Reply To: middle school classroom management/technique/style
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I’m not entirely sure I understand your situation, but here are a few ideas that may/may not work for you:
1) Have worksheets that DRILL the basics (counting, note names, etc). When students are not able to be playing these are perfect for keeping them engaged, educational, and will keep them from tooting on their instruments when you’re trying to work with another group.
2) Find your natural, talented leaders. Ask them to be “section leader” and give them a goal to teach their group each time they come in for rehearsal. That way, when you’re listening to another group, you can have the other groups led by someone you trust/put trust in and can hold accountable. If the students are able to take part of the ownership for the program, they’ll likely want to do better!
I hope that helps, and good luck!