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Monday Music Manipulatives - 4 Beat Rhythm Blocks



I am so excited to share with you one of my students favorite manipulatives for rhythm practice, 4 Beat Rhythm Blocks.


The four blocks each have a hole going through them and are on a little stick, so they can rotate, butare secured by the pieces on the ends. The four visible sides of the cube have a different rhythm on them: ta, titi, ta rest, and tika-tika, so these are great for tika-tika practice. 

I love that the cubes are all connected, so you don't have pieces everywhere. They are so easy to pass out, and collect, and don't require any time at all to clean up (no baggies full of individual blocks).

The first time I pulled these out to use with my students, they seriously thought it was Christmas or something and they had just been given the best toy ever! Yay for music nerds, right!?!

These rhythm blocks came with a sheet full of several ideas for using them in your classroom, and I am so thrilled that I get to share some of those ideas with you!


1) Rhythm Dictation 

Say, clap, or tap a rhythm on a percussion instrument. Students listen, clap the pattern back, and then twist the blocks to match the pattern they clapped. You can give them a little bit to find the pattern and then say "One, two, three REVEAL!" and have all students show you their pattern at once for a quick assessment. It is so easy to see who is getting it and who needs more practice.



2) Rhythm Composing and Writing Practice

Have students compose a four beat pattern by twisting the connected rhythm blocks. Clap and read the pattern they created. Notate the pattern. Practicing notation is a step that is often missed and kids need to practice WRITING these rhythms that they can read.

3) Decoding

Leave these in a music center with the lyrics to some 16th note songs and have students use the blocks to show the rhythms of the whole song. They can then read the whole song on rhythm syllables or notate their answer.

4) Form

Using more than one set of Rhythm Blocks, have students demonstrate knowledge of forms such as ABAB or ABAC, etc. 

If you love these blocks, you can order a set for your classroom from Rhythmically Yours on Etsy here. She sells them as a station/centers set of 6 or as a class set of 20. She also has options for vinyl or stamped rhythms (mine are vinyl) and I think you can even pick the colors. I have a class set and she sent me four colors, a dark pink, orange, green, and black. 

You can also enter below to win a free set of 6 to use in centers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How would YOU use these?


93 comments:

  1. I would use these to have students identify the rhythm in a song, to take rhythmic dictation, and to compose. These blocks look like so much fun!

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  2. These look so fun! I would use them for rhythmic dictation for sure. I could think of several other fun things as well.

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  3. Paperless assessment? Uhm....yes! Sign me up!!!!

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    1. Right!?! They are so easy to quickly see who's "got it" and who needs more help.

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  4. Lots of game possibilities with these blocks. Also some fun composition activities, rhythm dictation, etc. These are great! :)

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  5. Awesome! Did you make these? Or purchase them?

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    1. Oh no, I didn't make them. You can find them on Esty by RhythmicallyYours - https://www.etsy.com/shop/RhythmicallyYours?ref=l2-shop-info-name&section_id=18170351

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  6. I would use them for composition centers!

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  7. These are AWESOME! I hope I win--I'd use them for composition, dictation, decoding, and so much more!

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  8. I would use these when we're decoding the rhythms of a song with my littles! They would love them!

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  9. My students would enjoy these. They would be good for centers and we could use them for composition and dictation.

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  10. These would be great for dictation practice! Thanks for the great ideas!

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  11. I would love to use these for rhythmic dictation and rhythm reading. How fun!

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  12. I would use them for assessment, dictation, and writing practice.

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  13. These look wonderful! I would use these for practicing composing rhythms in groups, and for assessment and dictation practice. I love that I could use these and not have to pass out markers, white boards, erasers, etc. Just four sweet little blocks connected together! LOVE it.

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  14. I would use them with a given pattern, then change ONE beat in the pattern. Students would have to identify which beat & how it changed. Presto-Chango!

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  15. These would be so helpful for rhythmic dictations! So much faster than my beat strips and blocks. Would love it.

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  16. These are GREAT for quick improvisation! If a student is having a hard time generating their own rhythm they can shake and play!

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  17. I would love to use these in a center for composing and I could use them for assessment in my Student Learning Objective (SLO)

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  18. I would love to use these - especially for my SpEd kids that need a hands on manipulative!

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  19. I'd use these for dictation, composition, decoding, playing instruments, and quick assessment. My kids would absolutely love them!

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  20. These are awesome!!! They would be great for centers so the kids have easy cleanup and you don't lose the blocks!

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  21. These are amazing! What an awesome assessment tool! I need to win them!!!!

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  22. I could use these with boomwhacker composition!

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  23. I would use them for composition with small groups and stations/centers or use them for simple assessment and dictation. These blocks are a must have for every music room!

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  24. These would be great for composition activities! So good.

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  25. These are awesome! My students would love them for composing, but also a great idea for dictation, I don't do enough of that!

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  26. These are awesome. Technology is great, but I love this tactile way of practing rhythms. What a great, easy way to quickly assess!

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  27. There are so many possibilities for these!

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  28. What a great idea! I am trying to do more centers this year, and these would be a perfect addition. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Love these! I would definitely use these for rhythmic dictation and composition. Great manipulative!

