Treasure Box or Bag

Eleanor Bennett said: Aug 11, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Villa Rica, GA
62 posts

Do any of you use a Treasure Box or Bag as a motivator? If so, how do you use it and what do you put in it?
Eleanor Bennett

Eleanor Bennett

Merietta Oviatt said: Aug 12, 2013
Merietta Oviatt
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Cello, Viola
Stevens Point, WI
104 posts

I have 2 different treasure boxes I use. The first is for my group classes where the kids earn stars or stamps on a card for various things (could include good behavior, answering theory questions, playing a solo in front of the group, etc). As soon as their card is full they get to go to the treasure box and pick out an item. I order the items for this box from oriental trading company where I can get a lot for super cheap.
The second is for book completions. I am always looking for really cool items that are on sale that I can purchase and add to the booty. Recently I added a battery operated glowing fish bubble blower. It was normally $15, but I got it on sale for $5. These are high value items for the kids and they simply cannot wait to finish a book and collect their prize! Where book completions don’t happen too frequently it doesn’t empty quickly and I’m able to find great items I can afford. I have a rule that I won’t spend more than $5, but each item must be worth more. The trick is to always have your eyes open and be looking for deals. The kids see the box when they come to lessons and it really helps motivate them to push and work to earn a trip to the treasure box.

Dr. Merietta Oviatt
Suzuki Specialist
Viola/Violin Instructor
Aber Suzuki Center, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
[javascript protected email address]

Emily said: Nov 7, 2013
 59 posts

I do not but I have used gold stars and a chart as a motivator. I really like this idea though and I might give it a try, Merietta had some great ideas, thanks!

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer

Annie said: Nov 8, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
6 posts

I use different colored ribbons to represent different skills- 1/4 in. For songs or higher level achievements I use more elaborate multicolored ones- 1/2 in. I use a black, thin elastic hair band tied in a loop and attach it to the scroll. Amazing motivator- I never say “practice”!!! If you would like more info let me know…

Annie Young-Bridges, Private Violin/Viola
and Public School Strings Teacher
Covington, Louisiana

Barb said: Nov 8, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

Great idea with the ribbons, Annie. I like the filling in the card idea, too, Merietta.

I have a prize bucket with little things like plastic animals, erasers, bouncy balls, pencils, stickers—all under $1. My students get to choose one for every 25 days on their 100 days practice charts. I also let them choose something the week of their birthday.

These are great for my younger kids, but after four or five years some are outgrowing or getting tired of these. Fortunately they are already motivated to practice without the prizes. But they do still like getting their 200 days medals and/or 300 days trophies!

Another teacher I know gives points towards iTunes cards. Not enough of my students use iTunes.

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