Here it is, another favorite center from the last several days of center reconstruction!
Compose a rhythm!
First I wrote quarter notes, quarter rests and eighth notes on foam sheets. Using foam sheets instead of cardstock in need of lamination saved so much time! The best part about this center is that it is very easy to differentiate for the instructional needs of each grade level AND interest can be keep alive simply by changing the instruments used while reading the rhythm. Before introducing this center I considered creating some sort of 4-beat frame. For now I decided against it in favor of flexibility.
Before opening this center I asked students reviewed the rhythms and asked students to help me create a rhythm pattern. I guided them through the process of choosing six cards and we practiced counting them together.
Their favorite part was mixing up the cards and putting them in order. They did pretty well reading and playing the rhythms. It was amazing to me how many different configurations they came up with. Some students made long "rhythm snakes" while others automatically arranged their rhythms into 4-beat patterns without any direction from me. This center will
1st grade center:
I set this center up almost identically to kinder. I made a much bigger deal about the rests and we practiced before they worked independently.
This center seemed to catch first grade at just the right place to really enjoy it. One group decided to arrange their composition in a long line. Then they lined up at one end and hopped down the line with one foot on each side. When they landed on a card they played it. As my friend Randy would say "It was as if they knew what they needed!"
The set up for this center started similarly in that I reviewed the rhythms. However, just like in the melody center, it seemed wise to use a song to facilitate their play. In addition to giving them time to create their own rhythms, I asked the students to find the rhythms for Rain Rain Go Away.
2nd grade was truly intrigued by the idea of composing and were excited by everything. They took turns composing and conducting their patterns and really could have stayed at this center longer. In order to keep the challenge of the center relevant, and to make them feel like their compositions matter, I'll provide a way to write down or record their work.....Nothing motivates like the opportunity to share.
For more information about the centers that I am working to develop, check out this link for the post below!
Caution! Primary Music Centers Under Construction - Part 1