Recorder Karate Idea Bank

In-Class Belt Testing And Practice

Submitted by Ellen Barker, Wichita, Kansas

Idea posted 2003-12-01

I use Recorder Karate from October to April for my 4th grade classes. We complete the experience at the end of April with a concert for the school and parents.

At the beginning of class, we practice all the songs being tested (for example, the lower end might be the yellow belt, while the higher end could be the purple belt) and the ones in between. Then I begin testing for the day, while the other students practice at their seats. Yes, it does get noisy, but I have the testing student next to where I am sitting. Usually it isn't a problem to hear the testing student. This prevents students from feeling like everyone is watching their every move. I have a bunch of students that couldn't cope with that!

Each student must bring their folder (of music, which I provide for them) each day. If they don't bring it with them, they cannot test that day. This keeps folders from disappearing once they understand they can't move on without it. It also prevents me from having to run to the copy machine to replace lost folders. Students are tested in alphabetical order. If students want to make up absences from the previous class, I do that first. If they have forgotten their recorder, they have to wait until I go through all of the other students before they have another chance (the school has recorders for students).

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