To make this a cost-effective project, I shopped around and found a good deal on 1 inch 3-ring binders at Target--the ones I am using were 89 cents each, and have a plastic cover (so I can insert a cover page) and pockets on the inside. Since I am using our laser printer at home to print the black-and-white assignment sheets very inexpensively, all I needed to purchase were the binders and paper, which ended up costing about $1 per student. Not bad (and tax-deductible)!
Next, I gathered the materials I wanted to include for the beginning of the school year. My binders will include (pictured above):
- Binder cover. I created a simple black-and-white cover that my students will be able to customize by adding their name and coloring the piano. My sticker enthusiasts might want to decorate this page using the stickers they earn in their piano lessons, too.
- Assignment sheets. I found a great template HERE on the 4d Piano Teaching blog, which the creator, Spring Seals, made available as a Word document so it can be customized. Thank you, Spring!
- Practice Tips and Tricks page. I created a short practice guide, featuring the most common tips I remind my students of during their lessons. I thought it might be a helpful reminder for my students as they practice at home during the week. You can download the practice tips and tricks page HERE.
- Repertoire and Wish List page. I have blogged about this page a few times now. It has been extremely helpful for my students to write down a list of their favorite pieces and the goals they have for the coming year on this page. It is a great first-lesson-of-the-school-year activity to do together, as well. You can download the Repertoire and Wish List page HERE.
I intend to add more pages to the binder as the year progresses--blank staff paper and a calendar of events are the big ones that I anticipate adding first. This was a pretty simple project, but I am excited to give these binders to my students when they return for lessons--I think they will be a big help this year!
What do you think? Do you create assignment binders for your students? Any other tips you have for keeping students organized and on-task?