I'm in between temping assignments at the moment. Maestro and I did enjoy some time off but it's now time to start planning ahead for the 2006/07 year. If I can get everything done in the beginning of the month, then I can relax for the second half. At least, that's the plan. I am always looking for ways to improve how lessons are planned and run. I was at an educational store with a friend/fellow piano teacher the other day and got some ideas for games, lesson plans and materials.
I have also revised the practicing contract, inspired by a goal sheet posted online by another teacher and created a Practice Journal/Assignment sheet (new). I will ask all the parents to copy enough of these sheets to last the school year. The incentive program will be tied more closely to how much and how well they practiced. I did have something like it last year but things did get out of hand with students earning as much as two swanky prizes every lesson because they improvised six songs and memorized one. Progress wasn't as steady for some of them because of this. I guess I was too easy them.
Now, they will have to work a little harder for their prizes, which will be much easier on my wallet. If they complete 90 - 100% of their homework, they will get three stars. If they complete 80 - 89% of their homework, they will get two stars and if they complete 70 - 79% of their homework done, they will get one star. Stars will be given to students who practice more than the recommended guidelines and the parents must initial the homework sheets for kids to cash in on the goodies. My hope is that this will get them to practice more often and strive towards balanced practicing - not just doing what they like to do.
The two things that will elicit gasps from my returning students is that now, they will have to earn 15 stars to get a prize, instead of last year's five and that the prizes will regrettably, be smaller.
Here are some of the sites I scoured to look up teaching materials such as incentive programs and lesson plans:
Now that the templates are done, it's onto the next step - planning out 40 individualized 10 -month curricula and creating some note value, note name and rhythm supplemental material.
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