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Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

My third graders due a huge unit on instruments of the orchestra.  In Kindergarten through Second grades we discuss instruments as they come up in pieces we are listening too.  We spend time learning to identify classroom percussion instruments and classify them.  Third grade we really hit it hard and work to learn instrument names, their correct spelling, instrument families and how to identify them aurally.

This year I chose Instruments of the Orchestra as the content for the SLOs that I am recording.  SLOs are student learning objectives.  We are required to pretest and post-test and record the data for analysis.  After spending a week on each instrument family, my students work in centers to review and prepare for their test at the end of the unit.  Here are the workstations they completed.

Clip It-Instruments


Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

At this station, students review instruments and their names as they determine how many syllables are in each instrument name.  Then they take a clothespin and pin the note or rhythm that most closely matches the syllable of the instrument.  This is mostly rhythm work, but this is an opportunity for students to see a picture of the instrument and the instrument name.  You can get this Instrument Clip It here.

Instrument Dabbers

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.


I think that I may love dabbers more than my students!  I am always looking for ways to incorporate them into center time.  At this station students had four worksheets to complete (one for each instrument family).  Students dabbed instruments belonging in each family.  So fun!  You can get this dabber set HERE.

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

Some of the dabber pages needed a little bit of time to dry.  We laid them on our seats and by the time most students had rotated through all of the stations, their papers were dry and ready to go home to hang on the fridge.
Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

Instrument Guess Who

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.
This fun workstation was created by Chrissy at Hutzel's House of Music.  You need to purchase the regular Guess Who game and then purchase her insert, trim it and slide it into the case.  Students compete against each other to figure out a selected instruments.  They can only ask yes and no questions.  Here's a few of the GREAT thinking and learning questions I heard from this workstation;
"Is it a member of the brass family?"
"Does it use a reed?"
"Do you scrape it to make a sound?"
"Is it bigger than my arm?"
How awesome is that?  I love that this center allows them to really think about what each instrument looks like and helps them come up with ways to describe their characteristics.


 Instrument Family Punch Cards

 Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

This station is SO much fun!  I have a collection of hole punches.  Some have stars, hearts, music notes or the original circle.  At this center, students complete four punch cards (one for each family).  On each card they are asked to punch the instruments for a specific family.  You can download the cards HERE.

In my classroom, this station worked out best to be a standing station.  I used an empty cart and placed supplies on it.  Students stood around the cart to complete their center work.  Most students really enjoyed this opportunity to stretch their legs.  I will definitely add more standing stations in the future.

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.  Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

  Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.
 Similar to Instrument Clip It, the instrumental version of Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It asks students to sort instruments by the number of syllables in their name.  You can grab this set HERE.
Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

Reading Station

Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.

 I always like to include a reading station if time and space allow.  At this station students sat on the carpet and read books.  I really wanted to include only books about instruments, but just don't feel like I have enough in my library yet.  I included books about composers and a few seasonal books too.

Other Instrument Workstations
There are many great instrument workstations that I could have used for this activity, but had to narrow them down based on the number of students in each class and our limited time together.  You might enjoy reading about Instrument Family Dip and Chip Tray Workstations from a previous blog post or click through some of these ideas:

Mystery Instruments  A brown paper bag, a classroom instrument and a detective sheet.
Instruments of the Orchestra Workstations can be the perfect addition to your student of instruments and instrument families.  Learn about a few easy centers to implement into your classroom and woo your students to success.


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Books You Need in Your Music Classroom - PRIMARY LIST

Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.

In my music education college classes, way back in the day, it never occurred to me to invest in children's books for my music classroom.  I guess that it never occurred to my instructors either because I didn't hear about it until a few years into my teaching career.  It sounds crazy doesn't it? 

There are so many amazing pieces of children's literature that lend themselves to teaching musical concepts and enhance lessons in history, movement, composition and more.  This is a list of some of the books that I like using with Preschool through 2nd grades.  This list is in no way complete, but hopefully it will provide you with inspiration when shopping for your classroom.

