The last couple of years I have created a studio assignment book for my students using my printable assignment sheet. I print these using my MTNA Office Depot card (if you don’t know about this, you NEED one right away) and have them spiral bound with a nice cover and backing. They usually come out to be about $4 per book and last us for the whole year. One of my biggest pet peeves last year was students would say, “I didn’t mark my practice days because I didn’t have a pencil.” Seems like such a lame excuse, right? So I decided to eliminate that excuse permanently by tying a pencil to every assignment book. I had some wonderful pencils custom printed by National Pen and then got some simple bakers twine and washi tape. I tied the twine to the spirals and on the pencil, then used washi tape to wrap around the pencil to hold it in place. It ended up looking like this:
I also included a couple other items which help to eliminate excuses – copies of the studio calendar, policies, and tuition agreements. I have always included a calendar but the policies and agreements are new inclusions this year. Last year, I was in the studio on a day that we did not have lessons (why was I working on a holiday?) and another teacher’s student came in expecting a lesson. He seemed surprised we did not have lessons and claimed no one had told him. I quickly alerted him to the calendar in the front of the assignment book he was holding in his hand and pointed out that day marked as a holiday. Problem solved! Having all of this information in an easily accessible place is wonderful. Now parents have no reason to not know and understand our policies and calendar.
What do you include in your assignment books? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.