Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Music Math Centers

Every year I do a "Rhythm Is Math" Unit with 3rd grade. We get pretty in depth and involved with rhythms and seeing how math is connected to music. I like doing it with 3rd because I can start talking fractions with them since they start learning more about them then. This year I am doing a rotation of centers that helps them practice working with rhythms and math. I also included a teacher center where I can do a quick informal assessment to see how students are doing individually.  Below are some pictures and explanations of the centers I have that help them use these skills.

1. Pumpkin Math Match:
I found these foam pumpkins at a local craft store. The orange pumpkins have musical math equations on them and the yellow pumpkins have numerical values on them. Students need to add up the number of beats on the orange pumpkins and match them with the correct yellow pumpkin. I include an answer key for them to check their answers to see if they were correct. I also include a sheet that reminds them of the note and rest values as well.

2. Rhythm Jenga
I found this idea on Pinterest. I took a Jenga game and stuck address labels with rhythms on them. Students play it like Jenga, but before they stack it they must say the rhythm.

NOTE: I know this doesn't have a musical math element to it, but I wanted a center or two where they are actually practicing rhythms. Which also gives them a brain break from the math equations.

3. Teacher Center:
I have this center where students come to me to do a small informal assessment. On the paws I have written notes and rests (quarter note, quarter rest, pair of eighth notes, 4 sixteenth notes, half note, half rest, whole note, and whole rest). I randomly draw two to have the students add up the beats for the two. They draw each note in a provided blank on the paper, and then write the answer. 

 4. Busted!
Another great Pinterest find! It comes from the mastermind of Steph at "Stay Tuned!"  My students have LOVED this game. It has inspired me to create other forms of Busted! to practice pitch names as well. With this one, students use it to practicing saying rhythms. But this round, I am asking students to also declare to the group how many beats each stick has on it.

5. SmartBoard: Music Madness!
I don't know about the rest of you, BUT I LOVE Artie Almeida's resources. Last year I bought her Music Madness Interactive Board games. And my students have LOVED it. I am having them use the game "An Apple A Day" which is a game where they need to know note values to play, again having them practice their music math skills.

6. Fishing For Rhythms:
I got these cute fish from Lakeshore Learning that is probably supposed to be used for calendar dates or something like that. BUT, of course as music teachers, we get creative and see it as a tool for something else! I wrote notes and rests on them again. Each student takes a turn and "fishes" for 2-5 fish, line them up and they race to write down the correct answer. If they get the answer right first, they get a point. I have them use whiteboards to write their answer. They keep track of their points here as well by squaring off a part of the whiteboard and doing tally marks. Like the Pumpkin Rhythms, I included a note and rest values sheet to help them do the math quickly if needed.

Here's some logistics on how I run the centers:
I see students 30 minutes each time, I have students spend 10-12 minutes at each center, which allows me for 2 centers a day. Which then takes a total of 3 days to complete. It takes about a week to get each student through, but I love doing centers because I feel many students learn by doing. So I see a lot of value of doing a centers-based approach. I also love including a teacher center so that I can do a quick review with students who are struggling and challenge the students more who need the extra challenge.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 Classroom Tour

I know it's well after the school year has started, but my oh my has it been one busy year already! Now that I'm in my groove, I finally have time to show off some updates to my room!  I'm LOVING what I've done.

I started my TeachersPayTeachers store this summer and these will be some products that I will have up and posted for sale. My Word Wall Headers are already there. You should check it out if you can!

I went with a Rainbow Chalkboard theme and it really turned out great! I will have Recorder Posters, solfege hand sign posters, MUSIC room rules, and for those who teach in an IB school, I will also have my Profiles, Key Concepts, and Attitudes posters available as well.

Take a look and leave a comment if you have any questions about what you see!

Aren't the colorful pom-poms a nice touch?! I love them!!!
A view from my chair.

View from the door.

A view for some students. Notice my Boomwhacker storage using a big black bin that I found at good ol' Walmart this summer. And Black to go with my theme. Awesome-sauce.

Another perspective.

This was a great idea of my student teacher last year. With being an International Baccalaureate school, I wanted to incorporate a more global perspective. So he came up with the idea of doing a Passport to... and then change it each trimester and do music or listen to music from that country.

These posters will be available on my TpT store soon!

Recorder Center: The storage unit on the left is where I keep the string belts to go on recorders and the trays are all the songs organized by belt level.

View of my desk area.

Even all my binders are celebrating the rainbow!

1/2 of my word wall (the other half is on the other side of the room) The Letters are available on my TpT store.

These are the Attitudes from being an International Baccalaureate school, or a PYP school.

Lots to see here, Key Concepts on cabinets (IB stuff again), keyboard behavior clip chart, mailbox to turn in assignments, reusable exit tickets, I Took Action forms.
MUSIC Room Expectations. I modeled them after Lindsey Jervis from Lindsey's Kodaly Inspired Classroom. I've had them spell MUSIC for years, but I like the simplicity of how she worded them better and added my personal touch to them.

The view for the students. Solfege chart, anchor charts, Smart Board, and learning goals by grade on the left.

A closer look at the solfege ladder.

Classroom instrument storage and book bins.

View from my keyboard.

Isle of Rest (much like a "Take A Break" chair), but I have a 2 minute sand timer for kids so they know when they can return.

Another view from my keyboard.