If you are interested in my list of books for upper elementary, you'll want to check out THIS post with a long list of books that I keep for 3rd through 6th graders.

Add Sound Effects
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? Bill Martin Jr.
Caps for Sale Esphyr Slobodkina
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown 
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything Linda Williams
The Napping House Audrey and Don Wood
Tiptoe Joe  Ginger Foglesong Gibson
This is the House That Jack Built  Simms Taback
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day Judith Viorst
In the Tall, Tall Grass Denise Fleming
Mortimer  Robert Munsch

Great for vocal exploration or incorporating classroom instruments, this list of books is just a few of the books that work well for adding instruments.  Each book uses a repetitive and sometimes cumulative format that makes it easy for students to follow along.
Looking for an easy way to get started with this kind of activity?  Start with This is the House That Jack Built.  At the beginning of the book, there is a cast list.  Have your students brainstorm sounds they can make that would represent each character.  Next, read the book adding those sound effects.  So much fun!
Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.

Instruments

Berlioz the Bear Jan Brett
Carnival of the Animals John Lithgow
Dan, The Taxi Man  Eric Ode
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo John Lithgow
The Remarkable Farkle McBride John Lithgow
Tubby the Tuba Paul Tripp
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin Lloyd Moss

In my classroom, we don't really plunge into naming instruments and classifying instruments by family until 3rd grade. That being said, we learn about individual instruments and classroom instruments in K-2.  In addition to identifying instruments in pieces we listen to, exploring the music of Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the animals, I like to use these books about instruments in class.

Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.

Rhyming Books for Rhythm Work
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Bill Martin Jr.
Commotion in the Ocean Giles Andreae
Farmer Joe and the Music Show Tony Mitton
'Possum Come a-Knockin' by Nancy Van Laan
Moo Bah La La La by Sandra Boynton
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Llama Llama Red Pajama  by Anna Dewdney

There are thousands of rhyming books that have strong rhythm and repetition and work well for rhythm work.  I've listed just a few and know that you probably have several books in your library that aren't on this list.

With rhyming books, I often read them and have students keep the steady beat by patting or with non-pitched percussion instruments.  You could have them isolate rhythms from the book and decipher their rhythm, play them on Orff instruments, create body percussion sections and more.

Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney is great for rhythm work too, but isn't a strong rhyming book.  I pass out drumsticks (or chop sticks!) and have students echo the drumming phrases in this book.  This is a fun way to introduce this great book to a class.

Movement
My Many Colored Days Dr. Suess
What a Wonderful World Theile and Weiss
My Many Colored Days and What a Wonderful World are excellent books for adding movement with scarves and ribbons.  Read the book, assign students a color or another key word in the story.  When students hear that word or phrase, they move with their scarf.  I use the Louis Armstrong version of "What a Wonderful World" to play while we move too.

Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae is such a delightful rhyming book!  I love to cue up music to match the specific genres mentioned in the book and play it on our second reading.  I challenge students to dance in the same style too.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael J. Rosen is a great way to introduce the Bear Hunt activity most music teachers use in music class.  I also like to keep this in my library so students can read and move during center time.
Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.
 Sing the Book
Baa Baa Black Sheep Iza Trapani
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin Jr.
Cat Goes Fiddle-I-Fee Paul Gaidone
Coat of Many Colors  Dolly Parton
Don't Laugh at Me Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Five Green and Speckled Frogs  Priscilla Burris
Footloose Kenny Loggins
Grandma's Feather Bed John Denver
Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands  Kadir Nelson
How Much is that Doggie in the Window Iza Trapani
Hush Little Baby Brian Pinkney
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More Karen Beaumont
I'm a Little Teapot Iza Trapani
Itsy Bitsy Spider Iza Trapani
Jennie Jenkins John Feierabend
Mary Had a Little Lamb Iza Trapani
My Favorite Things Renne Graef
Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? Iza Trapani
One Love Bob Marley
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons Eric Litwin
Pete the Cat Rockin' in My School Shoes Eric Litwin
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Iza Trapani
Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants  Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld
Sunshine on My Shoulders John Denver
Take Me Home, Country Roads John Denver
The Seals on the Bus Lenny Hort
This Land is Your Land Woody Guthrie
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Iza Trapani
What Does the Fox Say Svein Nyhus
Wheels on the Bus Raffi

Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.

