Discipline Strategies for Middle School Choir! Classroom Management! Keeping the Folders Organized!

I am participating in Aileen Miracles Linky party, and we are sharing discipline strategies!

Part of classroom management in the middle school choral classroom is creating and TEACHING daily processes that work!  Systems....Patterns....Routines....whatever you want to call it.  I teach over 300 students daily in my room.  Four of my six classes have between 60 and 84 middle school children!  I have learned that In the chorus classroom, it is very important to have solid procedures in place because often, we have larger classes than other subject areas.  We must be proactive and attentive to detail when we create our routines.  Doing so will help us avoid so many discipline issues that can make our class a difficult place to learn.  Our goal is to create an atmosphere in which we are able devote as many minutes as possible on a daily basis to LEARNING....not dealing with discipline!

One of the most important daily routines/tasks that impacts our choral classrooms daily is how to distribute music.

Managing Music Folders well for this number of children is very important.  If done poorly, persistent problems can result that delay learning and cause bad energy in the classroom.  That is terrible for singing!

Here is what I do to keep order with music and folders when I have 84 children in one class period.

Assign numbers-
I create an excel file with all of the names of my kids.  I usually use our computer grading system called eSIS and export the files directly over.
I place the list by class period on the wall of the entrance to my class.  
I assign numbers to each child in each grade.
I write numbers on every folder.
I write numbers on every piece of music.  (Folder #1 only includes music labeled #1, for example.)

Storage guidelines-
I have two folder containers.  One of them contains the odd numbered music.  The other contains the even numbered music.  I do this only because I have classes of 84 at once.  It helps them be able to pick up and put away folders more quickly.  The containers aren't side by side to avoid traffic issues.
I even make every child place every song back into their folder by alphabetical order (song title) before placing it back into their slot.

Hold them accountable-
I have a student monitor in each period who randomly "back checks" a few folders daily after the children place them in the slots.  If there is a problem (folder out of order/folder turned wrong way in the slot/folder in wrong slot, for example), the student monitor marks the persons name.  If he placed it in the slot backward on Tuesday, a red mark goes on the Tuesday slot.  I keep the color coded key on the wall so the kids know what they did incorrectly.  
I make it a part of their daily grade.  

Classroom organization is key!
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  1. Great ideas, Dale! Thanks for joining the party! :)

  2. How do you get 42 kids to get out/put away folders in ONE box? I'm thinking a line, and you start a few minutes after the bell and start putting away a few minutes early?

    1. http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/2014/01/folder-care-for-chorus-teachers.html

      Above, you will find two links to descriptions about how I do it. It's really important to set the standard by creating patterns and habits early in the year and rewarding students when they follow them. Humor helps too!

    2. Love this idea, Mr. D! What do you do as new students enter a class throughout the year? Do you just keep assigning the next number in sequence? Thanks!

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  4. Discipline in school is very important part of student life..
    This reminded me my delhi public school mathura road days

  5. I have used numbered folders for several years. This year I am planning on using binders with specific tabs such as "repertoire, sight-reading, technique". Have you ever tried binders or know someone it has been successful for?

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