Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thoughts on Second Grade Rhythmic Centers

Since my post about my centers was getting long and my day was being cut short by classes and an afternoon trip to the vet (have you ever taken a bearded dragon to the doctor? wacky stuff)....this is part two, my thoughts on how it went. Hopefully if anyone out there is reading and wanting to try this stuff, you won't make my mistakes or will make even better improvements on things that went well!

First of all, I have to just get it out: in many ways, I'm a control freak in the classroom. Yes, I said it. I know musicians are supposed to play well with others (ha ha, see what I did there?) and I do, but we also know how to pick up a conductor's baton and take charge. I had a hard time letting my students just go and do their thing on their own...that was so unsettling! This is something that "regular" classroom teachers have been doing all along, but it's not something that I'm accustomed to in my room due to the nature of my usual constraints. My main issue: I cringed each time I heard a wrong rhythm in the background. How do you deal with that? We can't possibly correct every one of them. I checked around at each station and guided but tried not to hover too much. The sound level of all the different activities at once was difficult to hear as well. And let's not even get into how they man-handled my handmade manipulatives....

Other than that, this particular grade level worked well with each other. That alone worried me and it was all surprisingly fine! I made careful groups ahead of time with the iPad app iDoceo and that really helped. I only ended up making one switch. I also plan on ordering some headphones and a 5-way splitter soon and adding a listening station next time. That will be some simple dictation perhaps?

This afternoon, I'm starting some third grade centers for practicing syncopation. The centers are very similar, just different rhythms (since they did not play these activities as second graders). Instead of Bad Apple on the projector though, they'll get an I Spy PowerPoint, and some writing practice.

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