Miscellaneous
Introduction to Opera
Chalk Bill Thomson
This book is pictures only and makes the perfect introduction to opera!  I explain to students that an opera is a play that is sung, not spoken.  Then I sing questions and they sing their answers before we "read" this book.  I sing what I think is happening on the first few pages and then invite students to take over the story in the same way.  It is so fun to hear their creative improvisations!

Vocalizations
How to Speak Moo Deborah Fajerman
So fun for vocal warm ups, this book has students "mooing" in all sorts of ways!

Dynamics
Harold Finds a Voice Courtney Diemas
Ruby Sings the Blues Niki Daly
Looking for a great way to introduce dynamics to your primary learners?  These books are perfect!

Let me know what books you love to use with your primary students in the comments or on Facebook.  If you liked this list PIN IT for later!
Books in the music classroom can be used for singing, dancing, composing, history and more! Check out this huge list of children's literature that should be on the shelves of your music classroom.
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A Handy Way to Teach Treble Clef Names

Teach the treble clef lines and spaces with this "handy" trick that involves gloves!  Students leave with a crafty project that helps them read treble clef pitches!

You've probably heard of using your hand as a visual aid for learning the names of pitches on the treble clef staff.  With five fingers....err...four and your thumb to represent lines and 4 spaces, it is perfect!  I wanted to take that idea just a little bit further with my students.  This is what we did.

Teach the treble clef lines and spaces with this "handy" trick that involves gloves!  Students leave with a crafty project that helps them read treble clef pitches!
Using plastic gloves and permanent markers we wrote the names of the lines at the tips of our fingers.  To solidify the concept that our fingers represented the treble clef lines, we drew lines on our fingers too.  Some of my students claimed they were drawing their bones!  

Next we found the spaces between our fingers and labeled them with the treble clef space names. 

Teach the treble clef lines and spaces with this "handy" trick that involves gloves!  Students leave with a crafty project that helps them read treble clef pitches!

With my students this year I used very thin, clear gloves that you might see food service workers use in your cafeteria.  They were pretty inexpensive but were quite large for some of my smaller students.  They were a safe choice for students with an allergy to latex.

Another time I used latex gloves (pictured above).  These gloves allowed us to write more clearly, but were MUCH more expensive.  I bought a box of large and a box of small and they fit better than the plastic gloves.  I would only recommend these if you were working with a pretty small class or were able to secure donations.

Teach the treble clef lines and spaces with this "handy" trick that involves gloves!  Students leave with a crafty project that helps them read treble clef pitches!
Permanent markers dried pretty fast during this project.  I experimented with several other writing utensils include ink pens, flair pens and paint pens.  Permanent markers are definitely the way to go.

After we finished our gloves we practiced using them with Music K-8's songs "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and "FACE" on YouTube.   I also love Quaver Music's "Lines and Spaces" for this activity.

Like this idea?  PIN IT for later!
Teach the treble clef lines and spaces with this "handy" trick that involves gloves!  Students leave with a crafty project that helps them read treble clef pitches!



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Flashlight Routines that Teach Form

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.

The first time I experienced using flashlights to demonstrate musical form was in a workshop by the talented and genius, Artie Almeida.  I love using them to keep students engaged and my students love them for their novelty.
Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.
For most flashlight routines that I have used in class I use two or three colors.  I use a large permanent marker and color in the lens. Depending on the marker, you may want to let it dry and then color it again.
Instead of using permanent markers, you could use colored plastic wrap and rubber bands.  I didn't like how often my rubber bands disappeared and turned into weapons, so after a time or two I decided this was not a good choice for me.

