Color Code Assignments

Does it amaze you how often your music students will arrive at a lesson and be unsure what was expected of them between lessons? Although it STILL happens despite my best efforts, the occurrence of students (and parents) being ill-informed is by far the exception and not the rule. Here's some strategies that help students and parents stay on top of assignments between lessons.

1) Lesson Notes

Thanks to using www.MusicTeachersHelper.com for many years, after a lesson is completed, it must be "reconciled" on my website calendar which means I mark it "attended" "missed"  or "ignore". There is also space for lesson notes and therefore each student receives notes written by me about the lesson and assignments. Here's one blog explaining more about how I set my studio apart with lesson notes. Also stayed tuned for an upcoming blog about the system I use to inform parents of their child's progress. It works wonders!

2) Assignment Sheets

I know, a little redundant, but since I give students various handouts, etc, they always have a binder with them so I also include an assignment sheet as well. This is always the very top page of the binder so it can be found easily. If you click on this summer's sheet Summer 2012 Assign, you'll see that each lesson heading is a different color and each lesson includes 5 lines for 5 assignments (the standard each week). The little circles or bubbles are placed in front of each assignment so that students can color one in each time the assignment is practiced at home. (I require 5 days of practice per week, thus the 5 bubbles).

3) Tabs

As students are assigned various pieces, I use tabs the same color as the lesson heading, so that students know exactly what page(s) to practice for that week.

4) Arrows

When there are tricky spots that demand SP3X practice or "special practice three times" these are indicated with my favorite--Post-it Arrows.

5) Post-its

The colorful post-its in various shapes and sizes populate students books with special notes from their teacher. I place them directly on the page, so they must be moved in order to read the music score--in hopes that they will be read.

6) Pens and Highlighters

You guessed it, I also have matching pens and highlighters AND mechanical pencils to write notes for the week.

7) Candy

I spoil my students and yes, it's official, I'm crossing the line into OCD as my candy selections also match the color of the week.

8) Dress Code

Although I don't require one, I've had students intentionally dress according to the color of the week--always makes my day!

With all this color coding, it would be hard to miss an assignment. It still happens BUT, less and less.

Comments, Suggestions? Would love to hear your colorful ideas!