Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SmartMusic Tip and an Interesting Motivator

Not all assignments need to have a point value.
My kids can get confused over deadlines. They are young. They also can use the help with their practice that SmartMusic provides. They are also inexperienced.
So when I look into next quarter and see a pretty hard assignment coming up (along with the concert and a bazillion other things), I get a little conflicted. Do I send an assignment early for next quarter? (and hope they don't try to turn it in before it is really ready... Mr. Whaley, it was the end of the quarter! I had to turn it in.) Do I tell them to use the new search features and practice this piece for next quarter? (and hope they can actually find the right one.) Hmmm.
My compromise solution is the "practice opportunity" that is worth zero points in the grade book. Turn it in if you want. The real one comes out next quarter. I do tell them why I am sending it with no points attached and tell them that practice now, will save a lot of sweat later.
Believe it or not, I get "thank yous" from motivated students.
I also get students who do turn in the assignment that has no points attached to it. Interesting. I think I need to talk to a couple of students about why they sent it in after reading up on intrinsic motivation. I do get to work with some neat kids.

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