Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gamifying My Classroom - Orchestra Karate (Part 2)

For an overview of how I am using Orchestra Karate to gamify my classroom, check out Orchestra Karate (Part 1)!  This post will focus on the materials and organization of my karate belts.

After I had a pretty good idea of the kind of rewards I wanted, my next step was a trip to Hobby Lobby & Michaels to get the necessary supplies!  My requirements were that it could be something that was (1) cheap, (2) easy to prepare, and (3) could be displayed on (and removed from) their case safely (i.e. no stickers for the rental cases).  I came home from my shopping spree with all sorts of fun goodies!  While it sounds like a lot, I ended up only spending about $40 (I already had the rexlace because I've used it for belts in the past), and I am guessing a lot of these supplies will last me for more than one year.  Not a bad investment!  I cut up the ribbons and put beads on some of them to denote higher levels, and sorted out the colors of the different supplies.  Here is what I ended up with:
I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures - my flip phone can only do so much!
  • Video Belts = Bracelet Clips for the rubber band bracelets that are so popular right now!
  • 5th Grade Performance Belts & ML Scale Belts = Rexlace (so  many colors to choose from)
  • ML Coyote Quest Belts = Zip Ties (lots of colors and easy to prepare)
  • 7th/8th Music History Belts = Ribbons with star beads on them (to make them a little more special for my older students)

Armed with my supplies, I went to work on creating a chart to organize all of my belts:

(This screenshot was taken before I added in the Video Belts for 5th graders)

I also started creating a handout for students, detailing the Coyote Quests:

Obviously not finished yet, but it's a start!

And, of course, I had to give myself all of the belts so that I could show them off and generate excitement among the students:

And there you have it, my first steps into the world of gamifying my classroom!  It is important to note that I already have been doing most of these tasks in my classroom, it's just re-structuring it and making it a little more formalized with the belts.  This would be wayyyyyyy to much to implement from scratch!  I hope that students will enjoy the opportunity to show off their learning and earn extra belts that will increase their musical knowledge!

Do students earn "badges" for their learning in your classroom?  What do you think should be "belt-worthy" in an orchestra class?

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