Submitted by Gretchen Taylor, Illinois

Idea posted April 19, 2004

I thought I'd pass on my newest rehearsal incentive plan I'll be using with my middle school classes as we begin our rehearsal season for the upcoming Spring concert.

First, as a punitive measure for those individuals who persist with off-task behaviors that disrupt the rehearsal or keep the rehearsal from progressing efficiently, I will allow one warning, with their name put on the board under my CPR letters. (CPR means Cooperation, Participation, and Respect.) After the warning, for each subsequent disruption, a tally mark will go by the name. I will keep a running total in my grade book. Each mark will be equal to one question to be answered on a written (closed book) final exam. Questions will be drawn from anything covered during the entire year in music class. The results of the test will serve as their participation/effort grade (which for this quarter is worth 75%). So, if a kid ends up with 20 marks by show time, s/he'll take a final exam with 20 questions during one of our "fun day" sessions after the show.

Now, on a more positive note, I will also be awarding "Pulse" points (CPR, Pulse, get it?) to those students who contribute positively above and beyond what's expected during rehearsals. This could be in terms of vocal enthusiasm, positive leadership, following directions, extra attentive on task behaviors, etc. I will keep a running total of these points which will serve as bonus points toward their final grade. Also, for each point earned, they will receive a chance to win various musical/miscellaneous merchandise after the show. For these points, I will mark them on my seating chart without comment. At the end of class, I will announce those students who received a Pulse point during the rehearsal.