And so, this year I needed a new way to display the progress that my students make using the Recorder Karate system from Music K8. The kids love Recorder Karate and are SO PROUD when they can pull out their instrument and show everyone which belt they have earned. Recorder Karate a great way to inspire students to go home and practice and also helps you, the teacher, track their progress. Tracking growth on a bulletin board helps students take ownership and really encourages them to keep working.
I teach recorder to third, fourth, and fifth grade (about 250 students) and so I try to have separate places to post their progress on the walls. For several years now I've been using "pagodas" on the wall to track third grade growth. Last year fifth graders got to put their names out in the hallway with this bulletin board set up (updates for how I do fifth grade will come in a new blog post in about a week). For fourth grade I made this display set-up with pipe cleaners to track progress. It wasn't a bad system and it looked pretty cool, but the names kept falling off the wall and the bulletin board I stuck them too didn't hold staples very well. I knew I needed an update.
Here's how it turned out! I'm pretty happy with it so far and the kids love it! It's also a great teaching moment for the other grades because they can identify the instruments up on the wall and we can have a little chat about the recorder system, acoustic vs. electric guitars, and string instruments in general. Click the pictures below to enlarge.