There are moments when I feel like I’m employing guerrilla war tactics with my students.
All is fair in love and learning. I’m a sneaky person when it comes to the subtle techniques I use everyday when the students and I are in trenches.
My favorite guerrilla teacher tactic is music.
Music is almost always on in my classroom. Pandora is my best friend.
We listen to two genres of music- music with words and music without words. Very cerebral classifications, no?
Music without words is for reading. I can’t focus on what I’m reading if the music has lyrics, but I also have trouble focusing on my reading with shuffling feet or other ambient noises that occur when you have 20+ individuals quietly reading. A ticking clock is one of the worse sounds in the world in my opinion, so music is a must.
My favorite stations for monitored independent reading time are classical. My go to station is Fryderyk Chopin Radio.
I’m sure you follow my reasoning here, Classical Music is where it’s at for reading. I’ve had students request Kenny G, but I just can’t take it. My apologies Kenny G.
So when do we listen to music with words? Writing is my favorite time to listen to music with words. Currently my class is working on their blogs (as am I) and we’re listening to Jackson 5 radio. Let me tell you, Jackson 5 Radio is a gift from the writing gods. The words are flowing from us like a fast moving stream of creativity.We’re all dancing a bit in our seats, and, I won’t lie, more than a few of us are singing along or doing our best lip sync,
We may or may not have just had a discussion about forming a show choir. I’m totally down…for the record.
Music is one of my favorite teaching secret weapons. It can be the calming melodies of Chopin drifting through the classroom calming minds and helping students focus, but at times the role of music shifts. Music can energize students and amp up their productivity.
Music=the ultimate mood setting device for the classroom
Hit play dudes.