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.


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...


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.