Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Anatomy of a note and Split tis

A few years ago I noticed my students getting confused when reading rhythms that included single eight notes. This flummoxed them:
I knew I had spent a lot of class time engaging students in reading, notating, and creatingwith quarter note and eighth note rhythms but I had never really addressed single tis.

Since then, I've made sure I introduce ti ti as introduce single tis. While I'm at it, we discuss the "anatomy" of a note, (note head, stem, and beam or flag.)  I usually present single ti ti at the beginning of 2nd grade and I review with 3rd through 6th.

Movement Game: Walking Tas, Running Ti Tis
In 2nd grade we play a "Walking Tas, Running Ti Tis" game where I play the drum while students walk with arms down chanting "ta, ta, ta, ta..." standing tall with their arms by their sides. When I play twice as fast, ("ti ti ti ti...") they can choose to beam with another student or hold their arm out like a flag while their running feet match their "ti ti ti ti..." chanting.
Here's a bonus for the teacher: you don't have to worry about everyone finding a partner, we all need to experience being beamed and single, (kind of like grown-up life, hee hee!) 
I alternate being playing tas or tis on the drum and they change themselves from tas to tis. 
Then I mix it up and I can really see who is "tuned in." (they chant "ti ti ta, ti ti ta, ti ti ta" and their beams or flags come out and disappear.) 

WIth 2nd graders we add "too" (half note) by stepping and sliding. This is one of those activities that I initially though would bomb but is something they love and request!
tis with flags and ti tis beamed
Last year I created a SMART Board file of labeled anatomy and included a ta ti ti poison pattern game that showcases single tis and sone stems pointing down.
It's available at my meager  "soon-to-be-expanding-any-day-now-when-I-can-manage-it" Teachers Pay Teachers store. 
(I don't have much at my Teachers Pay Teachers store at this point.)
"Anatomy of a Note" is $1.

If haven't visited already, you really need to check out Amy Abbott's TpT store and Aileen Miracle's TpT store.  (And even if you have, check Amy's and Aileen's pages often, they are very prolific!) have used materials from both Amy and Aileen. They create wonderful and effective materials! 

Have a wonderful, musical week!


  1. I've been waiting for this post, hurray!!!! I love it! I'm totally stealing the movement activity! Thanks Tanya!

  2. Walking Tas, Running Ti Tis - How to play this game.I want to know.Thank you! - solar toy.

  3. Great work - Thanks for sharing!
    Here's another visual idea:
    I tie a piece of yarn between the top of 2 pencils. I ask students to notice that it looks similar to beamed eighth notes (when pencils are held upright). I let a student hold the pencils with yarn tied between. I cut the yarn in half, so the yarn drops to the side of both pencils. Then I show individual eighth notes.