Wednesday, 23 October 2013

2/4 Tuesday - Grade 5 & 6 Rhythm Compositions

How is it possible that October seems busier than September? I've missed the last two 2/4 Tuesdays but I was determined not miss three in a row. Remember to check out Stay Tuned for more great lesson ideas from other Music Teachers!

1. Grade 5/6 Rhythm Composition - Culminating Activity

Here's the info about my culminating rhythm activity as mentioned in this post

We started off by going over the Success Criteria:

The students then worked independently to compose a 16-beat rhythm pattern. They used this organizer to help them plan the composition. On the back of the Beat Chart I included a reflection question for the students to answer: How will what you learned from completing this assignment help you when you begin to the play the recorder/ukulele?

Once, the pattern was composed they practised clapping and saying their patterns and then were able to select a rhythm instrument of their choice to perform their composition on. Click here to access my rubric. Since I am cheap and don't like wasting paper I set it up so that I can print off two rubrics on one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and then cut it in half. 

2. Using Rhythm Dice Games during Presentations

It is always a challenge to find something for the rest of the class to do while others are presenting. Since this was their first time playing in front of an audience I wanted the audience to be made up of just me. 

A few years I ago I ordered this set of Rhythm Dice Games from Musicplay but had never used them. What was wrong with me? This set comes with over 10 different games and 25 dice with different rhythms on them. I set up the games into 7 different baskets, put the cards in page protectors, and used dry erase markers so that I didn't have to waste paper. I split the students up into groups and pretty much told them that they had to read the instructions and figure the game out themselves. They were not allowed to bug me when I was listening to the compositions! I was surprised by how well they managed on their own. 

I used the games with 6 different classes and it took two periods to hear all the compositions. Classroom management issues were fairly low and the kids had a blast! Scales and Slides (a version of Snakes & Ladders) was the favourite. What I really liked about this was that I had time to provide written feedback on their rubrics right away instead of going home and having to try to remember what they did well and what the next step should be. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

SMART Goals in the Music Room

Goal setting is such an important skill for students, especially students in Grade 8. I was inspired while on Pinterest (imagine that!) by this pin to spend some time at the beginning of the year teaching those kidlets how to set SMART goals. 

I set up a spot on one of my chalkboards and duplicated what I saw from that pin using sticky notes. Don't look too closely or you'll notice I made a mistake (realistic instead of relevant) but I later corrected it.  


We spent some time discussing what SMART goals were and then I split the kids into their Music Teams and they worked together to come up with an example of a SMART goal - music related or not. It was their choice.

Next came the creative/make my room look pretty assignment which was inspired by this pin. The students were told to write their own SMART Goal for Music, trace their arm, write the goal on their hand, and decorate it in some way that related to their goal. This is the rubric I used to give them a quick mark. In Ontario, we follow the Achievement Chart when assessing and evaluating students. K/U = Knowledge & Understanding   T = Thinking    C = Communication  A = Application (not assessed in this assignment). 

Here is the final product!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

2/4 Tuesday - Rhythm, Band Fingerings, and Beat

School is definitely back in full swing and it is hard to believe that October is upon us. All my classes have been focusing on identifying and playing a variety of rhythms and we will soon be moving on to note naming. 

1. Rhythm Compositions

The Grade 5s and 6s will be completing a rhythm assessment for me this week (more to come later) and to get them comfortable with creating a 16-beat rhythm composition I pulled out my Rhythm Composition Folders. I modeled how to complete this task with input from the students and let them choose a group of three to work with. I did add a caveat that there had to be at least one boy or one girl in each group. I found that this strategy worked well as there were minimal classroom management issues. 

The groups worked together to create their 16-beat pattern using the Rhythm Composition Folder. I added 4 hearts to each folder to help them organize their work by putting each rhythm underneath the correct number of beats. Once the composition was done they clapped and said the pattern for me. I then selected one student to choose a rhythm instrument for their group and the students played their composition on the instruments and later performed for the class.

This was a quick activity (albeit a tad bit noisy) and I'm hoping it will prepare them for composing a 16-beat rhythm pattern on their own later this week. 

2. Beginning Band Fingerings

I need to give a big shout-out to Aileen Miracle (click here for a link to her blog and here for a link to her Teachers Pay Teachers shop). I purchased her Beginning Band Fingerings Mega-Set in the summer because it was so pretty and because I felt that I needed to make sure that I had somewhere in my room that students could access fingerings quickly instead of looking at a fingering chart in their notebook. This set comes with printables, flashcards, and teaching strategies and I highly recommend it. Aileen also managed to update her Mega-Set and added Tuba and Baritone fingerings in less than a week of me requesting them. Amazing! I hope to post some pictures of them up in my room shortly. Right now I am having my Grade 8s review their fingerings by putting the images up on my SmartBoard and having them copy them onto their Fingering Charts. 

3. Beat, Beat Baby

The Grade 4s just finished a mini-unit on beat. I find myself reinventing the wheel all the time because I come across so many great ideas but I was happy to revert back to this activity I wrote about last year. It always seems to be a big hit with the kids and reinforces the concept of beat and the importance of cooperation. Check out this post for more details. Because I'm so "thrifty" (read cheap) I even used the same paper cups as last year. I doubt they'll make it another year so I'd recommend investing in some plastic ones. 

As always, visit Steph's blog for more great 2/4 Tuesday ideas.