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.
Flashlights
I chose inexpensive flashlights from the dollar store about bought about 10 more than my largest class because I expected some of them to break easily.  The batteries were pretty expensive, but with the help of a regional grant I was able to get enough to fill every flashlight.  

When using the flashlights sitting down, you get a large light on the ceiling.  It's pretty, but not very distinct or clear if your room isn't completely dark.  In the picture above you can see what it looks like when students are sitting.  In the picture below students were standing.  That produced a smaller, cleaner look to their light and it looked much better when we were all working together.

You could always buy smaller flashlights with a stronger beam to get the same effect.

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.

Teaching Form
Before putting flashlights in their hands we listen to the piece of music.  We either follow a listening maps or we listen and create our own listening map.  This gives students the experience they need to be successful when they get the flashlights.

We label each section with a letter name and decide on an action for the flashlight.

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.

This video is of one of my 5th grade classes and their first attempt at a flashlight routine to "Cantina Band".  This is an unedited, imperfect, completely authentic look at how this works in my classroom.  I love how at section D they are in awe of their own awesomeness!



Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.

I hope this inspires you to try using flashlights in your classroom.  Do you have any favorite pieces that would work well with flashlights?  I would love to learn about them.  Let me know in the comments.

Flashlight routines in music class can be used to reinforce form and keep students engaged and excited about learning.  This post shares routines for "Cantina Band" by John Williams and "March" from the Nutcracker as well as tips and tricks for using them successfully in your music classroom.


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Dealing with Teacher Burnout

Tips for dealing with teacher burnout.  How do you know you're burning out?  Things NOT to try (but are pretty awesome) and solutions to save your sanity and your school year.

Some days when I’m greeted with an enthusiastic “Good morning!  How are you?”  I just want to growl and say “I’m tired.”  I hate being that person, because would much rather be happy and cheerful.   How about you?  Let’s face it, teaching can be exhausting and burnout can happen to the best of us. How do you avoid burnout?  How do you know if you’re there?  What does burnout look like?  Read on, my weary teacher friends.

How do you know that you’re burning out?

You are overwhelmed.  You know there’s a lot to do and you are wondering how you will be able to add one more thing.  Maybe you are thinking that you should compromise your values and expectations just so you can mark things off your to do list.  You may even consider prioritizing but tell yourself it just won’t be enough.

You are anxious.  You’ve got that nagging feeling that you should be doing more.  You may even realize that you actually need to do LESS, but still feel like you could do more and you should do more.

You are tired.  Maybe tired isn’t the best description.  You are exhausted.  Weary.  You sleep, but don’t seem to rest.  It’s the kind of tired that makes you want to crawl in bed at 6:30 and wake up in 3 days.  For me, I know I’m experiencing burnout when I sit down at lunch and daydream about going to bed that night.

You just aren’t any fun.  How long has it been since you laughed?  Really laughed?  Belly laughed?  Maybe you just don’t laugh or smile as much as you used to.  I hate unfunny me!  It makes the days feel longer than usual.

You just aren’t up to daily challenges like you used to be.  You may not feel as creative, patient or enthusiastic as you once did.  You may feel like you have just lost your edge.

You just want to be left alone.  Do you just want to find a big cozy blanket and hide under it?  You may be experiencing burnout if you are craving a place to hide, a place where you aren’t tried and tested and no one will question you.  A place that is just…quiet!

Ways I’ve Tried Dealing with Burnout

Tips for dealing with teacher burnout.  How do you know you're burning out?  Things NOT to try (but are pretty awesome) and solutions to save your sanity and your school year.1.  Look at that teacher or administrator that is really getting on your nerves.   Close one eye and put your pointer finger and thumb in front of your other eye and pretend you are pinching their little heads.  Incredibly satisfying.
2.  Harry and David’s has these magic little bags of happiness called Moose Munch.  Buy. Eat.  Eat some more. Cry when it is gone.  Buy more.  Repeat.
3.  Gallons of Diet Mt. Dew.

