Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rhythm Building Blocks

I learned about the Rhythm Building Blocks (technically called Bricks in Keetman's book) during my level II.  I loved the idea but I have never really incorporated them into my lessons.  This year I am trying to find as many ways as possible to incorporate them.  I have found that my kids have a hard time with clapping the rhythm of words, so it's something that I want to work on throughout the year.

I started the year off using them with 2nd grade (I wrote about this lesson earlier:  2nd Grade: First "Real" Lesson).  For this lesson, I chose the words to coordinate with each rhythm pattern but the next time we experience them, I will choose a theme and ask the kids to come up with words that fit the rhythms.  This is not only a great way for kids to visualize the rhythm but there is such a strong connection to syllables and reading.  I actually write the words under each rhythm using a dry erase marker (my blocks are laminated), so that I can easily move them from place to place.

To help build this into my lessons and visually remind myself (I am very visual!), I posted them on my cabinets.  Now they are easily visible and accessible anytime.  If something happens in the creative process we can just pull them down and create an ostinato, introduction, etc. on the spot.  They are also placed where the kids can see them while sitting in line, so I'm thinking we can even play a game with them at some point this year.

I attached the blocks to my cabinets using velcro dots (what a fabulous product!).  I made sure to put the loop side on the block so that they won't scratch any little fingers if we take them down to move around the room.

Don't have a set of blocks?  They are a free resource here:  http://www.scalantropio.com/Orff/images/building%20bricks.pdf

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