Make Learning Fun: Pacing Your Classes, Teaching Lines and Spaces [AUDIO]

Ramona’s comment inspired me to write 15 Tricks To Transform Yourself From Classroom Bully Into A Favorite Teacher a few days ago. Yesterday, it inspired Joey to leave a comment. The excerpt that jumped out at me was this:

In response to Ramona’s post, I see 680 students some twice a week, some once every other week each as a class (30-35 students.) I found the best thing to do is to have generalized rules and consequences posted up and always refer to the posters. If I notice the class is coming in wild I start by reviewing them. I have what we should do posted up, and in my time out spot, I have the consequences. I found most if the time, my pacing dictates a lot of the behavior. I try to make sure everyone understands the concept and then try to move on, but am finding out that I have to just give information in snippets of 5 minutes and then move on to another activity quick. For example, I teach music. We took 4 class sessions to learn the names of notes on the treble clef. 4 hours of class to achieve my goal of having kids remember the spaces spell the word FACE, and the lines can be remembered by Every Good Bear Deserves Fish (girls objected to every good boy does fine . . . grr!) I will probably take 2 more class sessions reviewing and reinforcing something that my HS teacher brain is screaming at me thinking it should only take one class. I spend 5-10 minutes on the review, then we sing a song, or do a dance, or play recorders to reinforce the concept.

I realized that this might have once taken me a long time to teach also, but I have since learned how to make the learning much more fun. I found a couple of little songs and chants that work wonders. The kids LOVE learning this, especially when I add some dance moves in there. “Okay, everybody lean to the right when we say ‘F'” or whatever. It’s cool.

They love the clapping. They love deciding what word/non-offensive gesture to put on the end.

But I didn’t know how to relay that to my readers other than audio. So I recorded some of my horrible singing skills here for you to listen to. It’s nothing magical, but it should hopefully give you an idea of how I can get some fairly difficult concepts taught in a short period of time.

So hopefully this will work. If you like the 2:30 audio clip, let me know and I’ll do some more.


About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

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