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Bottle Cap Staff: Practicing the Treble Clef Pitches


Shhh!  Don't tell.  I might be a hoarder.  A crazy, crafty, fun-loving, what-the-heck-is-she-gonna-do-with-that hoarder.  Really, it is something I inherited from my mom.  She saved all sorts of things and sometimes even used them.  She must have got it from her mom too.  One time I needed some empty milk jugs for a VBS project.  I went to my Aunt Marsha.  She had almost FIFTY.  LOL.  Handy!

For a while I collected bottle caps.  Bottle caps from 2 liter bottles, water bottles and 20 ounce soda bottles work best.  I was amazed at how many I had saved on my own and was overwhelmed when I put out a request to parents and the bottle caps started rolling in.

I tossed them in some soapy, hot water and let them dry on a towel.  I knew that if I was interested in playing with the bottle caps (stacking them, sliding them, making patterns) that my students would be too.

Mrs. King's Music Class Bottle Cap Staff

Here's what I do with them:

Kindergarten:  Distinguish between line notes and space notes.  Notes that move up, down and stay the same.

1st Grade:  Review what we've done in Kindergarten and experiment with step, skip and same.  Towards the end of the year we learn C, D, E with Mr. Everybody and I hope to use the bottle cap staves to "compose" with those notes this year.

2nd Grade:  Melodic dictation.  Easy melodic dictation that moves by steps and repeats.  We also use it as we learn CDEFG with Mr. Everybody.

3rd-4th Grades:  During the end of 3rd grade and most all of 4th grade we learn the names of all the treble clef staff pitches including a few notes above and below the staff.  We use them to review the names.  I'll say "Everyone put a bottle cap on C."  Walking through the room, I am able to see who knows it and who doesn't.  In 4th grade we spell words with the pitches of the treble clef.

5th-6th Grades :  Usually we just use this activity for review, but with some groups it FEELS  a lot like starting over.  We will play games that help students find pitch names, spell words, notate ostinatos for Orff instruments and more.

I would really like to do more with melodic dictation and hope to use the bottle cap staves when I introduce new solfege.  Please share your ideas for bottle cap notation in the comments.

You can get the bottle cap staff set here.

Mrs. King's Music Class Bottle Cap Staff

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  1. That's amazing! And soooo useful! Thanks for sharing! :D

  2. Great ideas and pictures!!
    I just nominated you for the Liebster award: http://www.mrsmiraclesmusicroom.com/2014/11/the-liebster-award.html. :)

  3. Thanks for the great ideas all the time. I nominated you for the Liebster Award. http://musicelementary.blogspot.com/2014/11/liebster-award.html

  4. Love this! I am always looking for new manipulatives to use as notes on a staff. I also nominated you for the Leibster Award: http://emilyskodalymusic.blogspot.com/2014/11/liebster-award.html

  5. Love this! Am going to use the idea soon for 3rd grade. Thanks! :)