I don’t really recommend any of these, but they are things that I have tried!

How to Deal with Burnout 

1.  Get physical.   I know, it’s not what I usually think of when I am tired and stressed, but exercising can give you quiet time, gets your endorphins popping and will make you rest better.  You don’t have to go to the gym either.  Take a walk, dance to a YouTube video with your kids, get a little romantic with your spouse, take a swim or even play a game of ping pong.
2.  Be a list maker.  Sometimes I get stressed because I am trying to remember everything that I need to do and inevitably forget something.  Now, I make a list of things that I need to do and then stop worrying about it.  My lists usually in three parts:  Today, This Week and Sometime.  The Today list includes things that need to be done before I go home.  This week means as soon as I can and the Sometime list is for those great ideas that I want to do, but can’t do right now.  Sometimes I copy things from list to list for weeks until I get to them.  While that might sound crazy, if it is on the list I spend less time thinking about it.
3.  Plan your quiet time.  Schedule a time for a massage or a pedicure.  Plan an afternoon where you have no responsibilities and turn your phone off.  Schedule time to relax.  Make it as much of a priority as you do your tasks at work.  Your family and your students will thank you for it!
4.  Get some rest.   No, really.  Go to bed a little earlier.  End your evening with a hot shower, a favorite drink and perhaps meditation or prayer.  Don’t research online, grade papers, catch up on emails or even make a grocery list.  Just go to bed.
5.  Get to work earlier.  Feeling rushed and stressed can start right away.  Is there a way that you can get to work 15 minutes earlier?  A few minutes of extra time before things get busy and noisy can go a long way in starting your day off feeling prepared and refreshed.  If you can find those minutes in the morning, plan to stay 15 minutes later and get everything ready for the next morning.  (That includes stacking up papers to grade and leaving them there until tomorrow.  Don’t take them home!)

Tips for dealing with teacher burnout.  How do you know you're burning out?  Things NOT to try (but are pretty awesome) and solutions to save your sanity and your school year.

6.  Be thankful.  Sometimes when I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed it helps to count my blessings.  Be thankful for your family, friends and co-workers.  Be thankful for the things that are going right.  Be thankful for the little things like outside recess and no bake cookies for lunch.  Be thankful.  You have the greatest job in the world!

Save this article for later. PIN IT.
Tips for dealing with teacher burnout.  How do you know you're burning out?  Things NOT to try (but are pretty awesome) and solutions to save your sanity and your school year.


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Note Value Bowling Music Workstation

Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!

Bowling in music class?  You bet! It may be your students' favorite music workstation!  Read on to find out how to create the fun and functional workstation for your classroom.

Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!

I have several sets of bowling pins at my house.  I know that sounds weird, but I've been working on and then perfecting a bowling workstation for several years.  The set that I used in the pictures is a wooden set.  It is a nice size and weight and the pins make a lovely sound when they fall down.

This set was on sale for 75% off when I picked it up.  Music teacher WIN!  I've picked up some at discount stores and yard sales too.

From experience with Layton Music's Music Yahtzee, I knew that putting a single eighth not or a dotted quarter note would up the difficulty of this game to the point where not all of my students would be able to play and successfully record their score.  I decided to use notes that would not utilize fractions, or their mathematical brothers, decimals.  I used quarter note, barred eighth notes, 4 sixteenth notes, half note, dotted half note and whole note.  I drew one of these on each of the six pins.  I used a permanent marker, but you could also use a paint pen.

Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!

I have a plastic set of pins.  I used a white paint pen and a silver Sharpie to draw on the notes.  They have held up quite well.  Although you could store the pins in their original box or container, I haven't found a set that holds up well.  I buy plastic storage containers and place everything in them.
Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!

Before introducing the game to students I spent some time practicing.  (Turns out I'm a pathetic bowler!)  I experimented with how far apart to place the pins and how far back I needed to stand to roll the boll.  If the pins are too far apart, they won't all fall down even with a perfect throw.  If they are too close together, they will all fall down every time.  I ended up finding the perfect distance for my set of pins and marking their placement with a piece of masking tape,  I also drew the note on the masking tape to help them set up as quickly as possible.

