Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fly swatter game

I learned about this game last year, and it was one of those "ah-ha!" moments.  It is so simple, yet so great at concept review and individual assessment.  The best part - the kids are usually having so much fun they don't even realize it is a test!  My 2nd graders, for example, will play this game all 30 minutes of class if I would let them.

This is NOT a brand-new or original idea, and many of you might do something similar, but here goes anyway:

I have a lot of different rhythm cards. I am planning on creating some with melodic patterns soon but haven't gotten around to it yet.  Anyway, they focus on reviewing certain rhythmic aspects:  rests, half notes, sixteenth notes, etc.  All you need is some rhythmic cards (or any other cards with concepts you are reviewing) and 2 fly swatters.  I got mine at the dollar store - 2 for a dollar :)  There are some really cute ones out there and maybe someday I'll upgrade, but I'm cheap.....

Spread out your cards and divide your class into 2 teams.  I always go over the rules at the beginning - no swatting anything other than the rhythms (I emphasize the fly swatters have never touched anything living, not even a fly), no cheating, etc.  I also award the quietest team 10 bonus points - that really gets them quiet.  

Then, say or clap a rhythm. The students have to find the correct rhythm and swat it before the other team gets to it.

It's so simple!  Yet, it helps me to individually assess each student's concept of the rhythmic skills we are practicing, the students get practice identifying rhythms by sight and sound, etc.  Lots of value - and big bangs for your bucks!

I got the cute penguin rhythms above here:  penguin fly swatter game

Here are some cute buses I wrote on with a sharpie - practicing ta, ti-ti, and rests:  

And just some plain rhyhms for practicing sixteenth notes:

The possibilities are endless!  I have left this activity with a substitute as well - I usually give the name of a couple of responsible students who can say the rhythms, or I have been blessed with musically talented subs as well, and there is a great non-movie sub plan!

Happy reviewing :)

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