To see more trick and tidbits about teaching recoder, click here to see another post about the topic!
And hey, if you have students who forget to bring their recorder or you have an awkward 3 minutes to wait and can't get the recorders out, well, everyone has an arm recorder (even if you don't use the hole reinforcers)! If you've done this trick once all you have to do is make your hand into a fist, put it under your chin and viola, you've got an arm recorder. Everyone can play!!
Left HAnd Bands
I've totally stolen the idea but modified it just a tad. I liked the left hand band but I was afraid that the kids would like those lei bands so much (or slap bracelets... I know a couple other people who have suggested those) that they would want to take them out of class. So, I headed over to Hobby Lobby and got a ton of colorful, nylon, weaving bands to use for the left hand band. They're perfect! They fit all arms and the kids generally don't want to walk off with them (and if they do, it's only one of about 400 in the pack so I don't really care... seriously, these things are sold by weight!).
The Homework Box
And the homework box was born! It's literally just one of those plastic preform crates that I've woven bulletin board border into. To keep it sturdy I packing taped each of the hanging folders together inside the box and taped a lot of stuff down. Kids in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade use it (and not always so gently) and I've had NO problems with it ripping, breaking, or having issues. Kids find music quickly because of the colored paper that I stuck in each folder (probably more useful than the tabs) and it's easy to haul around and refill when needed.