One at a Time? or How to Make Your Whole Class Bored

Tap teachers face an age old dilemma.  Check the students' feet one at a time or not?  Sure you can go in medium sized groups or even twos but with several kids tapping at once it can be challenging for me to hear the flaws and often even more so for students who haven't spent their entire life listening for them.  Tapping solo in class reveals everything and students are often surprised at what they hear.  The good news is that they get instant, clear feedback on the quality of their sounds in addition to my full and immediate attention telling them exactly what to fix and how to fix it.  The downside of course is that the rest of the class is left with no choice but to watch as the same step is attempted over and over.  Sure, for the first couple of kids everyone pays close attention to learn a thing or two, but by kid number 7 they're just plain bored.

And there's also the question of how long to spend on each kid.  If a student still hasn't gotten the step after a minute or two do I just move on regardless?  There's a big part of me that hates doing that because I feel that time has been wasted if they didn't improve.  On the other hand I could burn up an entire class if I worked with every kid until they got it right (not because they're not good tappers, but because there's a good many of them, and some simply make adjustments faster than others).

I generally do move on after a minute or so just to keep class moving.  Despite the boredom, I do think there is value in having them tap one at a time.  If anyone has a great idea on how to keep the rest of the kids interested/entertained while each kid goes, I'm all ears.

Rod Howell at


  1. What about a game?
    All do the combination
    you do it and say a name (lets say Ana)
    all do it
    Ana does it and says a name
    all do it

    if one gets it wrong he or she sits and you can check who needs to improve... may you can work with them in group after class or befor the class ends

  2. Karina,

    I appreciate the idea very much. The only thing is that I was speaking more about doing individual steps versus a combination. Nevertheless I may give your idea a try and have them all do the step after an individual does it. Thanks!



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