If you are a parent of school-aged children then you know that trying to get any information out of them is like trying to pull teeth… from a tiger!
“What did you learn at school today?”
“I dunno.” (End… of… conversation!)
As a school teacher, this is problematic. As a piano teacher, whose livelihood depends on the satisfaction of students and parents, this is downright scary. If we want parents to feel good about their decision to enroll their children in piano lessons we need them to hear all about the wonderful things that are happening in lessons. And, “I dunno.” just doesn’t cut it.
So, in today’s post, we are sharing an activity and a poster printable that you can use to help your piano students remember at least one great thing that happened in their lessons so they can have something to share with their parents.
An Exit Ticket Poster To Place In Your Studio!
The concept of an “Exit Ticket” is used frequently by classroom teachers to check in on student learning and progress at the end of the school day. It’s pretty simple… a student writes one thing she learned in class on a post-it note and then sticks it to a communal display.
It’s a brilliant method of encouraging goal setting and self-reflection, of proudly displaying all of the amazing learning that’s happening in your studio, and of providing students with something to talk about with their parents.
To make it work, you need three simple things:
- A poster to collect your exit tickets. You can use this one (designed to be printed 18×24 or you can make your own to suit your studio). Large studios can use several posters.
- Full-size post-it notes
- Pencils or markers
The “Exit Poster” should have numbered squares, with each number assigned to a specific student. The assigned square becomes a place for your students to show what they have learned each and every week.
As your student leaves the lesson, ask her to write one thing she learned that was new, challenging or exciting on a post-it note and then stick the note to her assigned square before heading out the door.
By the end of the week, your poster will be filled with amazing “social proof” of all of the fabulous things your students learn from you during lesson time!
Piano Studio Exit Poster Extensions
If you’ve decided to introduce the Piano Studio Exit Poster to your studio, then you might as well milk it for all its worth! The procedure described above is just one application of the poster. To take it to the next level try…
- Taking a picture of each students’ individual comments and texting it to their parents (not all parents come into the waiting area so this “catches” those who may not see it). A simple note of encouragement to go along with the text is a great “check-in” with parents.
- Posting a picture of the poster (as it appears at the end of each week) to your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page. Don’t forget to tag us @teachpianotoday as we’d love to see it!!
- Highlighting certain students’ post-it notes by sharing them on social media and then adding your own positive comments about their progress and learning. This is a nice way of showcasing your students regularly (without having to share student photos).
- Keeping the individual post-it notes, as you refresh the poster for the coming week, by sticking them inside a folder to send home with each student for the summer (it then becomes a “yearbook” of their learning highlights!)
Another Way To Make Your Waiting Area Interactive
Teachers have been having great success with leaving a PianoGameClub game out and ready for play in their waiting area! Siblings, parents and other students are joining in on the fun as they wait… and theory is becoming an interactive experience like never before! Get 4 new games every month for $8. Find out more here.