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Christmas Music Workstations

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

I am thrilled to introduce a few new workstations to my classes this week.  December is such a fun time and I love that I can present such fun ways to assess their skills before winter break and then end of the quarter.  Keep reading for ideas for Christmas music workstations that really work!

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
You probably know from previous blog posts that I am a big fan of Clip-It activities and so are my students.   This set of Christmas Clip-It cards contains both sacred and secular images including Santa, the nativity, the twelve days of Christmas and more.  Students clip the rhythm that matches the syllables in the picture.  I have an answer sheet that I include, but sometimes I just let the students check each other's answers.  Read more about Clip-It games HERE.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

I have a set of Christmas Workstations in my store and this Swat the Rhythm game is from that collection.  Students lay down the cards and two students choose a flyswatter.  Another student claps one of the rhythms on the card and the first one to swat the correct rhythm is the winner. FUN!

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
Also from the Christmas Workstations set is this Frozen Instrument Families word find.  I have found that it helps to mix up the stations so that students are physically active at some and rest and work quietly at others.  This quiet center is a great way to review instrument spellings and instrument families.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Nutcracker activities are also wonderful to include in workstation rotations this time of year.  Although this Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It Set could be used any time of year, it works well in this rotation.  Students match the cards with the number of syllables in each picture and then complete a worksheet to show what they have learned.   You can download it HERE.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Cool Composition is a workstation that I use periodically all year long.  Sometimes we use it to composer, take rhythmic dictation or in this case, decipher the rhythm of a familiar song.  The little cubes are foam cubes from Dollar Tree.  Each side has a 1 beat note/rhythm written on it with a permanent marker.

The ice cube trays are made by Rubbermaid.  I had to look quite some time to find trays with 16 cubes.  This makes the perfect vessel for composing in four-four time.  Most ice trays come in 14 cube size.  I never really knew that until I started teaching music!  

At this station, students are asked to notate the rhythm to "Jingle Bells".

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.

Ornament Puzzlers are the next stop in the Christmas music workstation rotation.  This activity has students put together simple, 2 piece puzzles and then write down the information they have pieced together.  This is a great way to reinforce note values without being to difficult for special learners.  You can get these HERE in my store.


 Christmas Dabber Activities for Music Class

My students LOVE using dabbers and I love how easy and quick assessment can be when they use them!  Check out this Dabber Activities Christmas set for many great print and go worksheets to include at a workstation.  Students tend to go through these quick so you should probably plan to have 2-3 sheets for them to complete.  Learn more about using dabbers in music class in this previous blog post.

Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.
Speaking of previous blog posts, you might want to revisit THIS post about my Snowball Scoop center.  It is such a novelty that students hardly realize they are learning!

More ideas for Christmas Workstations:

Like these ideas?  Pin them for later!
Christmas Music Workstations that are fun, engaging and easy on you are discussed in this blog post.  Puzzles, dabbers, snowballs and ice cube trays can all become awesome centers for the students in your music classroom.



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Music Workstations for Fall


Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
I LOVE workstations!  If you are a frequent reader, you probably have read many of my posts about centers.  If you are just getting started using workstations in your music classroom check out these three posts:
Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
This year I am teaching in a room that is much smaller than the rooms I have been in for the last 20 years or so.  Centers still work perfectly!  This is a picture of some of my groups working on centers this fall.

Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
Candy Corn Puzzles
At this workstation, students put together candy corn puzzles as a group.  Once they have assembled the candy corns they fill out a simple chart.  This set is the dynamics set so they are recording the symbol, the Italian term and the definition.  You can find these sets in my store:  Dynamics  /  Notes and Rests  /   Recorders    /   Symbols

Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
For some centers I put down a large throw rug.  Students can sit on it or do their activity on it.  Sometimes using the rug just helps define the space you have designated for the workstation.


Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.

Clip-It Rhythms
At this workstation, students say/clap the name of the picture on the card.  They decide with rhythm matches the syllables of the picture and clip-it.  Each set comes with an answer sheet, but most groups use peer checking successfully.

Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
Jazzy Jack-O-Lanterns
This is actually a bulletin board set that I have used for many years.  See it HERE.  At this station, students get a blank pumpkin and must use only music symbols to create a face on it.  I have sometimes just provided blank paper, but students seem to take so much time drawing their pumpkin that they don't get to using the music symbols.  A blank template gives them more time for that.

Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
You can get the bulletin board HERE.  It doesn't come with a blank template, but you can find one online or in a bulletin board book you may already have on your shelf.


Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
Pumpkin Patterns
I found these packs of foam pumpkins at the dollar store about five years ago.  I've seen similar ones at Hobby Lobby and Joann's that might work.  On the back of each pumpkin I drew a four beat rhythm and on another pumpkin the exact same rhythm.  Essentially, this is a memory game.  Students turn over a pumpkin, clap the rhythm they see and then try to find its match.  If they get it right, they keep the match and if they don't they turn them back over and it is someone else's turn.

Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
Reading Station
I love to incorporate a reading station during workstation days.  I include books that we may have used for classroom activities, books about musicians and instruments, songs made into books and biographies.  Some of my favorites for October and November are:
Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro
What Does the Fox Say by Svain Nyhus
Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by Elizabeth Mills
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Dem Bones by Bob Barner


Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
Rhythm Stick Reading
If at all possible, I like to include a workstation that includes singing or playing an instrument.  This  was the first time my 3rd graders had worked at centers and I wanted to choose something with which they could have immediate success.  The rhythms in this file are easy.  It includes ta, titi and sh.  Actually, the notes aren't used.  Icons of rhythm sticks are used instead.
Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.

Rhythm sticks are also a nice instrument to start with because they are not particularly loud and annoying.  With a classroom full of learners in a small space, this is important!  They did a great job and demonstrated a great deal of self control.

You can find the Rhythm Stick Reading set HERE.  You might also like the one for several different rhythm instruments, maracas, tambourines, hand drums, triangles or cowbells.



Music workstation ideas for fall include playing instruments, pumpkin matching games, candy corn puzzles and more! High engagement, active learning, high level conversations and smiles are all part of these centers for October and November in music class.
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Books You Need in Your Music Classroom - Upper Elementary List


Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
I love incorporating books into my music lessons and I am adamant that I have a classroom library of books that teach about music history, explore music genres and dance, serve as a reference and more.  This year I moved to a new classroom that had NO music classroom library.  None.  Zilch.  Since I use a reading station in almost of my workstation rotations, I new I had to do something.

I have my own library of books that I've purchased during the last 20 years, so I had a few things to start with but soon realized most of my books were for primary aged students.  I'm currently teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and most of the books that I had were for Kindergarten through 2nd grades.

Off to Amazon I went!  I would love to say that I researched for hours and consulted a stack of teacher resources, but I already had a wishlist a mile long for this age group!   Below you'll find a list of the books I have in my library that are appropriate for upper elementary classes.  

This list is not even CLOSE to being comprehensive.  There are hundreds of books that I could add to this list and more being published every year.  This list may be a good starting point for you if you are building a library for your music classroom.
Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop      Chris Raschka
Leaf Man             Lois Ehlert
Max Found Two Sticks   Brian Pinkney
Thump Thump Rat-a-Tat-Tat       Gene Baer
Abiyoyo               Pete Seeger, illus by Michael Hays
The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon            Mike Thaler
We All Went on Safari:  A Counting Journey through Tanzania     Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns
Chalk     Bill Thomson  (This book is GREAT for introducing opera.  Students sing an improvised story to this book.)
M is for Music    Kathleen Krull

Dance
Dictionary of Dance         Liz Murphy
My Many Colored Days   Dr. Suess
The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet   Deborah Hautzig

