Six Things: Rhythm Wheels

I think I may be officially sick now. I am dreaming, remembering my dreams, and dreaming about putting together file folder activities for my clients. These things don't happen usually - most of the time, I don't remember my dreams at all - but the topic of my dreams doesn't really surprise me. I've been thinking about file folders lots and lots, and apparently my brain continues to think about them while I am sleeping.

This is my last official day of break (I've never counted weekends as vacation time), and I have made some progress towards my goals. Specifically, I can now walk from point A to point B on vacuumed carpet. Things are not put all away, but I have made progress there as well. My mother may be coming for a visit, so my cleaning and clearing will be accelerated if she does indeed brave the wilds of Kansas in August. I will need a place for her to sleep, so things will have to leave. I also accomplished lots of professional goals this past week. I started my store at Teachers Pay Teachers, and I am ready to launch my first CMTE on my website (just waiting for the official date!). Life is pretty good.


I am still dreaming about file folder activities. The one featured in today's dream was about my rhythm wheel format for teaching rhythm reading. Let me tell you, the folder I dreamed about was pretty and functional as well as simple to make. I will be making that folder kit pretty soon and will put it on Teachers Pay Teachers with a link here. 

Anyway. Thought this would be a good time to talk about my rule for storing materials. I've been through lots of my stuff this week, and I have remembered my personal rule about storing materials - I have to think of six separate therapeutic music experiences that I can run with clients before I can justify keeping things in my limited storage space.

Rhythm Wheels - I've used these for many years, and have no difficulty putting together six TMEs that include these wheels. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just know that rhythm wheels are like rhythm pizzas. Does that clarify it?

I use these wheels to indicate note symbols, names, and duration. Each piece is part of the whole and is proportional to that whole. My clients use the wheels to read rhythm notation, compose notation, and recognize notation. I have large versions of my wheels, and we use them about once a quarter to compose or review the concepts of notation. I am going to make them into a file folder to decrease the amount of space that I need, but I will not be giving up my large wheels. I like having visuals that are large enough for everyone to see one no matter where they are in the room. Smaller wheels will be for 1:1 sessions or for use in binders for small groups. We will do the same things with the wheels whether the wheels are large or small.

TMEs for rhythm wheels:
  1. Hypothesis development: Asking questions and using scientific inquiry as way of determining answers
  2. Name That Rhythm Game
  3. Making a Word Rhythm Pizza
  4. Composition - completing a wheel and then replicating it for others to hear. We also read the rhythms of each other.
  5. Dictation - remember this? Some of my clients are able to put together simple rhythms read by me.
  6. Rhythm Relays - groups work together to play rhythms in a relay format.
Please be on the lookout for this file folder kit on my Teachers Pay Teachers store link! It should be up in a couple of days - I'll get started on my dream ideas RIGHT NOW!


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