I know I said that Tuesday was going to be for tips for parents and teachers about something I am covering with my class, but I've changed my mind! It's going to be too hard to maintain that during the holidays, so instead, I present Tech Tips Tuesday. On Tuesday you can find tips for integrating technology into the class or home.
This week's tip:
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, consider the free "Easy Relax" application. This application has theme 'soundtracks' that you can play in the background of your class. Themes include 'Into the West', 'Hawaii Vacation', 'Jungle' and a number of pre-programed soundtracks. Alternatively, you can create your own themes with background music and up to three extra sounds with self-selected intervals.
As an award to groups who are focused on their work, I have been allowing them to select a pre-programmed soundtrack or create a team soundtrack. It has been fun, a good behaviour reward and an easy way for students to program their own soundtrack. The soundtrack also adds to the flavour of the class and some students work more quietly just to hear the sound of the rain, thunder, croaking frog, or whatever else!
To amplify it across the classroom, I plug the audio cord that leads to the Smart Board into the audio socket on my iPhone - easy.
As a sidenote, I found it quite nice to fall asleep to one day as well!