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When it comes to classroom management, there are days you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. Everything runs smoothly, the kids enjoy the lesson, and you remember exactly why you became a teacher. Then…well, then there are the days that aren’t like that.

As teachers, we all hear superstitions about how children act during full moons or how they behave after eating their own weight in sugar. However, that doesn’t mean that learning won’t or can’t occur. We just have to be a little more creative in how we plan our lessons on days we know will be hectic.

Enter the Musical Treats Jar.


You’ll need a glass jar or other container. I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree. Next, you’ll need to choose one color for each grade level, and find some colored paper to match. This way, you can use one jar for the entire school, since all the slips of paper will be color-coded.

  1. Set out your jar in a prominent place. Explain to your students that it’s the Musical Treats Jar and that you will use this jar only on special occasions. This will build excitement and help students understand that the jar will not be used every day.
  2. At the end of each lesson, the class will vote on whether or not they would like to include that day’s activity in their Musical Treat Jar. You can limit them to a specific number of music treats, so that students only choose the activities they really love and want to do again someday.
  3. Then, when the teacher announces that it’s a musical treat day, a student will pull a slip of paper from the jar, making sure to grab the color of their grade level. Then, the class gets to participate in that activity for the day.
  4. Once an activity has been selected, it remains out of the jar for the rest of the year.


  • Students will have the opportunity to give instant feedback on your lessons by voting on an activity each day. You’ll immediately see the activities they loved the most.
  • Students will have a visual of how many activities they’ve participated in and how many they’ve enjoyed throughout the year.
  • You’ve tricked students into receiving treats that aren’t candy or toys. Better yet, thanks to their votes, it even appears to be their own idea!