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  30. I too like the idea that they are all attached. What a neat idea. Now I use the paper "blocks" for diction and composition but these would be a new and improved way.

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  31. I too like the idea that they are all attached. What a neat idea. Now I use the paper "blocks" for diction and composition but these would be a new and improved way.

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  32. I always live new ideas for manipulatives! Love the blocks!

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  33. I always live new ideas for manipulatives! Love the blocks!

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  34. I'm always looking for more ideas for composing! They would also be great for dictation. Hope I win them :)

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  35. They'd be great for composing, or a rhythm reading game. Why can't I think up this awesome stuff!?!

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  36. These look so much easier than the Lego/Mega Blocks sets I use - much less pieces. I would use these for dictation, composition and group center work. I would LOVE to win these!!

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  37. These would be awesome for dictation! They are totally different than other manipulatives that I currently have in my room (white boards, die cuts, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, mini erasers, etc.), so I know my students would go wild for them!

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  38. Love to use these for rhythm patterning and composition, rhythm dictation. My students will love them!

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  39. I would use these for assessment and dictation.

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  40. I think I would use these for composition! So neat! Thanks for always introducing new things to us!

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  41. I would definitely use these for rhythmic dictation. If placed under a document camera, they could be a way to do a rhythmic transition from one song to the next (changing one note in the pattern at a time).

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  42. I would love to do rhythmic dictation and assessment!

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  43. These are way cool! They would be great for everything you said in your blog! Dictation/Notation, creating rhythms, rhythm detective...and more more more!

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  44. These would be a great addition to any music classroom!

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  45. These look so awesome. I bet my kids would love them!

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  46. These blocks look like a wonderful tool for rhythm pattern composing and dictation. Thanks for sharing this post!

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  47. This is awesome. I'm slowly building up my manipulative for centers. Great idea!

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  48. I would use these for composition and improvisation. What a great reusable resource from Rhythmically Yours!

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  49. I love these!!! They would be great for centers. I have one little nugget who is disabled and can't hold a pencil. He could use these when we do our assessments!!!

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  50. I would love to differentiate instruction for my students by having students who do not grasp the concept start by copying a 4-beat rhythm and then clap/play/say it. For students who understand rhythm better maybe have rhythmic dictation, write out rhythms of a song, compose their own, the possibilities are endless!

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  51. This are awesome! Endless possibilities. ♡

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  52. What a fun idea! Great for composing, dictation, assessment ............ :)

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  53. These would be great for a traveling teacher!!

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  54. These would be so easy for assessment for rhythmic dictation and fun to compose. Recorder improv over the rhythms. Sign me up!

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  55. Yay for PLAY!!! Playing with rhythms in a variety of all the ways mentioned above (dictation, composing, assessment, etc).

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  56. I love love this idea! I would use it to notate any song with students, especially during the practice of tika tika. Perfect for jack-o-lantern season coming up!

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  57. I would love to use these for both composition and dictation practice. I especially love that the rhythm blocks would provide a "safe" and physically structured composition experience for my more hesitant students.

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  58. These would be great for a center.

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  59. I just finished writing my Student Learning Objective (SLO) for my 3rd graders and it includes being able to dictate rhythms using ta, titi, tika tika, and quarter rests! This would be a great way for them to compose/practice, but also to assess them!

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  60. Oh so many ways. Rhythmic dictation. Assessment. Composing. It's endless. Love it!

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  61. Centers, paperless assessment, & adaptive to name a few!!

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  62. Dictation practice, for sure! No more handing out ziplock baggies of cards!

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  63. I am a new (2nd year) teacher, and I am trying to find new manipulatives to use in class. It would be awesome to have these for a composing activity, or as a dictation tool.

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  64. I am a new (2nd year) teacher, and I am trying to find new manipulatives to use in class. It would be awesome to have these for a composing activity, or as a dictation tool.

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  65. Awesome! I love having unique ways to assess my students. They will love this!

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  66. I love the idea of using them in centers to figure out the rhythm for a known song with just the lyrics printed.

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  67. My kids would love these. We have been working really hard on rhythms the first 9 weeks. They would love the hands on nature of these.

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  68. I would put students in groups and have them compose, play and perform their own ostinato.

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  69. I would love to use these for a quick/easy rhythm dictation activity!

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  70. These look so fun and engaging. Bonus that the setup and cleanup is super quick!

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  71. I would have classes break into small groups and play music boggle!

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  72. These are such a great idea!! The possible uses are endless. They would really help students understand thatball the rhythms used are 1 beat i still have grade 6s telling me a titi is 2 beats arghhj

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  73. These are super cute! I want some!

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  74. great idea to use block for rhythmic dictation

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  75. These would be especially helpful with my students who struggle with fine motor skills and have difficulty with the mechanics of note-writing.

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  76. Love these! Would use these for those with fine motor skills. Might put puffy paint on them for my low vision kids to make it tactile.

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  77. Hi, Lindsey! These blocks have me nerding out! Where can I buy them? :)

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  78. These are great instructional materials. So useful and interesting! Where could I buy them? Thanks!

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  79. Where did you get these or did you make them?

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