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??  ;)