Whole Brain Teaching Music Rules

As I ready my classroom for my kiddies, I’ve been thinking about what rules I want to introduce. Last year I began whole brain teaching in my music classroom. I started with two components: Class. Yes! and the 5 rules. In this post I will tell you a little bit about my rules.
Last year I introduced the 5 WBT rules with my kids with the accompanying gestures. Using gestures and movement with your kiddies is very important be aide any it helps create connections in the brain. The bigger the movement the stronger the connection.

The 5 rules I did were:

  • Follow directions quickly (move one hand in a quick, wiggly line)
  • Raise your hand for permission to speak (raise hand and then make speak movement with hand)
  • Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat (raise hand and then make walk gesture with fingers)
  • Make smart choices (point at head with one finger)
  • Keep your dear teacher happy (Hands near face, move them back and forth.)

This year I decided to change rule number 3 a little bit. You know how when one kid raises their hand and asks to go to the bathroom and suddenly half the class realizes they have to go to?!?! This kept happening in my class so I changed rule #3 to
Use your gestures for permission to leave your seat. I will have kids do the sign language sign for toilet when they have to use the bathroom. Hopefully this will cause less disruptions.

I have the kids recite the rules in the beginning of each class using gestures. Then they turn and “teach” their partner. More on that in an upcoming post. I love having them rehearse the rules because when one child decides to break the rule all I have to do is say “rule #¬†2” and all my kiddies will say “Raise your hand for permission to speak”. Usually this acts as a great reminder for the offending kiddie.

This year I also decided to incorporate music into my rules. I figured it would be a good idea since I am a music teacher after all ūüėÄ. I set the words of each Whole Brain Teaching Rule to coincide with its rhythm. I will say each rule and clap the rhythm of the words at the same time.
I am planning on using them as a quick note reading exercise in the beginning of class.
I made the rhythms fairly easy so even my 1st graders can say and clap them.
You can see some examples below.

WBT Music Rules

WBT Music Rules

You can find them on my TpT store here.

Have you used WBT in your class?

Trash to Treasure

You know the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Well, I’m taking that to heart as I set up my classroom. I desperately needed more storage options for my rhythm sticks and mallets but I don’t have the money to go out and buy so many buckets. ¬†Luckily the art teacher in my school was getting rid of a bunch of Model Magic buckets. ¬†Treasure!! ¬†I am now using them as storage for all sorts of things. ¬†I plan on using them to create a storage center for tape, scissors, staples, etc. ¬†What have you reused in your classroom?

Model Magic Buckets

Model Magic Buckets

Fun with Play-Doh Music Mats

As summer begins to wind down, I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible with my two daughters. My 4-year-old loves to play with Play-Doh! What kid doesn’t?

Daughter playing with Play-doh music mats

Daughter playing with Play-doh music mats

I created some cute Play-Doh music mats for my daughter to use. You can see how much my little cutie loved carving and shaping music notes out of Play-Doh. So much fun! It made me think of my kids at school. They would love to play with Play-Doh during our center time.

You can find this Play-Doh Music Mat Set with over 20 notes, rests, and symbols at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. .¬†I can’t wait to use it with my school kiddies in the fall! Center time!

Play-Doh Music Mats

A Little About Me and Brain-Based Teaching

Hi! I am so excited that you’ve come to visit my blog! I am a K-5 general¬†music and chorus teacher in central New Jersey. ¬†I enjoy¬†instilling in my kiddies a love and appreciation for music and the arts.

Recently, I embarked on a journey to earn my Master’s degree in Brain-based Teaching and Learning through¬†Nova Southeastern University’s BrainSMART program. ¬†It is truly an amazing program that mixes cognitive neuroscience with educational research. ¬†I can’t even begin to explain how much I have learned in the two classes that I have taken so far. ¬†I have been applying certain aspects of what I have learned in my regular classroom before summer break and now in my Preschool Piano class I teach during the summer. ¬†My little 4-year-olds are eating it up!! To see preschoolers discuss terms such as inferences, using cues, and making connections with such ease is a dream come true for any educator. ¬†In future posts I will be discussing some really cool activities and lessons I did with my preschool kiddies that involves Brain-based teaching. ¬†Can’t wait to share it with you!

Cristina