100 Days Chart—do you start over?

Barb said: Sep 4, 2010
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
685 posts

I am trying to decide…

I have been using 100 charts for my students. They color a circle for every day they practice when they come to lessons. They get to choose a little prize every 25 days. When they have finished the chart, they are members of the 100 Day Club and privileged to come to a club party. They also are acknowledged on my website. None of my students made the “deadline” last winter so there was no party. All the kids were members by the summer and working on their 200, so all were invited to the beach party.

It looks like most took the summer off and will not complete the 200 chart by next week. I was trying to think of a special prize for those who achieved the 200 club. Maybe a custom T shirt…

The last student to achieve 100 days was the first to get to 200, so I want to make sure he’s well rewarded for his work.

I am trying to decide if I should start with a clean slate this fall and do the same thing again, or do I have the students continue on to 200, 300 etc.

One parent’s comment was that she thought it would be good to start fresh, otherwise it would be demotivating for her child (and the others) to feel behind since they have not reached 200 yet.

But for the sake of the one who practiced over the summer—shouldn’t that be rewarded by getting a head start on the others to 300?

No one would lose their 100 Day Club status, so they’d all be invited to the winter party—and the new kids might get there, too. Might it not also be demotivating to have to start working for the 100 Day Club all over again?

Those of you who also use these kinds of charts—what do you or your teachers do? I need to decide by Tuesday!


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Christine said: Sep 5, 2010
Christine GoodnerInstitute Director
SAA Staff
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Viola
Hillsboro, OR
103 posts

Barb—I think there are pros and cons either way you do it. Ultimately, you are the teacher and have to do what you think will benefit and motivate your students the most. It isn’t possible to make everyone happy all the time—so weigh out the pros and cons and decide what you feel best about. You can always give special recognition to the student who practiced all the way through somehow, even if you start everyone with a clean slate this fall.

Christine in OR

Christine Goodner

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Jennifer Visick said: Sep 5, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts

If I may point out—the student who practiced will be rewarded intrinsically by advancing in those areas in which he or she practiced. Once a student begins to recognize the intrinsic reward of practicing, the extrinsic rewards become much less essential.

In other words, if you start everyone over, it will still be clear from the students’ progress which ones did or did not continue practicing over the summer.

said: Sep 6, 2010
 8 posts


One parent’s comment was that she thought it would be good to start fresh, otherwise it would be demotivating for her child (and the others) to feel behind since they have not reached 200 yet.

I am a parent, not a teacher, but I think you should absolutely not start over! Why would it be demotivating? Why wouldn’t it be inspiring? Is that child also “demotivated” by hearing other kids in group class who play more advanced pieces? I think this is where the parent needs to jump in and say “yes there will always be kids who practice more/play better, but this is not a competition. We do this because we love music and it makes us a better person. If you practice every day you will play better and feel an amazing sense of accomplishment (oh and by the way you can go to a party).” My guess is that it is the parent, not the child, who needs this reminder. :)

Also you might ask why the kids are not finishing their 100 days. I’ve had great success with my kids counting their days, and I think the reason is because we set careful ground rules first. What if they are sick, what if we are traveling, what counts as a “bare minimum” for practice, do we practice on lesson days, does orchestra rehearsal count as practice, etc. The first hundred days was definitely the hardest. I did have to threaten, er, I mean remind, them that we would have to start over if they skipped a day, but now violin practice is an unquestioned part of our daily routine. We don’t even bother with charts any more; we just mark the dates on the calendar.

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