Copy claps? Reward systems? Behavior Bucks?
I have used a point system from Day One and have found it to work really well with my personal teaching style and with my students. This year, I found new "happy" and "sad" faces to post on the board for keeping track of happy and sad points a class earns while they're in music class.
I can't take credit for finding or creating these. Another teacher in our building found these, and they're made by Melonheadz.
What activities have you used in your classroom so far that you and your students have liked? I read a couple books to my primary students earlier this year. You can't pass up a good bear hunt, and Song of Middle C is a great way to talk about welcoming and learning from failure, because we all sure do it a lot.
With my intermediate classes, I taught "Chicken on a Fence Post." If you're unfamiliar with the song and game, students sing while walking in opposite-moving circles. A chicken--or in this case a TY cockatiel--is placed in the middle of the two circles. Two pairs of hands are chosen to serve as "gates" which open (by raising hands in air) at the end of the song. Two "foxes" race to the chicken when the gates open.
You know what they say: the early fox gets the bird.
The game was pretty much a hit. They still ask to play it. And isn't that what it's all about? Making a lasting impression through music and fun. I think it's really easy, especially in the midst of PGES, Program Reviews, and an infinite number of other unidentified acronyms, to get lost in the shuffle. I don't know about you, but I often feel discouraged. I feel forgotten and undervalued. What makes teaching worth it to me is seeing kids smile, laugh, and enjoy time in music class.
What makes teaching worth it to you?