"Treble Clef is AWESOME!!!"

Happy Friday everyone!!!  So, I guess some of you lucky friends are starting spring break!!  I hope you have fun, I know I have three more weeks until spring break.  AND SO much to do before then!!

My 4th and 5th graders read off the treble clef all year but before I start recorders I do a lot more focus around the treble clef.  Last year I made a few files, including "Be a Staff Detective",  for teaching and reinforcing the treble clef.  It worked really well but I'll be honest, I'm a little MADD (music form of ADD) in that I get bored using the same thing every year and like to have some different ways of teaching concepts throughout the years.

When my son insisted we all go to the Lego movie it sparked some ideas of new ways to teach things and I'm really happy with the first product.  If you read my blog you know that I've blogged about using Legos before in relationship to solfa and half steps.  I've been meaning to blog about how I used them in tim-ka preparation.  So, this is the first of a series of files for "BUILDING" music literacy and it's called: "The Treble Clef is Awesome!"

These past two weeks my students and I reviewed the basics of the treble clef through a PDF in the file called "introduction to the treble clef".  Then, working individually but also with a lot of peer help and teacher input, we practiced writing with Legos on the staff.  Side note: I've noticed since I've used the Lego file this year a lot less students are confused about the numbering of the lines and spaces.  We talked about that, like building legos, you always start at the bottom of the staff and go upwards with numbers and figuring out the names of the lines and spaces.  (I've always had those kiddos that remember "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" but always start from the top line.  This really helped alleviate some of this confusion.)

We started by me showing them a word slide:

Then they wrote it on their own staff.  Their jobs were to also check their work with a neighbor.

And then we checked our work as a class by switching over to the document camera to check our work:

The other thing I really liked about using the Legos for notation is how much it helped the space and line placement.  This is what we'd like it to look like, with the line notes centered on a line and the space notes filling up the space.

With the students I told them to imagine that if their Lego was transparent that, for a line note, the line would go right between the two raised circles on the Lego.  And that if it was a space note, the line would not cross through the Lego.  I made these two slides (the one above and below) to demonstrate and this type of activity will soon be included in my "Lines and Spaces are AWESOME" file:

This week we went on to playing a word to staff game as a class in which they were divided into two teams.  From there, one team would pick the number of letters in the word they would like to try for (and points are equal to the number of letters in the word):

Then they would choose from one of 6 builders:
 And that would pull up a word, such as this:
 Both teams were expected to write the word out on the staff.  The team who's turn it is gets to answer first but if they are wrong, and the other team has correctly spelled the word out on their floor staff then they can steal the points.

Now, for some reason, this year the kids in 5th grade are very competitive so I've added red points.  Red points are added when I hear someone being negative on a team and are deducted at the end of the game.

Additionally, my students are doing time tests each time they come to music.  They all start on a 90 second test.  When they pass they go on to 60 seconds and from there they go on to 30 seconds.

Organizational wise, all the students have a "folder" (it's a 12x18 piece of construction paper that's folded in half and has their name on it).  Each class is a different color and I keep 4th grade in one file box and 5th grade in another box:

Inside of their folder there is a tally sheet on which they write a goal for themselves (this is a goal for the month of March.  Some students want to try to pass the 90 second test where as some want to race me (which is what happens if they pass the 30 second test)).  The tally sheet has four columns: one for the date, one labeled "90", one labeled "60" and one labeled "30".  If they are on the 90 second test then they fill in the date and put their score in the "90" column.  If they are on "60" then they fill in the date and their score on the "60" column:

There are many more treble clef activities that we are going to do and they all can be found in my "Treble Clef is Awesome" file.  Here's a little preview of some of the games, worksheets, assessments, matching games and 8 interactive PowerPoints that are available in the set:

Coming soon is are:
"Bass Clef is Awesome!!"
"Lines and Spaces are Awesome!!"
"Solfége is Awesome!!" (which will be a set of handsign charts, tone ladders, etc.)
"Melody is Awesome!!" files that will have interactive PowerPoints

My goal before the start of the 2014-2015 year is to have a "Music is Awesome" set that can be used as a bulletin board and a school year theme.

And I'll also be working on concept files, similar to my ta ti-ti and so-mi files. Phew, my work is cut out for me! :)

I hope you all have an AMAZING Friday!!!


  1. AHHH! I love you "folders"! Going to steal that idea!

    1. I got it from my cooperating teacher, it's a cheap way to make folders. And when I do my tone-chime unit I put their bell number and staff notation on the outside of their folder. :)

  2. I LOVE this idea, and know that my kiddos will love it too. Hope to buy your TCiA file soon!!!

    1. Thanks so much!!! I like that even though it's trendy, Legos are awesome. And the building analogy has really helped a lot this year! :)

  3. Fantastic! I had my second graders practice so mi do with Legos today. They ate it up. Thanks for the great idea.


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