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Have you started 2024 with good habits?

Kick-off 2024 with good habits

It is my firm belief that Focus on Sound becomes more powerful when used regularly. That’s why we need to make using it a habit in our classrooms. Like majority of users I use the Pro version which is what I’ll be discussing during these bulletins.

I am lucky enough to have computers in my classroom Students can therefore walk in and log on straight away. I encourage them to sign-in to Focus on Sound so it’s ready to be used in the lesson. If you don’t have computers available, read on to find out what you can do instead. I’ll also cover more about teacher only use in a future bulletin.

Do it Now

Over the last few years “Do it Now” tasks have become popular. When students walk into your classroom, they have something they can start on straight away. Imagine if this task was linked to Focus on Sound? They log on and have 5 key terms to look up at the very start of the lesson. These terms could be linked to a previous lesson - retrieval tasks are great for learning. Or they could be terms linked to the lesson you’re about to teach, and this gets their brain ready for learning.

Having Focus on Sound open from the start of the lesson will also encourage students to use it as their go-to resource. If there are things they need to look up, then they can do that straight away. This kind of active learning is good for students and can help to break the lesson down into chunks of learning.

For those teachers without computers available, load up Focus on Sound on the whiteboard ready to explore a few key terms with students or even give them a quick-fire test at the start of the lesson. A great way to get them engaged.

Good habits

So why not form a new habit this year and get your students logged on to Focus on Sound as soon as they enter your classroom which in turn will encourage them to do the same thing at home when completing homework. 

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About James Manwaring

James is the Director of Music for the Windsor Learning Partnership Multi-academy Trust. He has held the post of Head of Music at The Windsor Boy's School for over 15 years. James is currently the President-Elect of the Music Teachers Association.