Sing the Book
America the Beautiful    Scholastic

Blowin' in the Wind         Bob Dylan, illus John J. Muth
Don't Laugh at Me           Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Froggie Went a-Courtin'                Iza Trapani
Grandma's Feather Bed     Christopher Canyon (lyrics by John Denver)
Puff the Magic Dragon      Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton
Senor Don Gato     illustrated by John Manders
Take Me Home, Country Roads     Christopher Canyon (lyrics by John Denver)
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs  Alan Katz
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow        Lucille Colandro
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat      Lucille Colandro
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell     Lucille Colandro
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly       Simms Taback
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell  Lucille Colandro
What a Wonderful World             Tip Hopbood
Possum Come a-Knockin'             Nancy Van Laan

Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
 Biography and Careers in Music
Some of these books are chapter books, so students may only get to read a portion of the book during workstation rotations.  My room is used as a bus room and so students also have the opportunity to read during bus room.  I do not lend my books out, but if something is quite popular I let our school librarian know.
Who Is Dolly Parton?      True Kelley
Who Was Elvis Presley? Geoff Edgers
Who was Michael Jackson? Megan Stine
Who Were the Beatles?  Geoff Edgers
There are more titles in this series that you might like.  Elton John and Bruce Springsteen are a few more musicians you can find.
Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
Marvin Makes Music      Jim Madsen
When the Beat was Born:  DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop        Laban Carrick Hill
 
Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
Composers
Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)         Mike Venezia
Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)          Mike Venezia
George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)   Mike Venezia
George Handel (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)        Mike Venezia
I, Vivaldi               Janice Shefelman
Johann Sebastian Bach (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)         Mike Venezia
John Philip Sousa (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)    Mike Venezia
Ludwig van Beethoven (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)         Mike Venezia
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart         Mike Venezia
Young Mozart    Rachel Isadora
Famous Composers Reference Book      Usborne

Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.
Patriotic
I teach a "Star-Spangled Banner" unit and like to have a few books on hand for students who finish early.  These are a couple of my favorites.
By the Dawn's Early Light, The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner    Steven Kroll
Can You Sing "The Star-Spangled Banner"?          Martha E.H. Rustad

History
Do Re Mi:  If You Can Read This Thank Guido A'rezzo       Susan Roth
Everyday History: Song and Dance           John Malam
The Rock and Roll Alphabet         Jeffrey Schwartz
V is for von Trapp:  A Musical Family Alphabet    William Anderson
We Shall Overcome:  The Story of a Song              Debbie Levy
When Marian Sang          Pam Munoz Ryan
Before John Was a Giant              Carole Boston Weatherford
John Henry         Julius Lester, illus Jerry Pinkney

Instruments
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello        Barabara S. Garriel
Lemony Snicket The Composer is Dead  Nathaniel Stookey
M is for Melody                Kathy-jo Wargin
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo John Lithgow
The Remarkable Farkle McBride       John Lithgow
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin       Lloyd Moss
Moses Goes to a Concert             Isaac Millman

Getting Your Library Ready
Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.

Every teacher has to find what works best for them, but here are some things that I do to keep my classroom library in good shape:
1.  I put my name on the inside of the front cover, on the back cover and inside the book.  I use a permanent marker and a paint pen on books with a dark cover.
2.  Some of the books have CDs inside of them.  I prefer to keep the CDs in the book, so I tape them in and write "Do not remove." in permanent marker in an obvious place.  I must admit that this works great for every class except Kindergarten.  *giggle*  They rip the CD out and bring it to me so it doesn't get broken.  
3.  I usually keep my library on a shelf, but you could use milk crates, a rolling cart or even a book bag if you were only going to use them during workstations.

I hope that this list is helpful and would love to hear other suggestions for books to add to my library.  Leave the title of your favorites for upper elementary classes in the comments.  If you liked these ideas, pin this post for later!
Picture books and chapter books for the music classroom are essentials.  Explore this list of books appropriate for upper elementary that cover instruments, composers, careers, history and more.

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Clip It Clothespin Activities for Music Class


Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.

