Wow, last week was Crazy! I had no plan time at school *(well very little) because I was administering AIMSweb testing (a reading fluency test) and had either a May Festival Rehearsal or Concert every night. It's always the short weeks that feel the longest. I can safely say now though, that I am finished with AIMSweb and my concert is over. We still have our once a week rehearsals, but it's not so stressful with my school plan time back. :)
Now onto some ideas I have for rhythm manipulatives. Just some pictures of a few things I do:
Foam Hearts- right now I only have ta/ti-ti hearts (quarter note on one side, paired eighths on the other) but I plan on making rest/ tika-tika hearts and ti-tika/tika-ti hearts as well. These are great because students just put them in order, rather than having to take time to use a marker to write out their rhythms. It goes MUCH faster. They are also great for students with special needs- really easy to work with and hold, even if writing is a problem. (oops, the pic is upside down!) These I made with hearts from Michaels or Joann Fabrics. They were super cheap!
Popsicle Sticks- I am sure you all use popsicle sticks too, but I decided that I would use Big sticks for ta and little for ti-ti. This helps with the visual of Ta being longer (a full beat) and ti-ti being two half beats.
Note Blocks- These are stackable notes where the height corresponds with the note value. ti-tis are half the height of a ta, half notes are twice as tall as a ta, etc. Only down fall with these is that the eighth notes are never paired- only with flags, which can be confusing to some kids the first time they are used. They are great because the students can check if their answer is the right amount of beats by stacking their answer next to the correct time signature. If they are the same height- they have the right number beats. You can order them here.
Note Magnets- Also from the notelogic company, I have note magnets. These do not show the beat in any way. You can, however, find magnets, where they do show the beat in that the size of the box that the ta, ti-ti and tika-tika, etc. are all in. All one beat rhythms have the same size square, with the half note magnet twice as long etc. I have sets of both.
I use all of these things for diction as well as composition. Sometimes I clap or play a rhythm and the students "write" it, other times they compose their own rhythm and the class reads it. We also do rhythm worksheets, and of course, rhythm SMARTboard activities ALL THE TIME!