I recently discovered this handy little invention...drumroll please...the Post-it Note Roll! Perhaps the Post-it Roll has been around forever, and I'm the last person on earth to discover this. Regardless, I had to share some ways that I'm using this little roll of joy.
Often I fantasize about the perfect student opening his notebook to read each entry carefully, making sure that all elements of the assignment are completed...wouldn't that be nice? Unfortunately, this does not happen with most students on most days, which has led me to pretty much abandon practice journal notes.
The traditional practice journal or digital lesson notes often do not have the immediate impact of comments included in the music (this is a no brainer). However, the alternative method of using the Post-it Roll, in particular, allows you to tear off just the right amount for every little nook and cranny of your score. The result is great visibility and very little waste.
Turn Post-It Note Removal Into a Goal-Oriented Game
Since I focus on writing my students' suggestions in the score, I often tell my students that their goal is to have all Post-it Notes removed from the music by the next lesson. As rough spots are improved, we pull these notes off the page and students are able to place them in a bin labeled "Post-it Note Cemetery" --where all mistakes go to die. :-) This creates a type of feedback on student progress that is very visual and loads of fun!
Cut Down on Clutter and Maintain Focus
One of the most beneficial aspects of using this method is a reduction in permanent score markings. Although there are some benefits to having markings remain in the music permanently, I find it more beneficial to be able to add and delete comments as needed so that the student does not become overwhelmed and so that the score is always changing from week to week. This ensures that your comments remain dynamic and do not become mysterious hieroglyphics that no longer have meaning.
Encourage Student Participation
Mostly I have the students do the writing on these notes, and I have them phrase the comments into their own words for better understanding and recall. Having students paraphrase, speak, and write enhances learning and gives them ownership over what is placed in the sheet music. I notice a lot of enthusiasm from my students when it comes to this! Sometimes it's even fun for the student to draw a picture that represents the musical concept being discussed. At this point, it becomes really creative!
Every once in a while you will have that student who is a slow writer or just can't write worth a flip (a student not able to read his own handwriting is a problem...), but it is usually successful to let most students participate in this way. AND, they love the whole process of peeling, tearing, and placing the notes! By the way, the roll lasts so much longer than the normal sticky notes. Have fun!