Dual Uses!

As teachers we are always looking for items that can serve more than one purpose.

One year I had a particularly *challenging* group of 5th graders. I’m sure you can all relate to that… 🙂  We were starting a drum piece and I needed to have the classroom expectations CLEARLY outlined.  I decided to start the unit by using these paper tubanos:

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I brought these out and started the lesson.  As I saw children playing the rhythms correctly I swapped out the paper tubano for a “real” tubano or drum.  It was ASTOUNDING how fast this group picked up the rhythm after I started swapping out papers!  Pretty soon the whole class was playing away on the drums!  When students got too *excited*  (read: rough or out of control of their little bodies) I swapped out the tubano for a paper tubano.  All it takes is one students to swap out and there are no more behavior issues.

This works two ways:

  1. The students can practice without being too loud in the room (this is important to your ears).
  2. It’s an embedded classroom management strategy that works

I also implemented something similar with the xylophones:

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  1. Students can practice on the paper while their partner plays the part (if they must share instruments)
  2. Students who have a difficult time controlling their bodies can practice on the paper until they regain control.

Email me, Michelle Berra at mmcdaniel@dadeschools.net if you have questions!


Happy Orffing!


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