As we started back to regular classes and lessons this week I needed some way to help enforce good behavior in my group piano classes. This year I’ve had larger classes than I had in the past and I’ve really struggled with excess talking during class time. It drives me crazy! I hate having to stop class to deal with bad behavior, so I’ve been brainstorming ways to help with this problem.
My solution (or at least part of the solution…) is these dynamic stoplights which you can download and print for yourself! The idea of stoplights to regulate talking is not new for kids (I remember having a stoplight in the school cafeteria that told us when we needed to be quiet), but it is new in my group piano classes. I also added dynamic marking to help tie it to our music study :). I printed these three pages and slid them into a page protector which I then pinned to the wall at the front of the class. I change out which stoplight is in the front depending on the activity. Sometimes we can be loud and silly (green light), and other times, especially when we are playing outloud on the pianos, we have to be pianissimo (red light). So far this week the stoplights have worked great in my classes. I spend much less time saying “stop talking please” and more time teaching music – isn’t that what we all want to do more of!
Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.