Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Practice Incentive!

Catch Me...If You Can! is the name of our practice incentive program this year.  It all started a few months ago when I was asking one of my students for ideas.  Connor loved the "Be A Star" program we did last year and soared right through it.  Apparently he had just played the game of CLUE and suggested that we do a program similar to the game.  After batting around a few ideas together, I went to work on it and came up with all the details for the program.

This is the game board that will be a part of each student's notebook.  Each week as they practice they move around from room to room.  The rooms included are - Staff Spa, Notation Nursery, Musicality Conservatory, Technique Theater, Dynamics Dining Room, Performance Parlor, Rhythm Rec Room, Ear Training Gym and the Melodic-Harmonic Hallway. 
 
There are 33 cards that go with the program - 9 room cards, 9 musical tool cards, 6 composer cards and 9 optional cards (Advance 1-2 spaces, Jump to another room, etc.).  Without looking, I had Connor randomly choose 1 room card, 1 composer card & 1 musical tool card that we placed in a top secret envelope! 
The rest of the cards were placed in the 9 individual room envelopes.

Here's how it works!  Students are trying to discover the missing composer, what room he is in and what tool he is using!  Each week that a student completes his practice minutes, he can advance one square on the board with the goal to enter each of the 9 rooms.  Once they enter a room, they are given a challenge, such as working on a new rhythm, doing some ear training, performing a piece, etc.  Once they complete the challenge in a room, they are able to open the envelope that matches the room they are in.  When they open the envelopes, they are able to gradually eliminate composers, rooms and tools as they try to discover which ones are in the Top Secret envelope. All of this is recorded in their detective notebooks!


As they move around the game board, I decided to use music note stickers so they can keep track of their progress around the board and from room to room.  They have the option to go systematically or they can actually jump from room to room through secret doors as long as they have find a card in an envelope that allows them to do that.  I also made a fun "Wanted" for questioning poster of the 6 composers.  Each student must pick one of these composers as their character for the game.  Throughout the year they will research their character, listen to his music, etc.

Because my students LOVE to keep track of each other, I made a large - poster size game board to display in the studio.  It also has the envelopes on it.

Here's the fun part for you!  All of these documents - Student game board, clue cards, detective note books, large game board (banner & pockets), envelope labels and "Wanted" for questioning poster are all available FREE on my website here.   There are 9 files - all the way at the bottom of my resource page - so you can pick and choose which ones you would like to use.  You can decide what challenges you would like to do based on your students and if you want to have them each study a composer.  The only additional items you will need are 10 small mailing envelopes and music note stickers (Mrs. Grossmans stickers fit well).
 
If you want to make a large size display game board, here's how I did it.  The large game board is printed out in 4 pieces that fit together.  I attached them to a foam board, added the banner at the top and cut out some 1/4" black cardstock strips to make a border.  Then I put contact paper over the entire foam board.  Once that was done, I added the two pockets and the envelopes.  I plan to also make game pieces that have my students names on them to use on the board with poster putty (this works great when you add the contact paper to the board).  This just allows them to see where their friends are in the game.  I'm also working on decorating the studio with magnifying glasses, question marks, etc. to keep with the detective theme.
 
Enjoy!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

For FREE??? Surely you're kidding! What beautiful brilliant colours!
This "game" looks like such fun!
THANKS for putting all the time and effort into making this available!!!!! I'm off to look through this again!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Love it..Thanks for FREE! I wish I was a student again and do something so cool! This would work great for my piano students at the school I teach.

Jennifer said...

This looks like a winner, great idea Connor! And thanks for sharing it for free!

Saundra said...

This really looks awesome! You've put in alot of work for this incentive for your students! Thanks for sharing with us!!

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Anonymous said...

Love this theme! Do you think it would be good to use for only half a year? We break our incentives up by semesters. Thanks!

Sheryl said...

I'm sure you could make it work with a bit of creativity! Count out the movements around the board by the number of weeks in your semester. If there are not enough weeks, try giving out "Double" weeks - students get to advance 2 spaces when meeting their practice goals. You can also add more "Jump to any room" cards or Advance 1-2 spaces to help them advance quicker! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

just out of curiosity, do you also happen to have a file with the challenges you gave the students in each room?
Thank you so much for sharing this!

Ruth Michaelis said...

Remarkable !

jennifer-anne said...

Amazing!

Robbin Jordan said...

