by Stacie MacBush
I am always looking for ways to motivate my students in music class. Sometimes it is getting my younger students to participate or my boys to sing. Jr. High students are a whole other animal. How do you motivate students who would rather be in PE or at recess? Here are my ideas and hopefully you can add to my list!
My younger students LOVE stickers. I know it sounds simple, but all of my Pre-K though 2nd grade students know they can EARN their stickers in music. They can earn them by participating, sitting criss cross, raising their hand, singing with me and doing movements. Students who earn them show their teachers when they are picked up. The teachers at my school like this system because it is an easy visual to see who was on task for the day. Many times we point out the students who DID earn their sticker and sometimes we talk about what a student can do next time to earn his or her sticker.
My third grade students knowing this system were upset because they didn’t earn their stickers SO they get a SUPER STAR sticker. Only one student per class can get this and I try to spread it out among the students. They ask me every class if I ever forget.
I DO more than just stickers. My younger students do not get a grade so small things like pencils and my prize bin are options for students who are doing an awesome job that day.
My beginner band students have an incentive chart. It is called “POPPIN’ PERFORMANCES” and students earn a popcorn sticker every time they pass a playing test. Once they get to 10 stickers they get to go to a popcorn and movie party with me. It is in my classroom and popcorn is inexpensive so everyone wins! They love this system and my beginners are better the past three years because of this motivator.
Here are some other ideas of how to motivate your students:
1. Bulletin boards showing progression
2. Put student name in newsletter or on school website
3. Positive note home to parent
4. Sit in teacher chair
5. Director for a day
6. DJ for a day (my older kids LOVE this)
7. High five!
8. Lunch with the teacher
9. Homework pass
10. Telling the student that you are proud of them!
There are tons of great ideas out there to motivate your students. Please add any ideas you might have to the list!