Continuing on the topic of children’s behavior, CMN member Brigid Finucane last year gathered some examples from our members of using music and sound to help quiet a noisy room. Here’s what she found:
-When I see examples of good behavior, I sing, “Good manners are a very nice touch – cha, cha, cha” from ‘Please Pass the Peas’ by Terri Mathis. The kids love it. –Tara Trudel
-A teacher I worked with used to softly sing “hey hey” (5-3 or sol – mi) and have the kids sing back “ho ho” – it was amazing how well it worked. –Martha Leader
–Teacher says “Peanut Butter,” students say “Jelly.” –Liz Buchanan
-Other teacher-student duet ideas from teacher websites:
T: Sponge Bob / S: Square pants!
T: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? / S: Sponge Bob Square Pants!
T: Lis / S: ten. T: Everybody / S: Listen.
T: And a hush fell over the crowd. / S: (in a whisper) hushhhhh.
T: Hands up top / S: That means stop (students put hand on head and freeze)
T: Da, dada, da, da / S: Da da. (Tune: Shave and a hair cut – two bits!)
-I use tonal patterns to focus. I then say, let’s take a breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Sometimes to switch it up I use rhythm patterns instead. I use the tones and rhythms of the previous song. – Pam Donkin
–I use the opening lines of Sharon Hansen’s song, “Listen. Listen.” –Leslie Zak
-I like Peter and Ellen Allard’s “Bodies 1-2-3” and “As Quiet Can Be” to quiet a bigger group and bring it into focus. – Barb Tilsen
-Sometimes I do my instrument song, just to get their attention, as “Clap and clap and stop!” to the tune of “Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me.” –Joanie Calem
–“Ah-goh”/ “ah-me,” from many places in Africa. Teacher: “Ah-goh” Kids: “Ah-me” (pronounced “may”). Set-up: “When I say (or, when you hear) “Ah-goh” it means, “Are you ready to pay attention (listen)? The kids answer, “Ah-me” which means, “I am.” We start when everyone says “ah-me.” – Leslie Zak
-Katherine Dines adds: I just looked this up online and found this additional idea, which I like a lot. This “Ah-goh” – “Ah-me” can go back and forth once or twice, but if the teacher has to ask for the students’ attention 3 times, that means the students are really not ready to refocus. Therefore, after the students’ 3rd response of “Ah-me,” everybody must clap 3 times, pat 3 times on shoulders with arms crossed, pop collar 3 times, and draw a circle with two palms moving outwards and reuniting in front of the heart while saying “Umoja” (unity in Swahili, a language of several countries in East Africa). This signifies everyone is now ready to pay attention again!
-Just start singing the next song, especially if it is new to the children. Without talking first. –Martha Leader
We’ll soon feature some other behavior-related themes gathered by Brigid. – Editor