After much experimentation, I decided that my students needed to stand 4 floor tiles away from the pins.  (That's somewhere between 4 and 5 feet.)

If you don't have a bowling set, you can create your own pins with 20 ounce soda or water bottles.  You could even use empty 2-liter bottles.  Spray paint them before drawing the notes on and add about a third of a bottle of beans or sand to steady them.  Small Nerf balls would work great with these DIY pins. 
Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!

To complete the workstation, I include a score sheet on a clipboard and a pencil.  One version of the score sheet contains a "cheat sheet" and shows students the note value of each pin.  The other version does not.  My goal in using this workstation is to reinforce note values, so I don't mind if students use the score sheet with the references.  They still gain practice in adding them all together.

Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!
You can download both of the sheets by clicking on the picture above or by clicking HERE.  I hope that your students enjoy this activity!

Note Value Bowling is a fun music workstation that reinforces note values and causes lots of smile!  Use a toy bowling set and the free Note Value Bowling score sheets to bowl your students over to reading music!


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Christmas Music Workstations

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

I am thrilled to introduce a few new workstations to my classes this week.  December is such a fun time and I love that I can present such fun ways to assess their skills before winter break and then end of the quarter.  Keep reading for ideas for Christmas music workstations that really work!

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
You probably know from previous blog posts that I am a big fan of Clip-It activities and so are my students.   This set of Christmas Clip-It cards contains both sacred and secular images including Santa, the nativity, the twelve days of Christmas and more.  Students clip the rhythm that matches the syllables in the picture.  I have an answer sheet that I include, but sometimes I just let the students check each other's answers.  Read more about Clip-It games HERE.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

I have a set of Christmas Workstations in my store and this Swat the Rhythm game is from that collection.  Students lay down the cards and two students choose a flyswatter.  Another student claps one of the rhythms on the card and the first one to swat the correct rhythm is the winner. FUN!

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
Also from the Christmas Workstations set is this Frozen Instrument Families word find.  I have found that it helps to mix up the stations so that students are physically active at some and rest and work quietly at others.  This quiet center is a great way to review instrument spellings and instrument families.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Nutcracker activities are also wonderful to include in workstation rotations this time of year.  Although this Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It Set could be used any time of year, it works well in this rotation.  Students match the cards with the number of syllables in each picture and then complete a worksheet to show what they have learned.   You can download it HERE.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Cool Composition is a workstation that I use periodically all year long.  Sometimes we use it to composer, take rhythmic dictation or in this case, decipher the rhythm of a familiar song.  The little cubes are foam cubes from Dollar Tree.  Each side has a 1 beat note/rhythm written on it with a permanent marker.

The ice cube trays are made by Rubbermaid.  I had to look quite some time to find trays with 16 cubes.  This makes the perfect vessel for composing in four-four time.  Most ice trays come in 14 cube size.  I never really knew that until I started teaching music!  

At this station, students are asked to notate the rhythm to "Jingle Bells".

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Ornament Puzzlers are the next stop in the Christmas music workstation rotation.  This activity has students put together simple, 2 piece puzzles and then write down the information they have pieced together.  This is a great way to reinforce note values without being to difficult for special learners.  You can get these HERE in my store.


 Christmas Dabber Activities for Music Class

My students LOVE using dabbers and I love how easy and quick assessment can be when they use them!  Check out this Dabber Activities Christmas set for many great print and go worksheets to include at a workstation.  Students tend to go through these quick so you should probably plan to have 2-3 sheets for them to complete.  Learn more about using dabbers in music class in this previous blog post.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
Speaking of previous blog posts, you might want to revisit THIS post about my Snowball Scoop center.  It is such a novelty that students hardly realize they are learning!

More ideas for Christmas Workstations:

Like these ideas?  Pin them for later!
Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.



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