Friday, February 20, 2015

Over The Edge: Music Game Assessing Rhythmic Durations

I've been including more centers in my classroom this year in order to allow me time to assess students in small groups. Most frequently, I use centers during 4th grade recorder playing tests, but have used centers at some point for all grade levels. If you have missed my previous posts on music centers, follow this link.

Many centers I have created myself, but I have also found some amazing printable centers shared by other music teachers. Jennifer Fink, at has several resources for music educators available to download and print for FREE! Thank you, Jennifer! Follow this link to find a complete list of her resources. I have previously posted about her game "Alphabet Path" used to reinforce the order of the musical alphabet.

Today, I will be sharing another game from Jennifer called "Over the Edge". This game reinforces note and rest values.

Students each have their own game board with a river and rocks. They take turns drawing cards which display a note or rest. They determine the beat value of the note or rest and place that number of glass beads on their river. If a player fills up all the rocks in their river and fall off the waterfall, they are eliminated from the game. The original rules allowed students to say "Pass" if they were getting close to the edge and the winner would be the person closest to the waterfall without going off.

I modified the rules to make it easier for a variety of ages. I did not allow students to pass and told them the last person to fall off the edge is the winner. In the picture above, you will see an additional instruction sheet that I created with these modified directions and with a beat value chart for the notes and rests. You can also see that I substituted Bingo chips instead of glass beads. I have an abundance of bingo chips and didn't feel like purchasing glass beads specifically for this game. I also printed the game on cardstock and laminated for durability.


If you think your students would like this game, follow this link to
download "Over the Edge" from

Follow this link to download my modified instruction sheet to accompany Over the Edge.

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Fishing For Pitches" Music Center

All summer, I scavenged yard sales, Goodwill, consignment shops, and peddler
malls for board games that could be converted into music centers. On my list was the classic battery powered fishing game called Let's Go Fishin'. While I never found that particular version of the game, there are several licensed adaptions.

I happened to find two games from the Disney movie Cars. One was at a Peddler's mall and one was at a consignment shop. I paid less than $3 for each of them. Instead of fish, this version of the game has the player fishing for tires.

First, I labeled the bottom of the fish with the letters of the musical alphabet (ABCDEFG). Since there are 21 fish/tires in each game, it worked out nicely that there would be 3 of each pitch. Since my tires were black, I printed letters on mailing labels. If you acquire the actual fishing game, a black Sharpie would work perfectly fine.

One game I purchased was missing the fishing poles, so I created new poles using pipe cleaners and straws. Actually, the strings from the original game tangle so easily, I also replaced those with straw and pipe cleaners poles.

Fishing For Pitches

For 2-3 players

Objective: Be the first player to catch a fish matching the pitch of  a note on the staff.

1) Draw a card to select a note on the staff.
2) All players race to fish and catch the name of the pitch.
3) The first player to catch the correct pitch is the winner.

I also created a more advanced version of the game . . .

Fishing For Chords

For 2-3 players:

Objective: Be the first player to catch 3 fish spelling the chord on the staff.

1) Draw a card to select a chord on the staff.
2) All players race to fish and catch the three pitches names.
3) The first player to catch three fish which spell the chord on the card is the winner.

The cards for both versions of the game are available for download on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It is best to print double-sided on cardstock and laminate for durability. The games are available to download separately or as a discounted combo pack.