Manipulative Monday. . .on a Tuesday

I'm a day late the party- that's the story of my fall, lol!!  I can't get ahead and am looking forward to having all of next week to get some rest, put up the Christmas tree (yes, I'm one of "those" people- but let's face it, December is a busy month for music teachers and I wouldn't have time otherwise) and get some school work done.  I'm working on some new Christmas files and I can't wait to get those ideas down! 

Thanks to Lindsay for hosting this party yesterday and thanks for letting me join in late!

I've been meaning to blog about this find for a while.  I love using poly dots in the music room -there's a million different ways to use them from "poison" rhythms to floor mate note heads to grouping students- the list is really endless.  So when I saw these new poly dots in S&S's catalog I had to get some:

  They are dots that you can write on and erase off.  Now, let me tell you know, DO NOT use dry erase markers.  They work but you have to use EXPO remover to get the ink off and at it's best it still leaves a smudge.  If you use these, Vis a Vis markers are the way to go.

Here's a couple of many ways to use them.
1.  Tone ladders.  Here's an example of a pentatonic tone ladder
From here there are a lot of activities that students can do.  

1.  Remember Simon?  If not, it was one of my all time favorite toys growing up. Simon would play a pattern and you would have to remember the pattern and play it back.  The cumulative pattern was my favorite.  In this game, the teacher would sing a note and the student would sing it back, jumping on the corresponding poly dot.  The teacher would sing two notes, the students would sing it back and jump on the two corresponding notes, etc.  I can fit quite a few of these in my room so I have the students work in groups of 2-3.  

2.  Sing and jump a written pattern.  I used this with some of my melodic turkey files this week.  Instead of just singing the solfege back, the students also had to perform the melody by jumping on the tone ladder (talk about getting those pre-vacation wiggles out!).  I have also used this for those hesitant singers as a way to get them engaged

3.  Perform Q & A patterns- the teacher sings a question pattern and the student sings and jump backs an answer pattern (ie. question: d-d-m-m-d-d-m; answer; d-d-m-m-r-d).  This is a higher level thinking skill!

4.  The possibilities are endless!

Here's another idea that pertains to rhythm and Kelly Foster Griffin shared this idea.  I don't remember the piece of music that Kelly used but you can use it with any piece of music that has a tempo that matches your students' music reading ability level.  There is a circle of rhythm patterns.  As the music plays they perform the rhythm at the poly dot in front of them then during the next 4 or 8 beats they advance to the next poly dot, have a second to look it over, read it and then the pattern repeats (4 or 8 beats to walk forward and look at the rhythm the 4-8 to read the rhythm (longer rhythms with older students to challenge them))

Here's one of the simple rhythms. Notice the blue smudge- don't use dry erase!! :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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