meeting area · tcrwp · writing workshop

Five Shakes of the Rain Stick

Emily Butler-Smith, a staff developer with the TCRWP led an interesting session on classroom management structures at the July Writing Institute. At first, I’m pretty happy with the routines and procedures I’ve established (and honed) over the past few years. However, I truly believe you can always get ideas from others, so I went. And I’m glad I did since Emily provided me with so much information… I have seven pages of notes from her one-hour session alone!

One, of the many, suggestions Emily provided was using a rain stick in the classroom as a signal to regulate movement to and from the meeting area. Emily suggested five FULL shakes of a rain stick as a way to give kids enough time to get what they need for Writing Workshop. By the fifth shake the kids should all be in their rug spots. Not only is that a concrete way to remind kids of where they need to be, but it’s calming too (better than the shrill timer I’ve been using for the past four years). I purchased the 30″ rain stick I’m going to use this year from West Music, who has an Store.

Two of the Seven Pages of Notes from Emily's Session

Click on this image to ’embiggen’ two of my seven pages of notes.

5 thoughts on “Five Shakes of the Rain Stick

  1. I have used a rain stick for years with teachers and students’ transitions. They like the quiet soothing sounds. I also have the 8 chimes from the teachers. I pick different tones depending on the transition. The chime is gentle instead of the tink sound of the ones you get at Toys R Us, this one is the type you buy from Music Teacher supplies. It was $50 when I bought is 12 years ago. The sounds are gentle and calm. I will have to pull it out again.


  2. Hmmm… I have a rainstick and never thought of using it in the classroom. I have used a Zen chime, but even that is shrill and piercing. Thanks for the great idea!


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