Practice Kits

About 8 or 9 years ago after reading The Practice Revolution by Philip Johnston I was inspired to create practice kits for my students.  When I first started doing them I used those small Tupperware type containers and we put them in their bag.  But I noticed it was often forgotten about, so now I put everything in a pencil pouch that goes in front of their 3-ring binder.

I just put together 10 new practice kits for new students starting next week so I thought I would share a couple of pictures of what they look like and explain what goes in them.

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Included in the practice kit is the following:

A pencil

A highlighter

A small notepad


Playing cards

Practice cards for the “Ice cream” practice games

Dice (for practice games)

Game marker for practice board game (used a small eighth note eraser)

3 minute timer (for emergency practice days where there is ABSOLUTELY no time to practice)  I stress this is for emergency only, should be used seldom and it should be there best focused practice time.  It’s actually amazing what you can accomplish in 3 minutes when you are focused!

Clothespin (this is can double as a finger strengthener- but be careful not to overuse and a music holder for those pesky pages that don’t want to stay open

Candy!  I usually put in smarties but I had these packages of whoppers on hand so I wanted to use those up first.  Perfect for the 7 stages or 3 stages (shorter version) game.

As you can see I’m a real big advocate for practice games.  Practice games are just another way for practice “goals”.  It helps students focus on the task at hand, but by having a specific goal in mind while they are practicing.  I try to encourage them to use games in their practicing as much as they can.

If you aren’t familiar with practice games, be sure to get The Practice Revolution.  I would also highly recommend his other two books, Practiceopedia and Not Until You’ve Done Your Practice! (I would call this one a student version of The Practice Revolution)

22 thoughts on “Practice Kits

  1. Just went online to order the 3-minute timers only to be informed that Canadian orders cannot be shipped…anyway around this….even tried to phone and the answer said I can’t reach them from my area…

    1. Is that with Oriental Trading Co? That’s too bad. I would probably just google for them online and see what you can find. I would bet someone else carries them as well. Are there any teacher supply store’s in your area? Maybe they would carry them?

  2. What a great idea!!! I am just curious what exactly you expect student to highlight and also what do they use the notepad for?? I have also tried to locate the “Ice Cream” practice games – can you tell me what or where these may be found?

    You are so creative – thanks for the ideas.

  3. I am giving the practice kits as the first achievement in a practice incentive and will add games for them at each additional level achieved. I ordered sand timers and large dice from oriental trading along with small stress balls (for me or them? LOL) and will include a pencil, sharpener, eraser. I will put one die in each kit for them to roll and see how many times they will practice the piece assigned. Should be lots of fun!

  4. What’s the practice board game? I am so excited to do this for my students this Fall! I even started reading “The Practice Revolution.” Thank you so much!!

  5. Can you include a link to the 3-ringer zipper pouch you use? I’m looking for really cheap ones in bulk ($1 or less each) that are clear like this one and that have zippers (aren’t zip lock). I’m afraid though that some of the plastic ones that if they don’t have a metal reinforcement on the 3-rings may just tear off with typical student binder abuse. 🙂 Have they held up for you?

  6. Hi Jennifer! This is probably going to seem like a stupid question…I am hoping to put some of these kits together to give to my students as prizes for successfully completing a practice incentive we are doing this month. I was wondering what you include as your “flashcards” in this kit? I’m assuming that means note naming flashcards, but I just wanted to check. If they’re not just note naming flashcards, what other kinds of things do you include with the flashcards? I have some ideas already, but I just thought I would check to see what you included. Thanks!

      1. Perfect! Thanks so much! I did see that there were the two types of cards and have planned accordingly. I’m excited for my students to start using these practice kits! 🙂

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