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Assessment in Music Class -What Do You Hear?

Looking for practical ideas for assessing hundreds of music students in your classroom?  Check out this idea for assessing rhythm skills called "What Do You Hear".

Can I confess something to you?  I have no idea how any of my elementary or junior high teachers came up with a grade for me.  Not a single one.  Did they just "give" me a grade?  Did I do something to earn it?  Was there every any real assessment?  I don't think so.  I think that I got an A because I was a good kid that did what I was told.  Of course, that must mean that kids that didn't do that would have received a different grade.  Is that crazy?  Have you been guilty of that?

I guess that is one of the reasons that assessment has been so important to me.  I've created hundreds of rubrics, sat through dozens of assessment workshops for math and reading teachers trying to glean everything I could and challenged other music teachers to show me how they plan for authentic assessment.  I've learned that there is a wide variety of strategies for grading or assessing students in music class.  I've seen elaborate data tables and heard others say "I just give them an S, no matter what."  Whaaaat?  I've tried to find a balance based on how often I see my students and what I want them to be able to do when they leave my classroom.

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite tools for assessing rhythm skills.  I call it ear training, but it isn't exactly what I remember doing for my Ear Training classes in college.  I use these assessments most often with 3rd through 6th grades but they could be adapted for use with younger and older students.  When I taught high school band I used this type of assessment all of the time.

Check out this video to see how I use my What Do You Hear set of worksheets.  You can download them HERE if you are interested in trying them out in your classroom.





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Looking for practical ideas for assessing hundreds of music students in your classroom?  Check out this idea for assessing rhythm skills called "What Do You Hear".



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Erasers as Music Manipulatives

Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!

My 5 year old daughter is a collector.  Okay, she is probably a future hoarder.  She loves putting things in her "collections" and one of those treasures is erasers.  She loves those colorful, unique erasers not so much for erasing but for pretend play, counting and more.  This gave me a great idea for music class!
Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!
I decided to use the 16 block grid as a means for students to create and organize rhythm patterns based on the erasers.  I talk a little bit more about the grid and the lap packs they are used with in THIS blog post.

Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!
At this workstation, students choose an erase and put it in a square.  Then, students decide what to call the eraser.  They can be creative with this part (and often are!).  When they decide what to call the eraser they write the name under it.  In this picture they actually put it in the second row, but usually we put it in the same box as the eraser.

Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!
Students can be creative in naming the erasers depending on the rhythms they know or want to use.  For example watermelon could be called "fruit".  Pizza could be "slice" or "piece of pizza" or "veggie pizza".  This works are a means of differentiation.  Students can make this as difficult or as easy as they like.

After they have created the rhythms, they share them with their group.  I use this activity as part of a workstation rotation so there are 3-5 kids in a group.  Students can then choose body percussion or a small percussion instrument to perform their rhythm as an ostinato in their group.

This would also work as a whole group activity.  You could write the rhythms on the board or use a document camera, erasers and grids to replicate student compositions.  Then you could create ostinatos using percussion instruments, Orff instruments or body percussion to create a really fantastic piece.


Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!
I've found erasers in many different stores:  Target (Dollar Spot), Office Max, Five Below, Dollar Tree and more.  I'm storing them in a box that was designed for beads right now, but I think that I might try this organizer (from Michael's) as my collection grows. (Pictured below.)
Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!
 In addition to using the erasers for rhythm practice you could also use them with a staff and do melodic dictation using the erasers as note heads.  This would be particularly fun if you had erasers to match the theme of a song.  For example, fish while listening to "Aquarium" from Carnival of the Animals or Jack-o-lanterns while listening to "Night on Bald Mountain would be fun to create an activity around.

I hope that you have been inspired to try mini erasers in your classroom.  I also hope that I haven't created an addiction for you!  I have already started collecting erasers for Halloween, Christmas and Easter!

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Mini erasers can be a valuable manipulative in the music classroom.  Use them for rhythm activities, pitch work and workstations.  Learn more and start collecting!


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Movin' with Music Go Rounds


Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!

If you have been reading my blog for long, you know that I a big fan of workstations  and I love new goodies for my music room!  I've posted a few times about Music Go Round from Music in Motion.  They are so fun to touch and lend themselves to a variety of activities.  You can read about using them for singing practice HERE and reading about using them with rhythm work HERE.
Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!
Today I'm going to explain how I've used them to build a creative movement workstation.  In preparation, I created a 16 block grid on my dry erase board with colored masking tape.  I tried drawing it on the board with the first class and it was a much bigger hassle.  I had to re-draw the grid after each group.  The masking tape worked really well and lasted all week.

Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!
I laid the Music Go Rounds that I needed on a stand near the board.  For this workstation I used Music Go Rounds: Hands and Feet and the quarter notes and barred eighth notes from THIS set.  

Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!
Students were instructed to choose a hand or foot piece and a rhythm piece.  Within their group they decided what each hand or foot piece represented.  Some groups used clapping or snapping for hands and stomping, sliding or hopping for the feet.  They composed and performed their piece together.

Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!
After performing their piece, some groups made some edits to make it easier or more interesting and then performed it again.  I loved watching their creative process and hearing their conversations about what would improve their pieces.

Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!
This was a great activity to add to our center rotations.  Student got practice with rhythm, but also engaged in composing and creating choreography too.  Having a workstation that let students be physically active wasn't too noisy or crazy (much to my great delight!) and I can definitely recommend it for inclusion in your classroom.

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Add a movement and composing station to your music workstations rotations.  This idea uses Music Go Rounds and a little bit of masking tape!  Challenge your students to be creative and get moving!



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Farmhouse Music Room Tour

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I am so excited to share my classroom with you!  I went with a farmhouse theme and incorporated multiple wooden backgrounds, farm animals on posters, fruit and veggie cushions and lots of metal accents.  As an ambassador for Creative Teaching Press, I've also used TONS of products from the bold and bright series.  Black and white patterns mixed with rainbow themes have always been my favorite!  I'll link to as many things as I can if you would like to replicate any of the looks in your classroom!
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
On the outside of my classroom door I used some paper plates that had a wood finish.  I picked them up at Walmart last year as they were closing out some of their fall merchandise.  I used these letters and attached them to the plates with tape.  I taped the plates to a long piece of ribbon before hanging it on my door.  The burlap canvas below contains a greeting for all of my students.

Classroom View- The Front 
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
 I created some large paper flowers using various tutorials that I found on YouTube.  The front of the room is what the students will see the majority of their time so I want it to be bright, colorful and inviting.  Music Gives You Skills to Crow About bulletin board can be downloaded HERE.  I've dressed it up with this black and white border and this rainbow scalloped border.
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I store small instruments, scarves, tennis balls, flashlights and other movement props at the front of the room.  I do this so that they are accessible but they are not easy for students to walk by and touch. 

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
Yep.  That's my sub tub!  I'll try to talk about it in another post.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
This bulletin board features the cool wooden backdrop paper (available at Michael's) and metal file holders and letters (Hobby Lobby).  The big clip is from a set of Bold and Bright Clip It cut outs from Creative Teaching Press.  The black polka dot border and the colorful spots border are also from CTP.  I'll use this space to post flyers, pictures and other reminders and mementos from the year.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I was fortunate to grab some storage containers (Target) and a rolling cart (Michael's) on sale and have organized some of the things I kept in or on my desk in them.  The rolling cart has paper, file folders, sheet protectors, etc... and the other containers have some books and resources that I use often.  The metal contain at the bottom has markers sorted by color.  We don't use markers that often in class, but I like how pretty they look when they are organized.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
These are flower pots that I painted years ago.  They still kind of go with my classroom theme so they are out again this year.  I used a paint pen to create the keyboard design around the top.


Classroom View-The Side Walls
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
This rainbow scalloped border is the same as I used on the front bulletin board as is the black and white striped border.  The posters are the Music Symbols Farmhouse Theme available in my TpT store.  They come in several colors, but I chose white because I have a LOT going on in my room already.
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
The canvas pictures above were created by my daughter and I.  You can see how we did it in THIS blogpost.  The Listen, Sing, Play posters are from a set that I have in my store.  You can download it HERE.  I also have one for "Move" but I've found that I don't refer to it very often so I left it out this year.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
The piano has been glammed up a little this year.  In the background you can see my steady beat swords.  Find out how I use them in this blog post: Steady Beat Swords.  The black poofy flowers were from Dollar Tree.  Although I like the way they look, they were quite a pain to poof!  The flat flowers are BW Designer Flower Cut Outs.


Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I use my cabinet doors as display areas too.  I use packing tape to secure them and group posters by topic.  The tempo posters and ensemble posters are included in my Farmhouse Music Decor Bundle and are also available individually.  I love the pop of color and interest they give to a plain, ole cabinet door.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I usually don't put up instrument posters as my 3rd graders spend a good portion of the year learning their names, characteristics and instrument families and we take frequent quizzes on them.  I designed this set to look like a word wall and I love that it doesn't take up too much space.  You can download it HERE.

