Floor Staff

I was inspired to start this blog because of the blogging that other Kodály educators were doing: reading their ideas inspire and influence my teaching.  One of those people is Liza Meyers.  Liza recently blogged about a floor staff that she made.  You can read the directions on how to make Liza's very inexpensive floor staff (it cost me $2!!) by clicking here.  You can also read about her fun staff games that go with it by clicking here.  

Here are a two other ideas on how to use the staff that I came up with: 

Idea #1:
Over spring break I returned some xylophones that my good friend, Loretta (mentioned in a previous post), loaned me and she had these cute inflatable frog balls.  She uses them for "Five Green and Speckled Frogs."  I mentioned how cute they were and she gave me a set of five frogs for my very own. :)  Upon thinking about how cute they are and how I would like to use them for more then one activity,  it dawned on me that they would be fun to use to write the melody to "On A Log" using the floor staff that Liza had posted about on her blog.  Below are two picture of the so-la-mi pattern that the song starts with.  (By the way, she bought the frogs from Oriental Trading)

If you're not familiar with "On a Log," here's the notation:

There are more verses, including (but not limited to- it's fun to see what the students can come up with as verses):
"In a tree, Mr. Bee, sings his song for you and me.  Buzz!  Buzz!  Buzz! Buzz."
"On a lake, Mr. Snake, sings his song until day break. Hiss!  Hiss!  Hiss!  Hiss."

Here's a game that my students enjoy:  
Formation: seated circle, with one student in the middle of the circle as the "frog"
Action:  The students sing the song, while keeping a steady beat or clapping the rhythm (depending on the focus of your lesson).  On the words "Glump! Glump! Glump! Glump!" the frog hops over to a student who is seated in the circle.  That student who the "frog" hopped over to becomes the new frog and the game is repeated.

Idea #2:
This fall I attended a workshop by Leigh Anne Mock Gardner at which she used polydots in a listening game.  I raced home and had to buy my own set for my classroom.  Again, trying to find more then one use for them, I discovered they would make perfect "note-heads" on Liza's floor staff.  Below is the notation for the beginning of "Mouse Mousie".  (Can you tell I've got "do" songs on the brain right now?!)  The dots fit beautifully in the spaces and on the lines.

Thanks Liza for sharing your wonderful floor staff ideas!!!


  1. Hey there! I am a fellow music teacher and just discovered all your cool stuff. Just a quick question - I see that you post notation for these songs and I was just wondering if you play these with accompaniment or do you just sing acapella and teach it by rote to your students?

    1. Hi Shannon, I do all acapella singing. In terms of how they learn songs, it depends on what I'm teaching, what they know and the song. Sometimes rote, sometimes sight singing, decoding, etc. Thanks for stopping by! :)


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