! :) I couldn't survive without the stuff on my music stand, and organizing it this way has definitely streamlined things for me since I made the change! Congratulations on your student teaching and good luck with your future endeavors!

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  4. Love the music stand organizer apron. I have so many remotes in my room they get misplaced all the time!

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    1. I know right?!? I absolutely love it. Such a simple little thing but it really has made a big difference in my teaching.

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  5. I teach from an old AV cart on wheels that someone didn't want anymore because they no longer used their overhead projector. Top shelf I keep pens/pencils, sticky notes, stapler and tape and leave the rest of the space for my teacher's manuals and clipboard. At the beginning of the day, I stack my teacher manuals or other needed items for classes that day in order. When one class is done, I close my book and set it down on the shelf below. Bottom shelf is my catch-all: papers to grade/hand back, etc. I can move this wherever I need it in the room - and take it to another room, if necessary. I found a music stand wasn't quite big enough for me. I like your pocket idea - I may try to add one to help keep me from losing my remote controls!

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    1. Sounds like you've got a great system! I bet you could attach one of these aprons lots of places to add that little bit of extra storage- let me know if it works!

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  6. Congratulations for your post! Great organization... I'm searching a pocket organizer like yours for my music stand. Does it have a specific name? I have not find anything like this one at Home Depot.

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    1. Hi Ana, and thank you for your comment! The aprons were a little hard to find at my Home Depot- you may want to ask a worker to show you where they are- but they should have them. Here's a link to them online: http://www.homedepot.com/p/The-Home-Depot-Canvas-Work-Apron-HD324655/202311423

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    2. Thank you very much! At this time, in Spain, we are having summer holidays and is very useful to find tips like this to organize the remote controls, post-it, pencils... I'll try this idea al the beginning of the new academic year. Have a good summer!

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