I have a confession.  As a teacher who only sees her students once a week for 50 minutes I struggle with assessment.  When 500 students file in and out of your classroom each week it is hard to plan and carryout meaningful assessments.  I would much rather be joyfully making music than testing.  

What I've discovered is so stinkin' easy that I wish I would have known about it twenty years ago!  My secret assessment weapon?  Clothespins.

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.
Yep.  Clothespins.  I usually place these Clip It sets in my workstations rotation.  I include a sheet for students to use and check themselves.  The Clip It sets are quite easy to put together.

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.

I laminate each sheet as a whole on my personal laminator.  Then I cut then out.  This saves me lots of extra cutting time and gives them a sturdy finish.

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.

I keep a basket (or two) of clothespins for activities like this.  I used to buy pretty colored ones, but have discovered that no one fights over the ugly, wooden ones.  

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.
Students take a card and say the name of the object or person pictured.  Then they identify the rhythm pattern that most closely matches the syllables in the word and clip it.  Students can use the enclosed answer sheet to check their answers.  

If I am using this as an assessment activity, I'll walk around the room and take notes.  I usually use a 4 point scale for this kind of activity.  The scoring guide looks something like this:
4-consistently displays evidence of mastering the skill
3-displays evidence that the skill is mastered most of the time
2-displays evidence that the skill is still being learned and practiced
1-displays evidence that the skill is not mastered
It is also possible for a student to get a zero for this activity.  If they refuse to do anything, there is no evidence so there are no points awarded.

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.
The cards in these sets are about a fourth of a page.  They fit PERFECTLY into photo boxes!  I printed out a little label for mine and then sorted the cards into individual boxes.  Each themed set is in a different box.

Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.
I keep the answer sheets in a folder near this box.  Sometimes I don't include the answer sheet and ask students to check each other.  These boxes are inexpensive.  You can find them HERE.  (Not an affiliate link.)
Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.

I printed the cover page of each set at 25% and used it to label the individual boxes.  I can pull out one set to use as a station during our workstation rotations or I can pull them all out and have students work in small groups.

Here are some sets that you might find handy.  Click each picture to learn more.  The Presidents Edition includes sixteenth notes and eighth note/16th note combinations.  The others are mostly quarter notes, barred eighth notes and quarter rests.

 Clip It Presidents Edition   Clip It Instruments Edition
 Clip It Camping Edition   Clip It Careers Edition   Clip It Animals Edition   Clip It Christmas Edition    Clip It Thanksgiving Edition

I hope that you'll enjoy these activities as much as I do!  I love the simplicity and I love the way a simple clothespin can keep students SO engaged.  It's almost like magic!
 Clip It Animals Edition
This picture is from Clip It Animals Edition.


Assessments in music class are quick and painless with clothespin activities.  Learn how to use these fun activities to assess students’ rhythmic understanding in this blog post.  Tips for organizing the supplies in your classroom are also included as well as links to download the sets.

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Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.

Like most teachers I am such a fan of dollar stores.  I can shop there to organize my classroom, create new workstations and add a little flair to my bulletin boards.  I'd like to share with you just a few of my favorite finds!

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Flyswatters
My kids are always a little in awe when they see my collection of flyswatters. (This pictures shows most of my collection.)  I sometimes use them as pointers when projecting things on my white board, but most often these are used for Swat the Staff or Swat the Rhythm games.  With Swat the Staff, I use masking tape to create a large staff on my board.  Two students (from two different teams) stand at the board.  I call a pitch name and the first person to correctly swat where that pitch should be gets a point for their team!  Fun!  You can check out some of my Swat the Rhythm games in my store.  


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Plastic Fruit, Veggies and Food
I try to do all of my singing assessments with my primary students in a game like setting.  "Doggie, Doggie, Where's Your Bone" and other singing games help them relax and I can assess their ability to match pitch, sing in head voice or whatever we are assessing that day.  The plastic fruits, veggies and food are great for this kind of thing.  

