Monday, November 18, 2013
The power of red vines
I like to surprise my students with activities now and then. Today, I surprised them with a game that I called Freeze Tag, but I suppose it is much different than a regular game of tag.
I brought in a huge bucket of Red Vines licorice and I and placed my seating chart in front of me. I told the students, that any time I caught one of them playing or talking out of turn I would mark their name on the roll and they would be 'out'. All students who did not get marking on my seating chart would earn a red vine at the end of class. Students were very motivated by my giant bucket of red vines and I have never had such an attentive group and wow....classroom management became a breeze. I wasn't able to mark many students as 'out' on my seating chart, so I decided that I had better make the game more difficult. As we rehearsed, I picked out individual things that I wanted them to focus on. For example, we are currently working on bow direction and slurs. I told my class that I would watch for proper bow direction, and whoever misses a bowing would be marked as 'out.' Next, I told them I would watch for intonation on F#'s. Next, proper rhythm. The students could not see who I was marking as out so they all continued to work hard throughout the class period. My class focused and tried harder to get things right...more so than in any other rehearsal. We made a ton of progress today. It was also an eye-opener to me. These kids are capable of a lot...I must now expect every rehearsal to be as focused.
See my follow up activity after the red vines here: http://orchestrateacher.blogspot.com/2014/09/focus-challenge-red-vines-follow-up.html