Okay, I’m probably pretty late to the game on this, but I saw a friend doing a phonics activity called “Write the Room”, and the kids LOVED it! Even the kids who hated writing were having a blast trotting from station to station to copy down diphthongs and consonant blends.

So now it’s time to try it in Music! I’m getting tired of some of my usual rhythm notation activities, but we all know that reading, writing, and performing from rhythm notation is a skill that needs a lot of drill in order for kids to develop fluency. Enter “Write the Room” with rhythms. It’s cute. It’s active. The slower kids have fun and take their time; the competitive kids do it their way, and that works too. And when they are done—all at different times—it has a natural flow into a variety of different extensions that the kids are happy to do because they’re still high on the first part!

Basically, you hang up a bunch of rhythm cards around the room—and you can hide them as much or as little as you want. I love to do just a couple that are really hard to find, because it slows down the fastest ones, but by the time the last ones come around, others can point them in the right direction. The students get a blank sheet with all the icons that match the rhythm cards. As they find each rhythm card, they write its rhythm by the matching icon on their sheet. And voilà! Students have just read and written 12 bars of rhythms while they’re brains were pumped with excitement.

As students finish, they can move on to any of a number of activities using their new sheet of rhythms. They can compose, perform, re-arrange…the possibilities are endless! They can even use their completed sheet to play Forbidden Rhythm with a small group.

Want to try it for yourself? Check out these print-and-go sets:

Pets theme, using “ta”, “ti-ti”, and “rest”

Emoji theme, using “ta”, “ti-ti”, and “rest”

Pets theme, using beamed sixteenth notes “tika-tika”, “tika-ti”, and “ti-tika”

Emoji theme, using beamed sixteenth notes “tika-tika”, “tika-ti”, and “ti-tika”

They are also great to leave for a sub because they don’t really require anything from the teacher. (If you’ve got subs that will check student work, there’s an answer key included too!) They are also great for a day when you’ve got a sore throat or a migraine, or the kids are just squirrely!

If you’re looking for more fun ways to practice rhythm, check out this post with 15 Fun Ways to Learn About Rhythm. If they’re not ready for this level of notation, you can start out with Playful Rhythm Practice.

Have you tried “Write the Room”? What do you think?

Write the Room: Notation on the MOVE
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