A special thanks to Denise Gagne for contributing this article!
I first met Linda Miller after her sister was in one of my workshop sessions. I had been using digital resources for recorders and Musicplay in my session, and she came up to me at the end of the session to tell me about her sister, Linda, who was amazing on the Smartboard, and suggested that I visit her classroom to see her in action. I did, and she is incredible on the Smartboard! We talked about the materials available for Smartboard, either for free on the exchange, or for purchase, and both of us felt that a single product that would have a sequential approach to teaching rhythm was needed. Linda spent the next 18 months creating the activities and using them with her own classes.
Linda uses flashcards for reading practice at the beginning of many lessons. She found that her kids liked to have the flashcards change with the seasons, so there are three sets of flashcards in Smart Rhythms - one for fall, one for October and one for Thanksgiving. Each set of flashcards has an audio track. Using the audio track will help you to find out if your students are maintaining a steady beat. Each set of flashcards has 4 levels of rhythms: Level 1 uses ta, ti-ti and rest. Level 2 adds ties, half and whole notes and rests. Level 3 adds sixteenth notes. Level 4 adds ti-tika and tika-ti rhythms.
Games to practice reading are even more fun than flashcards. In Harvest Happenings and Sneaky Spiders, teams take turns covering clapped flashcards with a token to get four in a row. Part of the game strategy is to block the competition.
Once students can successfully read rhythm patterns, they can use rhythms for creative activities. Linda included the creating of rhythm canons, rhythm rondos, and rhythm compositions with ostinato. After creating, students choose body percussion or non-pitched instruments to play their creations.
Assessment of rhythms (listening) is included. In Rhythm Bingo, Counting Candies, Game On and Which Witch students find a rhythm that has been played and cover that rhythm with a token. These activities can also be used for individual assessment by having students listen to the rhythm and write it down.
Notation of word rhythms is included in Fall Sentences and Turkey Canon.
In this one collection of rhythm activities are reading, listening, notating, assessment and creating activities using four levels of difficulty. Although the activities are themed for fall, the activities are so much fun, teachers will use them all year long!
Smart Rhythms for Fall (853178)
These 20 interactive SMART Notebook files have over 80 activities for teaching, practicing, assessing and creating rhythms at a variety of levels using a Smartboard. Additional assessment suggestions and rubrics are in the pdf Read Me file. All the activities revolve around the Fall season.
There are 3 sets of flashcards - one for fall, one for October and one for Thanksgiving. Each set of flashcards has an audio track and 4 levels of rhythms:
- Level 1 - quarter notes, two eighth notes, quarter rest (ta, ti-ti)
- Level 2 - adds half notes and rests, two tied quarter notes, whole notes and rests
- Level 3 - adds four sixteenth notes
- Level 4 - adds two sixteenth notes with an eighth note (ti-tika, tika-ti)
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