Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Classroom Rules

How do you do rules in your music classroom?  I have seen so many cute ideas on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers.  A lot of teachers spell the word "MUSIC" and have each letter represent a rule.  In fact, Lindsay Jervis at www.pursuitofjoyfulness.blogspot.com has a great idea using this concept, and she has also come up with cute little songs for each rule.  You can find them at Teachers Pay Teachers here: Lindsay Jervis music rules.

I've always used them a little differently.  I picked the 5 most important (to me) things I want the kids to do in my classroom, and just figured out the rhythm of the words.  On the first day when we go over them, I actually like to get a little body percussion round going on with all of the rules.  I'll split up the class and have them start on different rules.  I also use them whenever I need a simple ostinato for a song.  They are also great for preparing syncopation (the last 2 rules).  I've even had the kids transfer them to instruments on my Orff-inspired days.

My rules are:

Be respectful
Stay in your seat (even if your seat is on the floor)
Raise your hand and wait your turn
Follow directions
Always participate

I made a pdf file of these rules that you can get for free on Teachers Pay Teachers here:  Jaylene Scott music rule posters.  I made them both with and without the music notation, so you could use them in other subjects, or figure out your own notation - or make the students do it!

Here's a preview:

What do you do?


  1. Those are so cute! I like how you notated the rhythm for each phrase.

    I have been out of the classroom for quite a while (13 years... wow...), but I borrowed rules from the very experienced teacher that I interned with. :-) Each one had a corresponding motion.
    1. Hands and feet to yourself. [start with jazz hands to the front, draw them inward and place in your lap on "self"]
    2. Keep your chair flat on the floor. [bang R fist into L palm on each syllable]
    3. Raise your hand [raise!] and wait to be called on.

    I would often do the motion for #2 and give eye-contact to chair-tippers as a non-verbal, minimally disruptive way to correct that particular behavior.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love the motions idea - that would definitely help some of my younger kiddos.