The teacher sings "Who has the lemon?" (sol mi la sol mi)
The student with the lemon sings back "I have the lemon!" (sol mi la sol mi)


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Little Cars
At one time I'm pretty sure I had a thousand of these little cars in every nook and cranny of my house!  It wasn't quite that many, but it certainly seemed like they were constantly multiplying.  Now, they are a music workstation!  I added stickers to them and used the Music City Parking Center file to create an interactive activity that my kiddos really enjoy.  I've used this fabulously with 2nd and 3rd graders.  At some dollar stores you can get 3 little cars for $1.  Score!


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Clothespins

I love using clothespins for assessment.  Yep.  Assessment.  I painted some wooden clothespins, drew rhythms in various meters and had students pin them to a piece of paper that I had drawn a 2, 3 and 4 on.  If the pattern had four beats, they pinned it to the side of the paper with the 4 and so on.

Another GREAT activity for assessment is Clip It.  I have several of these sets that you might be interested in:  Animals,  Camping, Careers, Christmas, Presidents, Thanksgiving and Instruments.

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Students match the syllables of each picture with one of the rhythms by clipping them.  

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Balls
I like to use balls to bounce to the beat and for workstations like Note Toss (click to learn more) and Snowball Scoop (click for more details).

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Alphabet Puzzles
These inexpensive alphabet puzzles are great manipulatives for Kindergarten and First Grade.  We sing the alphabet song while touching each letter.  Then I'll pick a letter and we will all remove that piece.  Next we sing through the alphabet song again but when we get to the missing letter we say "shh".  Later this knowledge translates to a quarter rest.  

In first grade, the students can handle this activity on their own in small groups and I set it up as a workstation.

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Craft Sticks
Craft sticks are handy for many reasons.  Two of my favorite uses are creating groups and rhythmic dictation.  To learn more about how to create classroom groups with craft sticks read THIS post.
For rhythmic dictation, I show students how to create quarter notes and barred eighth notes with the sticks.  I clap patterns and the students "notate" them with the craft sticks.  When they have mastered that we figure out how to create a quarter rest with the craft sticks.  I've found that students are really creative with this!

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Pipe Cleaners
My pal, Kristin Lukow, introduced me to this idea and I LOVE it!  The kids do too!  We listen to some soothing music while fashioning pipe cleaners into different notes.  For some notes or symbols students really have to use their problem solving skills to create them with only a pipe cleaner.  This activity gives students a chance to identify notes and symbols in a new way.


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Flashlights
I have just started to experiment with using flashlights as manipulatives for listening activities and movement.  I've used them in performance before (see THIS rendition of "Fireflies") and I've been in workshops with the aaahhhmaaazing Artie Almeida who used them during listening activities.  Artie calls if flashlight painting and it is an amazing way to keep 100% of your students engaged.  Here's a video that might explain a little more.

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Play Dough
There is just something about play dough that makes me smile.  The kids love to have the opportunity to use it in music class.  I use THESE play dough mats as a workstation.  The mats name each symbol or note and contain and brief definition.

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Styrofoam Coolers
Weird, right?  These little coolers are PERFECT for creating the Snowball Scoop workstation I've described in a previous post.
They are also great for decorating a winter/snow themed concert.  At a buck each you can by dozens and create a wide variety of "snow" structures.

Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Dip and Veggie Trays
Once I started creating workstations with these dip and veggie trays it was pretty hard to stop!  Check out:
Dip and Chip Workstations


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.
Pool Noodles
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am a big fan of using pool noodles in creative ways.  Noodle ponies, steady beat swords and unique bulletin board displays are just some of the ways that I have used them.  You might like to check out these pool noodle posts for more information:


Dollar Store Deals for Music Teachers –Learn about 13 must have dollar store finds for your music classroom.  Ideas for assessment, workstations,  DIY crafts, singing games and manipulatives are discussed in this post by a veteran music teacher.


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