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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, January 6, 2014


Palen Music Center is dedicated to helping children experience excellence, personal growth, and joy through involvement in music. We carry out this mission by supporting area band directors through weekly service, support, educational programs, and quality products. This weekly Quick Note newsletter strives to highlight topics that are immediately helpful in the classroom. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues!

5 Smart Tips for Successful Teacher Planning by Jim Matthews
This is a great article we found on We hope you enjoy!

Having teacher’s lessons is vital to any effective classroom atmosphere. In fact, most teachers make lesson plans. But what separates the average teacher from the effective teacher? This article will reveal to you five tips that will transform your teacher planning into something that works.

1. You set the atmosphere.
There’s a saying that perfectly describes how you should set your classroom atmosphere: “Honey draws more flies than vinegar.” In other words, you can gain more with sweetness than bitterness. Students are much more likely to listen if you leave out any bitterness. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t mean you should let students step all over you either.

2. Be very organized and plan your lessons.
This is the greatest way to prevent inappropriate behavior. Students will fill in any down time with their own lesson plans! Never leave down time.

3. Transition from one activity to the next, like a coach would in daily drills.
You should always be one step ahead of your students during your lesson. Famous American basketball coach John Wooden used cue cards with all sorts of drills and plays already made up before practice began. All coaches have playbooks and cue cards—so why not teachers?

4. Have a set list of accomplishments.
Students must know what you expect from them to achieve a good grade. Once they know what they need to do, then get them working on it. Harry Wong, a famous educator and author, said that “Whoever is doing the work is doing the learning.”

5. Keep your talking to a minimum and the activity to a maximum.
Especially nowadays more than ever, kids have a very short attention span and will stop listening if you talk too much. Get them involved, and keep the activities interactive.

Teacher planning and preparation is something that is oftentimes overlooked by educators and policy makers. Some think that a few minutes is all it takes to get ready for classes. However, the five tips given in this article are essential if you want the kind of classroom atmosphere that promotes successful teaching and a fulfilling education for students.

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