Classroom View-The Back Wall
Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!

This is the part of my classroom that I look at the most.  It also houses some instruments and is where we line up to head into the hall.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I've sectioned off one large bulletin board to create three smaller area to post displays.  Let's Read MOOsic is one that will be up most of the year.  The treble staff display was designed to coordinate with the rest of my farmhouse style music decor but could really work with many different themes.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I'm so excited to start teaching ukulele this year!  I created an inexpensive storage area for this with an expandable shoe rack.  I padded the bars with pool noodles and added sticker numbers on each of the ukes.  I used Bold and Bright Student Numbers to label the shelves so that students will know exactly where to return their ukuleles.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
This reminder is displayed around my clock.  I always want my classroom to be a joyful place and love having this to look at all day!  You can download this freebie HERE and post a reminder in your classroom too.


Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
We are required to have students sign out of our classroom if they leave to go to the restroom, office or nurse.  This year I have set up the sign out area near the door with a cute chalkboard, a metal bucket filled with chalk and a few metal accents (Hobby Lobby).  I love the way it turned out!

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
During workstation rotations, I've been implementing various seating options.  This year students can choose from these cool cushions and pillows.  The log pillows are from Five Below and the fruit and vegetable cushions are from various sellers on Amazon.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
More poofs.  Did I mention what a pain they were?   On the right side of the picture you can see my magnetic set of Note Knacks.  They are AWESOME!  You can order these bad boys from Rhythm Band Instruments here:  Note Knacks Magnet Set

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
Do you know David Row from Make Moments Matter?  Well, he's amazing and I absolutely LOVE this character ed bulletin board designed for the music classroom.  It's called Moral Focus in Famous Musicians and is available in his store.  It's a huge set (I'm only displaying part of it) and could be used in a smaller space and changed every month to match your character word of the month.  The cool thumbtack borders can be purchased HERE.

Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!
I LOVE my Song of the Month display this year!  I used the month signs from the CTP Bold and Bright Calendar set.  Then I used letters and letter stickers from the same line to create the title.  The sticky note border and sticky note cut outs tie it all together.  Each month I will write the song of the month on the sticky note cut out.  You can read more about how I do songs of the month in my classroom in this blog post:  Songs of the Month.

The little buckets on the shelf hold pencils and erasers.  The wooden container on the shelf holds my crayon boxes.  I use travel soap boxes for this.  You can see a closer view of them in THIS blog post.

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Be inspired by this farmhouse themed music room.  Rustic decor and bold accents help set this music classroom up for optimal learning.  Bulletin boards, flexible seating, organization ideas and more!

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DIY Canvas Art for Your Classroom

Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.

I am always on the lookout for inexpensive and crafty ways to decorate my home and classroom.  Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite ideas!  I guess I somehow aspire to be an artist of sorts and I definitely want my kids to have plenty of experience with art.  I picked up a several packages of blank canvas a couple of months ago when Joann's had it marked ridiculously low.  I didn't really have a specific idea for them but I figured that I would end up needing more!

Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.

I am still working on my classroom theme for next year but I know for sure that it will be colorful.  I love mixing rainbow patterns with black and white patterns and am sure that will show up in my classroom.  I took three 12x12 canvases and drew a curvy staff on them with a permanent marker.  If you were decorating another classroom you could add numbers, the alphabet, equations, beakers, various sports equipment, etc....really anything you want. 

Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.
I went over my lines a couple of times so that they were quite dark.  I may use a black paint pen next time to see if that makes a difference.  Next?  Color!

Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.

Just take crayons to the canvas and color whatever you want.  My daughter is also a big fan of rainbows so she helped me complete the canvases.  We put books under the canvas for a firmer coloring surface.  After I photographed the canvases, I went back and colored the edges black.  I think that makes them look a little more finished and will look better hanging on the wall.
Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.
 The end result is colorful and perfect!  I'm tempted to hang it up at home!  I designed the canvases so they look like one piece, but you could design yours in any style.


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Learn how to create your own canvas art for your home or classroom with supplies you already have!  Works with any theme and doesn't take long to complete.


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Teaching the "KNACK" of Note Reading

Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!

