Sunday, June 3, 2012

Graphing Recorder Belts

Recorder Karate is a big deal at my school.  The kids love earning new belts and seeing the progress they and their classmates make throughout the year.  The program has become a highlight of my 4th and 5th grade classes.  It's amazing to watch the kids cheer each other on, especially when its a classmate who has struggled with covering the wholes or reading the staff.

This idea originally came from a presentation at my Level I.  The teacher that presented had a poster per class.  I liked the idea but I would have had to hang a lot more posters in my hallway.  This is what I came up with to fit my situation.

There is a poster for each belt (except rainbow I have to create that poster for next year) and each class is listed at the bottom of the graph.  This is a nice way for kids to see how many belts their class has earned.

I used poster board, a graph easel pad, a glue stick and markers to create my posters.  The easel pad paper had to be cut a bit to fit on the poster board.  I used our large paper cutter so that I would get a straight edge.  I had the posters laminated at Office Max so that they would be sturdier.

I keep track of belts earned during our lessons on a sheet of paper inside the class folder (I will post an image of my class folders later.).  After the lesson, I use Vis-aVis markers to chart new belts so that I can easily wipe the graphs off at the end of the year.

The only problem I encountered was little fingers erasing the bars on the graphs.  I have heard that you can use permanent marker on laminated materials and erase it later using a little more ink but I was afraid to try it.  Maybe I will test a spot on the back before starting next year.

At the end of the year the top earning class in 4th grade and the top in 5th grade each get an ice cream party.  It's great motivation and a nice way to recognize a class that may not have earned a group award earlier in the year.


  1. I really like this idea! I made my own recorder graphic to track the kids' progress. Thanks for the excellent idea! :)

  2. Glad you were able to use this idea. What I loved most about this was the kids stopping to see how their class was doing! The great thing is the graphs not only help motivate them but it reinforces math skills. :)

    1. Just wanted to let you know that using permanent marker DOES work! I have witnessed it myself and I was also skeptical. All you have to do is color over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker and erase it away. :)

    2. Good to know. I'll have to try it out this year. Nothing drove me nuts more than walking down the hall last year and seeing the smear lines from little fingers! Oh you gotta love kids! :)


Thank you for commenting on this post! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...