Some of you may have seen my recent post on Instagram featuring my new Happy Chime. I'm not sure that I ever shared this during the whirlwind that was the start of the school year, but I was inspired by Mr. Greg of The Kindergarten Smorgasboard to use a door bell of sorts as a classroom management tool. Mr. Greg is a fun educator and is worth a follow on social media!
Mr. Greg uses a door bell clipped on his lanyard as a way to get students attention when things get busy or loud. It works very well for him. I decided against purchasing the door bell, but I did want a happy sound to signal transitions for students in the library. So I looked to another educator on social media, Anita Goodwin at Goodwinnovate. She suggested using a door bell app called Fake a Bell. There are a lot of these types of apps out there for iPhone or Android.
I downloaded the free app and gave it a try. The kids seemed to like it and it worked at getting their attention. As I tried to use the app more and more during centers rotations, I started having a few issues. The first was that I sometimes forgot to have my phone in my pocket, which meant I was chasing it down in order to ring the chime. Another issue was that if I left the app open, the ads would randomly start playing....loud rock and roll music, truck sounds, and so on.....so, I decided that the free app was a no-go. And I wasn't willing to shell out the money for the paid app at this point.
In an effort to help me, a teacher in my school gave me the gift of a golden bell she had stashed in her desk drawer. It is battery operated and has several different settings. One of the settings makes a sweet chiming sound and so I gave it a shot. It worked fine, but eventually I just gave up using it. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was that I had to constantly adjust the volume or maybe it was that it wasn't easy to carry around while doing daily tasks in the library. So, the hunt for the perfect chime continued...
...until I attended a BER workshop offered by Deborah Ford. I was sitting there, excited about the children's literature session that was about to begin when it happened. I heard a beautiful, happy sound...it was the perfect happy chime! It was actually a silver tuning fork with a star on top. And what made it even more fantastic is that it was lightweight, small, and no batteries or technology was needed! I knew in that moment that I just had to have one!
After a little search online, I found mine at the Bella Luna Toys website. And at only about $8 each, it was very cost effective. Once it arrived, I added a few ribbons to the handle. I used it for the first time today and it was a hit! The kids LOVED the sound and they were excited that the Happy Chime is back. Me too.
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