I am always on the look out for manipulatives that keep students engaged.  If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I am also found of manipulatives that work well as part of workstation rotations.  In this blog post I am going to talk about the awesome blocks called Note Knacks.  (This is not a sponsored post, I just LOVE these!)
Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!

Note Knacks are wooden blocks that are strategically cut so that note value is represented by block length.  So a half note is half the size of a whole note and a quarter note is half the size of a half note and so on.  The set comes with 3 different frames to hold the Note Knacks.  They measure 4 beats, 3 beats and 2 beats.  One side of the block has a note and the back side has the corresponding rest.  
Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!

I am lucky enough to have a magnetic set of Note Knacks and I keep them on my dry erase board.  They are much larger so that they can be seen by an entire classroom.  I've used them to decipher rhythms in familiar songs and to create ostinatos for various activities.  I've also used them in workstations.

Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!

For the workstation, I had one student sit at a desk with the wooden blocks.  We put up an empty notebook to create a privacy screen.  The student at the desk composes a rhythm and then claps it for the rest of the group.  The other group members re-create the rhythm using the magnetic blocks on the board.  Students LOVED using the blocks.

I must admit that I like using them too!  There is something lovely about they way they feel and being a visual learning, I totally dig the visual representation of duration.
Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!
I've also had students trace the outline of the blocks on long strips of bulletin board paper.  I only have one set of the blocks, so I could only do this activity with small groups as they rotated through workstations.  I hope to get a few more sets because I have SO many ideas I want to try out!

I bet I know what you are thinking.  Couldn't you just make something similar?  Well, sure.  I've made Noodle Notes which are similar.  The tactile experience of Note Knacks is what I like.  I mean, who doesn't like playing with blocks?

You can get Note Knacks from Rhythm Band Instruments.  If you liked these ideas PIN this post for later!
Learn a fun manipulative for teaching rhythm called Note Knacks.  Use them as a whole class visual aid, in small groups or workstations.  So much fun!

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Fidget Spinners in Music Class

Fidget spinners can be a useful and exciting manipulative for music class.  Your students can use them as regular spinners or as timers to practice their musical knowledge assessment.  Wow your administrator with fidget spinning assessment!  Music teacher WIN!

There seems to be a great debate among parents and educators about the value of fidget spinners in the classroom.  This blog post is NOT about that.  Instead, I'd like to share with you a few ways that you can use the spinners for practice and assessment in music class.

I've created a set of activities that use the fidget spinner as a timer and as...well...just as a spinner!  The best way to show you how to use them is in this video below.





You can find the Music Fidget Spinner Fun set HERE.  Enjoy!

Fidget spinners can be a useful and exciting manipulative for music class.  Your students can use them as regular spinners or as timers to practice their musical knowledge assessment.  Wow your administrator with fidget spinning assessment!  Music teacher WIN!



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Flexible Seating in Music Class

Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.

I am a big fan of thinking outside  of the box.  I am also a big fan of helping my students do exactly the same thing.  This year I considered ways that I could help meet their individual needs more completely during music class.  Although I plan lessons and workstations that are differentiated, I was interested in using flexible seating that would also meet their needs.  In most of my previous classrooms I have had a large rug or a carpeted room.  This automatically meant that I had two good seating choices:  chairs or the carpet.

In my current classroom my floor is completely tiled.  I teach only grades 3-5 so I'm not sure that I want to put out several hundreds of dollars for a large rug.  In my K-6 classroom, I used it most often with K-2.  I think eventually I may get one, but it is not at the top of the wish list.

At the beginning of the school year I read a brilliant blog post from Aileen Miracle about flexible seating in the music room.  You'll definitely want to check it out.   This was just the motivation that I needed to start implementing my own plan for flexible seating in my classroom.  For me, the most obvious way to get started was to add multiple seating options to my workstations rotations.  I plan workstations about every 4th or 5th class period so this would give me time to add new seats or remove ones that didn't work between workstation days.
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.

On a typical day, my classroom looks like this.  I have three rows of chairs that have a wide aisle down the middle.  This allows me to be in close proximity to any student within just a few steps.  When I have students in centers I focus on putting them around the edges of the room and possibly one in the middle if I need the space.  

