Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Note Identification Centers

The 4th and 5th grade classes have been spending some time reviewing lines and spaces in preparation for our recorder unit.  I love using centers to help students practice certain skills.  It gives me a chance to assess the students as I observe.  The students love centers because they get to play fun games!  Here are the centers I chose for our treble clef study:

1) Staff Wars: A Smartboard Game - There are many online games like this but my students enjoy this one because it is all about speed and of course, it's play off of Star Wars.  The students can play the game in a variety of ways.  Some work together as a team to identify the notes and others compete against each other.  I've had a few groups see which team member could get to the highest level or get the most consecutive right answers.  While assessing, you can quickly see which students have the notes memorized and which are still relying on their mnemonic devices. 






2) Board Games: Trouble and Connect Four - I got both of these games at the Dollar Tree, added some flashcards, and - voila!  Students LOVE board games and I usually add a few "Lose a Turn," or "Move Ahead 3 Spaces" cards to make the game more exciting. 







3) Staff Spelling Bee - We do this as a whole group activity in previous lessons so that the students understand the concept.  I print off a bunch of words using letters from the musical alphabet (i.e. BEAD, ACE, BAG, etc.) and the students take turns drawing words and having the group "spell" them on their staff boards.  The student that draws the word gets to be the "spell-checker" and some groups even chose to do speed rounds.  You could even have them try to come up with a funny sentence.




4) Beanbag Toss - At this station, the students will take turns tossing a beanbag at the staff and identifying the note where it landed.  After a few rounds, the students can try tossing more than one beanbag and identify all of the notes.


5) Boomwhacker Station - This station allows the students to put into practice the note-reading that they have been practicing.  They divide the 8-note scale between the group members and work together to play the provide melodies. 




After all this practicing, my students are MORE than ready for recorders!!  Now, the question is ... am I ready??  ;)

19 comments:

  1. Love your centers ideas! How do you use the flashcards for the Trouble and Connect Four games?

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    1. Thank you, Danielle! For a board game like Trouble, I would have the students draw a card and identify the note correctly before they can roll the dice and move their game piece. For Connect Four, they have to identify the note before they can put in their checker piece. If they don't identify the note correctly, they lose their turn. You can do this as a review with pretty much any topic you are teaching - rhythm patterns, composer questions, instrument pictures etc. I hope this helps! :)

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  2. That helps greatly, thanks so much for your reply! I've seen and used several of these ideas before as review/reinforcement activities, but never thought to incorporate board games, I love that :)

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  3. Thanks for the great ideas! I will definitely be using these with my students at the end of the year for review before they leave for summer!

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    1. Thanks, Kristin! I'm glad you got some great ideas! :)

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  4. What are the sticks inside of the Boomwhackers?

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    1. Hi Cindy! Those black things are actually called Octavator Caps. They stick on to one end of the boomwhacker lowering the pitch by an octave. You play them by tapping the Octavator cap against the floor. I really like the quality of the sound better. Hope this helps! :)

      http://www.westmusic.com/p/boomwhackers-oc8g-octavator-tube-caps-8-pack-200403

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  5. Where can I find the Star Wars game? The link does not work anymore :(

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    1. Hi Elisa! Thanks for letting me know about the broken link. I have updated it. :)
      http://www.themusicinteractive.com/TMI/downloads.html

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  6. Great ideas! Question - how many cards of each note do you make for Trouble and Connect Four? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Katie! I think I just did one card per note and had the students just shuffle and re-use the cards if they ran out. You could definitely do more than that, though. :)

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  7. Great ideas. I have never done centers before. How long do students stay at each center?

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    1. I try to make sure they are at each center for 12-15 minutes so it usually takes us two class periods to get through all of them.

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  8. Such great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm trying to put together a collection of games for my private students as well as put a summer music camp together! These ideas will help a ton!

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    1. Thanks! You can pretty much turn any regular board game into a music game. :)

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  9. Awesome ideas! I was wondering, what type of tape did you use on carpet for the beanbag toss? Thanks!

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    1. Thanks! It is just regular masking tape. :)

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  10. Where did you find your flashcards? Can they be printed from a source you found online or did you have cards you purchased?

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    1. I made a set for one game and then printed them for another game. If you google, "free treble clef printable flashcards," lots of options come up. They also have lots of sets you can purchase in music catalogues. :)

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