Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Centers Idea: Boomwhacker Orchestra

Day 24 into school and I still haven't had Centers yet. . . I KNOW! I KNOW!  I have to get on it quick before I put it on the back shelf for next year.  This is the year!  Centers will be!!  I don't mean to mislead you, we have been learning my games as a class.  So far, we have discussed  Musical Bowling, Rhythm Jenga, Music Dominoes, and . . . yup, that's what we have discussed.  I still need to introduce my matching game inspired by this post probably through my Promethean board!  Yea!  That would be cool.

Self pitying moment:  I just visited Mrs. King's Music Room blog.  My inspiration at her classroom turned into sheer terror when I saw how amazingly ORGANIZED she is.  This woman must be on some sort of upper meds because she is . . . I don't know how to explain it, but she puts me to shame.  Feel bad for me because I don't try as hard as Mrs. King.  

Okay, Pity Party over! I found her blog because I was perusing one of my old Music Ed Pinterest boards.  What did we do before Pinterest? *Sigh*  Know what I also found?  I will tell you.  Another awesome idea for a CENTER!!! (Bear with me, I'm in a bizarre mood today.)  

This one came from Notable Music Studio.  Somehow, this lady doesn't make me feel like a complete failure, but she does have awesome ideas and free printables.  It is very clear to me what this picture is all about, but just in case it isn't clear to you, I will let her explain.  
I had each student randomly pick 2 musical alphabet cards and give them to me.  I lined them up in a long line across the floor.  I then pulled out a diatonic set of boomwhackers and handbells and gave one or the other to each student.

After a bit of practice with them, we played our "composed" song.  They were very excited to know that it was the first time their "song" had ever been played!  They decided to name it the "Boom-a-Bell Song"!  Cute, huh?  

Well, we didn't stop there!  We then decided to play it backwards!  Of course, then they had to name it the "Bell-a-Boom Song"!  So funny! And so clever!  They laughed, giggled and got SO excited to do this activity!  After a few run throughs, I touched a bit on what harmony meant and rearranged the cards so they played two notes together.  I was very impressed at how quickly they caught on and how well they played.  We also played ALL the notes together (shaking the bells and rapidly whacking the boomwhackers on the floor) for the last note!  Of course that part was their favorite! 

Okay, this is how I want to do it.  I would like to use this as a rotation for centers. Instead of colored cards reading "ABC. . G",  I would use several color coded cards that only have 3 pitches("Mi, Sol, or La") printed on them and would have the corresponding boomwhackers only at that station (so only E, G, and A).   I would also have a mix of notes (quarter, eighth, half, rests. . . ) as well. Kid #1 will arrange the rhythms, either 2 or 4 bars, and Kid #2 will place the solfege cards above the notes.  Kid #3 will point to the rhythms as the others play and assess how they did.  Kid #4 will pick up the cards and put them back in their piles.  Then we switch jobs.  So I could call them Rhythm Composer, Pitch Composer, Conductor, and Equipment Manager.

Wow, I've spent a lot of time on this one idea. . . but I like it!  Now I need to find construction paper to match my boomwhackers, make a printable document, and viola!  Hello, center activity!

I really have been focusing my lessons on teaching my centers.  I never thought about how difficult it was to teach Dominoes to kids.  I know that there are kids who know exactly what to do and there are kids who are completely lost.  Hopefully we can do this and have fun Centers Time that will be a well oiled machine and SOMEDAY maybe an option for substitutes other than watching a video.  If the kids can manage the stations together and stay on task, I don't know why not.  Someday.  

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