I have my good friend Angela to thank for this great idea to help motivate students in a fun way.
I usually do a "monster candy jar" incentive around Halloween - but it could work easily during any time of the year. I fill up a couple of jars with candy. During the month (or 2) students get a chance to guess how many candies are in the jar at their lesson each time they complete an item on their task list (see the ice cream party checklist). For some years I've done the contest based on how much they practiced that week (4 days=1 guess, 5 days=2 guesses, 6 days = 3 guesses), so the more they practice the more likely they are to win because they get more guesses. At the group lesson, students dress up in costumes, play songs for each other and then I announce the winners of the candy jars. The hardest part for me is resisting the temptation to "snitch" candy from the jar when its hanging around my house for a few months. I just make sure not to fill it with Snickers!
And the Winner Is…
11 hours ago