Submitted by Barb Philipak, Missouri

Idea posted February 19, 2002

I have all of my 4th and 5th grade students bring a folder to music (two pocket - with three prongs for 3-hole punched stuff). I make up Recorder Karate booklets for each student (using the cover sheet and all of the songs for each belt - each song has everything that they need to know to learn that song correctly).

I do make a few extra packets for emergencies, BUT when I hand their packets out - which they are so excited to FINALLY get - I impress upon them how many pieces of paper have been used to make all of these packets (we recycle heavily in our school) and that they should IMMEDIATELY write their name on their packets, because if they lose one, they will NOT get another one!!!! I also tell them that if they forget it, they MUST share with someone. Of course, I have occasionally given out another packet to a student who has lost theirs, but truthfully, over the last four years, I probably have only given out one or two per year that have been lost. The students are so excited to test for these Recorder Karate belts that they just do NOT lose the packets.

They also remember to bring them to class so that they can test. (You could tell your students that they cannot test for belts on days that they forget to bring their packet/recorder. This would avoid your having to mess with keeping them in for recess... But after not testing one day, it should fix the problem for most students!)