Have you tried using STATIONS in your classroom? They are becoming more and more popular with music teachers because the students need to have activities they can do in a shorter amount of time that use multiple skills. I like to use them once we are into the second quarter and have established our classroom community and music skills.
I use one or two songs that we are working on while students experience a station as a whole group. Later, students can sing the song and do the activity alone. The idea is to teach everyone how to do the activity first, before you divide the class into groups and have them rotate around through the stations.
I like to start small and slow-let's see how it goes!
Here's some ideas that I'm using this week:
I'll place this so that students can see where to go:
At this station I'll be sure to have the clip boards or table, pencils, crayons and maybe some samples ready.
(Five Fat Turkeys I wrote about HERE)
I'm working on sounds on 1 beat with most of my grade levels.
Here's some sample cards I'm using. They all fit on one page so that students can put them on a template:
I've been using these cards with my Kindergartners to give them a visual practice of playing the beat. I will let them us mallets to tap the turkeys which will make it a bit more fun and prepare them for xylophones.
Using manipulatives and activities where students are saying and playing notes and rhythms is a great way to help them make literacy connections too.
If you've tried stations, I'd love to hear about your successes and your questions!