Stools
The first new seating option I added were these awesome stools from Five Below.
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
 These are NOT wobble stools and I found that I had to remind students not to rock them back and forth.  They are pretty sturdy, but some of my 5th graders are adult sized and I didn't want them to bend and break.  I bought stools that were all the same color so there wouldn't be arguments about getting a specific color.
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
In this station above, students are working with a magnetic set of Note Knacks on a dry erase board.  Not pictured is a student at a table with the original Note Knacks which are wooden blocks.  They are creating a secret rhythm and the rest of the group is recreating that with the Note Knacks on the dry erase board.  Rhythm Band Instruments carries Note Knacks.  You can get them HERE.

Lap Trays
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
These lap trays were my next addition.  I actually have 5 of them, but this class only needed 3 for each rotation.  The lap trays are from Hobby Lobby and were $6 each.  I think they would be great for leaving supplies for a center too.  You could put worksheets in the middle, clipboards in the large hole and pencils, rhythm sticks or whatever in the smaller compartments.  I bought all the same color for the same reason my stools are the same color.

Rugs
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
 I think these are my favorite new option for flexible seating and they are the easiest to find and use.  These rag rugs are from Five Below.  They are large enough to fit students and an activity.  When we are finished using them, I have students roll them up and store them at the front of the classroom.  On days when we are watching a video, students can stack their chairs and sit on a rug instead.
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
I think that I will pick up a few smaller rag rugs from a dollar store to use for individual seating options.  They are inexpensive and clean well if needed.

 Interlocking Foam Mats
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
I've seen these mats around forever and really hadn't considered them useful in my classroom until this year.  When they are separate, they are great for individual seating.  When they are together they are perfect for small group work.  The set that I chose has four different colors.  This was PERFECT for sorting pictures of instruments into their instrument families.  It would also be great for creating 4 part canons or rhythmic pieces for 4 different instruments.
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
I also love the way these foam mats very clearly define the space for workstations.  

 Just the Floor
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
Why not?  The PE teacher does it every day!  Sometimes there just isn't a good way to put down a rug, stool or mat and that's okay.  This station is my Xylophone Composing Station.  We used the piano as a long music stand to hold the cards and students sat on the floor with their instruments.

Pillows
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
Oddly enough, this was the toughest flexible seating option to find for my classroom.  I wanted something that an adult sized booty could sit on, but also had to be able to be wiped down or laundered with ease.  So many of the pillows I found would not be easy to clean and to get them large enough were too expensive.  Once again Five Below to the rescue!  These cushions are large and thick and only $5!  They are also covered in polyester which is easy to wipe down and dry quickly. 

Carts and Tall Tables
Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.
Not every option for flexible seating needs to be actual seating.  I found that students really enjoy standing workstations and the more I researched flexible seating the more options I saw for creating them.  I have a rolling cart in my classroom that is perfect for a standing workstation.  I just wheel it to the area I want the station to be and put the supplies on it.  Easy!

What Didn't Work
So, I tried a few things that did not work well for me.  I may try them again some day, but right now they are back in storage.
1.  Yoga Mats - These adorable mats were comfy and inexpensive.  They were also much more than my students could handle.  They picked at them and left piles of little mat pieces every where.
2.  Lawn Chairs - I had several collapsible, camping chairs that I tried.  These are the kind made with a thick polyester material over a metal frame and can be stored in a bag with a shoulder strap.  The students liked these, but I didn't have a neat and tidy way to store them.  I also had a few students fall over in them.  I know.  I don't exactly know how that happened either but since I wasn't sure I liked them anyway, I took them home.

Flexible Seating Wish List
There are several seating options that are on my wish list.
1. Yoga Balls - My PE teacher has these and puts them in regular milk crates for Drums Alive.  So much fun!  I would love to have these in my classroom, but just don't have a place to store them.
2. Crate Seats - I think this may be a summer or weekend project.  I love the idea of creating a neat set of crate seats that can be used for seating and storage.  They stack easily so they should be easy to store.
3.  Wobble Chairs - I would love to have 4 or 5 of these for my classroom!  Right now it is really just their expense.  Each of these awesome seats can be $60-70.
4.  Bean Bags - I think these would be a great addition because they would be easy to clean and add a punch of color.  For me, figuring out a way to store them would prove problematic.
5.  Carpet Squares - I've used carpet squares before and really enjoyed them.  It might be possible to get these donated from a local carpet dealer.


I hope that you find these ideas helpful as you consider how to implement flexible seating in your classroom.  If you are already using flexible seating, I'd love to hear about the ideas that have worked in your classroom.

Flexible Seating in the Music room is a great idea for all of your classes!  Learn about what solutions worked best from this veteran teacher and how to add inexpensive options to your classroom.





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