Thursday, January 26, 2012

Music Calms the Savage Beast

Here is what I know about using music as behavior management (as a tool to improve focus) in a classroom during individual student classwork. Of course two important components in a lesson are relevance to student's lives and student engagement. If that's not enough, then it's hammer time. Lessons learned:

  • Every student has a device and a pair of headphones
  • Pandora seems to be the flavor of the month (iTunes radio is nice since it is integrated with the pause key on your keyboard)
  • I'm a little spectrumy, so I use music with no lyrics for myself (since I will usually hone in on any language spoken as I work). Some people are fine listening to lyrics.
  • Personally, I outlaw talk radio, since research seems to indicate true-multasking is a myth (plus it filters out some potty mouth talk channels)

When the music becomes a distraction, then take away the privilege. Here are some scenarios:
  • Students may not change channels. Some students use channel-changing as an avoidance technique. It's the radio, not their iPod (not every song will be perfect, and they must accept that)
  • Students may not sing or hum along (distraction to others)
  • Dancing is limited to things like food tapping, things that won't distract others.
  • Volume must be low enough so they can still hear the person next to them if they need to collaborate with another student or teacher.

No comments: