Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Our incentive program for the year has been CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!  You can read about it here.  Besides the mystery aspect of this program, each student chose 1 of 6 characters (aka composers) to be throughout the game and through the year.  In addition to using the character as a game piece, they've been doing a bit of research on them.

Each student was able to chose from the following characters - Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Claude Debussy, Scott Joplin, Franz Liszt and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  I didn't care which one they chose or how many Beethovens we had versus Debussys.  I just wanted them to chose one they were interested in or one that sparked their excitement.

Then we began the process of learning about each of our characters.  From the beginning, I knew I wanted to use Joy's composer lap books.  These are WONDERFUL and if you haven't checked them out yet, I highly endorse them!  Throughout the year, during a few minutes of lesson time once a month, each of my students have done a bit of a craft project and "cut and pasted" in their lap books.

While they worked on the project, I played several pieces composed by their character, trying to give them a feel for the style and an appreciation for the time period.  In addition, I have used several other sources.  We have done coloring pages, puzzles, mystery sheets, etc.  I used books such as Meet the Great Composers, Accent on Composers, The Beethoven Code, etc.  We have also watched YouTube videos!

What I love the most is that because each of my students were able to choose their composer, they are much more excited to learn about them!  They ask me almost every week if they can do more activities with their composer lap books and listen to more music!

To culminate all of this learning, they will each play a piece from their composer at our spring recital in June.  It's also our award's night so each of the students who made it through the entire incentive program will receive (shh...secret stuff here!) a composer statue of their character!  

If you've been using CATCH ME IF YOU CAN! in your studio this year, I would love for you to share how it's been working for you and your students!


Kristin said...

Hi Sheryl! This is Kristin from Wow--I love this practice incentive. I can't believe how much time you put into creating it! Every teacher should know this is available! I was trying to find your email so that I could talk with you about a post on my blog to help get the word out, but haven't been able to find your contact info. When you have a moment, could you email me?

Robbin Jordan said...

Sheryl, I would love to use this program this year. I have a couple of questions for you though. I'm unsure what to use for the challenges. Could you give me some advice, please? Thanks!


Ellen said...

I used this incentive program with my students this past year and they LOVED it! Thanks for such a great resource!

Sheryl said...

Thank you for sharing Ellen! I'm so glad your students enjoyed it. I have another one coming out soon that my students also loved. Stay tuned!

Unknown said...

My students are so excited to start this incentive. The idea of them picking composers of their choice has been great for them. I'm wondering if you can shed any light on what challenges you had for your students as they entered each room. Were they tailored to each student or a general collection of activities? How did you pick the ones that you used. Thanks so much! You are awesome!