Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hands-On Approach To Teaching Compound Time...And A Musical Giveaway!

     This project is my brainchild- seriously, I spent a few evenings thinking up a hands-on way to teach the concept and theory of compound time.  I wanted it to be a craft that I made myself. And this is what I came up with: Blocks!
I cannot even tell you how excited I am with the finished project! It turned out even better than my imaginary image was. I couldn't find blocks that fit what I wanted, so I made these using wooden blocks of different sizes (the lightweight ones). I then traced the different sizes of squares onto coloured foam. Then I cut out the foam and glued it to the blocks with craft glue. Using a stencil and a sharpie, I drew the numbers to different time signatures. Yep, lots of cutting, glueing, and drawing. But now they are ready to use! 
Here's how to use them:
Like this (facing up)...

...or like this (facing out)
     So if we are teaching the time signature of 9/8, set up that side of the big block. Then set out 3 blue blocks to show the 3 beats in 9/8 time. Next, set out 9 pink blocks to show the 9 pulses that make up the 3 beats. Beside the blue blocks, set out a green block with the correct note value on it (in this case it's a dotted quarter note) to show which note gets the beat. Then set out a green block beside the pink blocks to show which note value gets the pulse (in this case it's the 8th note). 
    This can be a teaching aid or a game, or both. I'm can't wait to try this with my students when they arrive at compound time. And I'm so inspired that I want to make some blocks for my beginners that show simple time.
     Here's the best part- I am going to give a set of these blocks away to one random person. The set will include 2 big blocks, 2 green blocks, 4 blue blocks, and 12 pink blocks. (They may not actually be those exact colours, but this way you can tell what sizes they will be.) Here's how to enter:

*Leave a comment on this post telling me why you think you're not too old to play with blocks! :)
*Post about this giveaway on your blog or website, and comment here again telling me that you did. This will give you an extra entry.
*Become a new follower of this blog for an extra entry (tell me this in a separate comment).

      Winner will be chosen next Thursday, April 28th by a random number generator. Have fun!


18 comments:

Jenny Bay said...

This looks so clever! What a fun giveaway, I'd love to try these out! I definitely am not too old to play with blocks, because I do so almost every day with my three-year-old! :) I'm glad I found your blog, I'll add it to my blog list on theteachingstudio.blogspot.com!

Jenny Bay said...

And I am now a follower :)

Wendy Chan said...

What excitement you must be going through! I feel the same way whenever I invent a new teaching tool for my studio. This is an ingenious idea and would be so perfect for my MYC classes, thanks for sharing. Now I have to plan another trip to Michaels!
Why I’m not too old for blocks? Because I’m embarrassed to say I still have a stash of blocks that I cannot bring myself to part with :) Well done Leah...and of course I’m already your follower!

Bethany said...

I am now a follower. Great idea. Hey, if I'm not too old to play Star Wars, I can definately still play with blocks!

Leanne said...

Anything that's a manipulative is definitely on my list of activities to try in my studio. It's always a good way to learn, at any age!

Tanya said...

I just did my teaching practicum in a K/1 class, and realized how important playing with blocks is for teaching just about everything. I've since started adding even MORE hands-on activities to my piano studio. And since doing that, I've realized that it's not just the youngest students that need blocks and other hands-on materials to learn - we all do (including me!). I think as we get older we forget that we need that physicality to our learning!

Heidi said...

What a great manipulative. I love using game to teach!

Heidi said...

I am a follower.

Heidi said...

I posted about your giveaway on my blog.

Joy Morin said...

Teachers are never too old to play with blocks. =) These look great, Leah!

Sara said...

Very neat concept! I'm definitely not too old to play with blocks - I played "Easter Egg Hunt Hop" with my piano students on Wednesday! Fun times!

Sara said...

Just signed up to follow your blog! Now I have 10 different piano blogs to read :) Awesome!

Sara said...

And I shared your give-away on my studio Facebook page. (Haven't set up my own blog yet, but I'm really hoping to get one going over the summer!)

You can see my facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saras-Music-Studio/158392404179997

One of my newest students actually found me through my facebook studio site - it showed up on a mutual friend's page. Pretty cool.

The Thomas Family said...

These look so neat, I'd love a chance to win, thanks! :)

Natalie Wickham said...

Ooh! How fun! I have always loved playing with blocks!

Natalie Wickham said...

I subscribe to your blog using an RSS feed reader. Does that count for following?

Jacquelyn said...

Leah, I have just discovered your blog and am loving all the terrific ideas you have implemented in your studio!! I am really excited about making some blocks of my own for teaching my younger students basic timing! Thank you so much for the great ideas... keep them coming!!! :)

Leah said...

Thanks, Jacquelyn! Hope you enjoy using them in your studio. I love coming up with new games, and the kids love it even more!