One of the things that I didn’t predict was that I wasn’t going to have enough space to show student achievement. When I first started recorder karate I wanted a way to show off what belt the students had earned. In the past I’ve made pagodas with colored felt squares and attached student names with Velcro. When they earn a new belt they not only get a real belt tied on their recorder but they get to move their name from one color square to another. It gives them pride to move their name when they earn a new belt and also shows others their progress. The other fun thing about this is that they get a very clear picture of where they want to go. They want to make it to the top of the pagoda and make it to black! They see where their ultimate goal is. All in all, it’s a fun way to show off their progress, track their learning, and give them encouragement to move forward (find out more about the pagodas when you look at this post).
Well, when I do all three grades at once I don’t have enough space to make lots of pagodas. And shoot, that’d be 11 pagodas in a room! Too much!! So, I had to branch out. I decided to transform my hallway bulletin board to reflect recorder karate growth. I stuck with the felt squares and put them in order but also added a few things. See the gallery below to see how things ended up and read the captions to see my descriptions.
Check out Recorder Madness! to see a project that was recently completed where I asked for an alto recorder, tenor recorder, and a ton of amazingly helpful methods books (among other things).
Also look at my current project Rainbow of Recorders to see how I'm asking for funding to purchase colored recorders for incentives. This project will also provide a class set of recorders so that kids who can't pay the $4 for a recorder don't feel left out or feel like they're different. This gives them something to use and feel just like part of the group.