I'm also interested in finding out what challenges you had for your students. This is the only part of the incentive I'm unsure of. I would love to implement this with a little more help.

Anonymous said...

I too would like to learn more about the challenges you used. Thanks!

Kristin said...

LOVED this idea! I just added a couple of things. I printed a copy of the challenges for each room to give to students so they know what to work on before they get there. I added a composer challenge to each room so the student learns about their composer. I made info sheets for each composer to display. I'll have students fill them out then everyone learns. I may have students play a song by their composer for a recital. Thanks for a great incentive!!!

Sheryl said...

What great ideas, Kristin! I hope it's a wonderful, "practice-ful" year for you and your students! I'd love to hear how it goes through the year!

Bill and Tammy said...

Kristin, would you be interested in sharing the Challenges you sent home with your students so they could be prepared? I'm really looking forward to starting this with my students next week!

Bill and Tammy said...

Sheryl, I have questions. Like others here, I'm wondering what specific Challenges you did to last throughout the year. In addition,
1. Should the magnifying glass page have been printed on the back side of the composer, musical tools, and room cards? I'm wondering what to do with this page.
2. What do you make game pieces out of? An extra copy of the composer page, but smaller? How do you keep track for the studio game board vs the students' individual game boards?
3. Do the Super Detective Award cards get interspersed in the room envelopes?
This will be my first year-long incentive program. I'm super excited, but a little nervous, too!

Kristin said...

I'd be happy to share the challenges I came up with. I just don't know how to post them. If you send me an e-mail I can send you the file. Each room has a music theory/technique challenge & a composer challenge such as get 10/10 on flash note derby app, identify intervals & play them, play a current song with perfect dynamics, learn a song by your composer, listen to a song written by your composer, date/place your composer was born, etc. I took pics of my students & use them for placecards on the big game board. I have them mark how many times they practice in the steps on their own game boards to see if they met their goal for the week & can advance. Hope that helps.

Bill and Tammy said...

Hi Kristin, I'm not able to find your email address. :( if you click on my picture, does my email show?

Shelly said...

I am also interested in the ideas you have for challenges. I just found this & am trying to decide if I can make it work, since I just had a baby. Thanks!

Kristin said...

I'm attempting to share my Challenges page via a dropbox link. Supposedly you don't need a dropbox account to open it. I hope this works.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/py72i2023ym0tvu/Catch%20Me%20if%20You%20Can%20Room%20Challenges.docx?dl=0

Sheryl said...

Kristin, you've done a great job giving examples of challenges! Thanks for sharing what you're doing!

Bill & Tammy - here's some answers to your questions:

1. I did print the magnifying glass on the back of the cards although it isn't necessary - you could just leave that step out. I just thought they were fun!
2. I chose 6 composers for my students to choose from. Then I printed a tiny picture of that composer with the student's name on the bottom, laminated them and use poster putty on the back to allow them to stick to the board and easily move them around. On the student's game board, I used little music note stickers I found at a local craft store to show their movement. I used the tiny composers on the big board to move them around where their fellow students could see where they were.
3. The super detective awards were just spread out between the envelopes. I didn't use all of the jump to a room cards because I didn't want them to end the game too early in the year. I do 36 lessons all year and ALL my students made it, although some finished about 4 weeks early. The direction the student chooses to go (as well as where some of those detective award cards are) may mean some finish faster than others. Not to mention how well they practice throughout the year.

I hope that helps!

Sheryl said...

As far as the challenges, I wanted this to be a practice incentive first and foremost. The challenges just allowed me to "check" my students and in some cases challenge my students a bit. The challenges were somewhat the same for everyone, but I definitely adjusted them depending upon the level of the student. For example, for the Rhythm Rec Room, I gave them a rhythm challenge - they had to clap, tap, etc. a rhythm on their level and get it correct or with a minimal amount of mistakes in order to pass. For the Notation Nursery, I had many of them practice writing the treble and bass clefs, notes using stems in the correct direction, etc. For the Staff Spa, they had to say their notes on the staff in a certain amount of time, or say and play them or make a certain score on a computer game or iPad app.

I hope that gives you an idea. Several of my students LOVED the challenges so they worked hard NOT to miss a week of practice in order to make it to the challenges as quickly as possible.

Shelly said...

Do you match the room cards the their envelope? If you do, is that really necessary? Or do you mix up the room cards in the envelopes?