Submitted by Karen Reynolds, Plymouth, Nebraska

Idea posted February 26, 2016

I posted an exercise with ten notes and told the students to warm-up and practice it while I took attendance. I also had the pattern written on a piece of staff paper on my music stand.

I switched the screen to show a bowling score sheet. We did a playing test, and I scored it like bowling. The kids loved it, and everyone took their turn and played in front of their classmates. There was lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement going on among their peers, which was great to see.

I drew names one at a time out of a cup (names on popsicle sticks). The student came up and played. If perfect, they scored a strike. If they made mistakes, I counted how many notes they got correct and posted that score in the first box. The next student had to try and get the spare. If the second student played it perfectly, they picked up the spare; any mistake and it was an open frame.

I warned the students that there was a chance that not everyone would get to play - the more strikes the class had, the fewer students would have to play. As luck would have it, every student but one (and I did this in two classes) had to play.

Final scores between the classes: 183 and 200. I would have been happy rolling those scores back in my bowling league days!

[Editor's note: If you need help keeping track of the scores, you can find a "bowling score calculator" with a Google search.]

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