Today I showed being a risk-taker and I tried learning centers for my 3rd grade recorder class. I am now a convert! They were a great way to get students actively involved in reviewing many different concepts in the same lesson. Learning centers require students to be communicators by showing cooperation with others.
For my classes of 24 third graders I used six stations.
1) Note Speller
Students use mancala tiles on laminated five line staves to make words. First however, they start with the basic line 1, line 2, etc. and then they do the basic spaces. Thinking about it now, those should have been line E, line G, line B review cards! After reviewing the lines and spaces they start making the words. They use the answer key to help them spell the words. This could also be a partner activity where one person has the word and has to help the other person out the tile in the right place using just their words.
2) Treble Clef Staff Races
One student as the “teacher” goes through one of four stacks of cards. There is a stack of line numbers, space numbers, line letters, and space letters. The teacher picks a stack and says the card. The other students rush to that spot on the staff. The teacher says switch and they go back to the start underneath the staff. Once the teacher is done with a stack, a new student becomes the teacher. Students start with the line and space number stacks. I have a poster with the names of the lines and spaces nearby for reference.
3) Recorder Memory
This memory game has three parts, the recorder fingering, the name of the note, and the location of the note on the staff. My students had a hard time with all three, so I simplified it to be just the name of the note and the fingering. Since this was our first time doing this, I gave them a reference sheet to check.
4) Treble Clef Flash Cards
Two sets of flashcards! Free download from Making Music Fun.
5) Drawing the Treble Clef
At this station students use a worksheet that I drew to practice writing the treble clef.
6) Recorder Practice
At this station, students practice playing their recorders with me!
Thanks to the fabulous Music with Mrs. Dennis blog for some of these ideas!