I usually start class by showing a video clip (normally a song) that is related to the lesson. It helps the kids transition from class change to class, and it gives them something to look forwards to, meaning they're more likely to be on time to class. For example, when the 6th graders were studying countries (Lesson 1: Where Are You From?), we watched Yakko's World. The kids adored it, would coming running into class to so they won't miss the first part and cheered like mad when he mentioned Korea.
For the past two weeks, the fifth graders have been studying a unit called What Day Is It Today and I've been showing them "Never Go To Work" by They Might Be Giants. The students called it the 123 song, since at the beginning, the puppets shout, "1 2 3!" and they loved it. (Plus, it's a good song. The sort that doesn't make you want to stab forks in your ears after a day of showing it to all the fifth grade classes.) However, they finished that lesson on Monday, which meant that today, I showed them Schoolhouse Rock's Preposition Song.
You'd have thought I had gotten up in front of the class and kicked a puppy from their reaction.
"Teacher!" they wailed. "123 song! We want 123 song!"
"No," I told them. "New lesson, new song."
A little boy came running into class late. "123 song?" he asked hopefully.
"No," his classmates told him mournfully.
"But Teacher," he said, turning to me, "we love 123 song. Please, 123 song!"
"Turn to page 24," I responded.
I would have let them watch it, but we were already running a few minutes late. Next time there is time left at the end of class, I'll show it again, but for now, I'm the mean teacher who makes them study.