A Roll of the Dice and a Pop of the Bubble

This week has been a veeerrryyy long battle trying to accomplish a long to do list along with everything else I have been pulled aside to fix or help with. What has really been one of the few fantastic highlights of my week has been rhythm and beat centers for grades 3-5. I try to do centers once a month to give students a break from learning new things and play activities that reinforce the concepts they have gone over and should retain. I have a center bucket that is filled with over a dozen already created centers which I could easily have pulled out again, but I really like to try to come up with things that are new and different. So I created 2 more brand new ones for this round of activities, Musical Dice and Bubble Rap Rhythms. Below you will find resources and instructions on how these wonderful activities work.

Musical Dice: Origami at it’s finest. This activity is fun until you get to the part you have to fold and glue. Be warned, it will get messy and you might be folding a lot of dice together but it will be a great reward after they are all done.

Here is the template to the dice from colormypiano.com: http://colorinmypiano.com/wp-content/files/Musical_Dice_BW.pdf 


  •     Coloring supplies
  •     Multiple copies of the blank template
  •     A few pairs of child scissors
  •     Glue or tape


  1.      Have students cut out the template first.
  2.      Color the dice making sure to draw a note or rest in each of the triangles.
  3.      Ask them to make a slight fold along each of the black lines and it will eventually take an 8 sided dice shape.
  4.      Glue and/or tape the small tabs on the template together and the result will be something like this:

Bubble Rap Rhythms: Thanks to my friend Julia for this station coming to life! The students found it so tempting to just pop all of the wrap so I could only put out enough for each group one at a time to save the squares of awesomeness. Luckily I’ve got some left over!!


  •   Squares of pre cut bubble wrap
  •   Handful of pencils
  •   Worksheet
  •   Boom whackers


  1.      Have students pop a pattern on the bubble wrap (Remind them to be picky about what they pop and not to pop it all!)
  2.      Transfer that pattern to a worksheet. ( I drew mine out onto half sheets dividing the bubbles into 4 beat measures). If the bubble is popped then the bubble on the sheet is filled in if it is not popped then it is left alone on the worksheet.
  3.      Have students finish the worksheet to the end even if the bubble wrap is done. After the worksheet is filled out they may pop any extra bubbles on their sheet of wrap and throw away.
  4.     Have them then practice clapping their beats. A filled in bubble is one quarter note and a bubble that is left alone is a quarter rest.
  5.     If they can clap their rhythm then have them move on to a boomwhacker to practice until time runs out!

So there you have it, centers are a lot of hard work to get ready but they are a blast to watch in action!  I still get excited for them because I’m pumped to have the opportunity to get my students working independently with the activities while I stroll around the room and have time for one on one instructional time.

3 thoughts on “A Roll of the Dice and a Pop of the Bubble

  1. How often and for how long do you see your students? Do you do Holiday and/or Spring programs? I love this idea of centers once a month, but can’t imagine having the time when trying to prepare for programs.

    • I actually have a weird schedule. I work at 2 different elem. schools and I switch between them every quarter so I see my students twice a week for 40 minutes every other quarter. What I actually do for shows is I keep grade levels to 1st and 2nd grades and then I have a fairly large grade 3-5 volunteer chorus at each school that meets once a week. I don’t do 3-5 grade level shows anymore after having huge arguments with the kids about it so I decided to make performing in an show voluntary for those grades. I have 6 performances total between both schools with the chorus programs as my spring performances, my Holiday program is not something I really count as one of my performances because it is a whole school sing along and story time that the whole staff helps put together.

  2. […] Centers: Post 1 Frosty MIOSM Post 2 I post a lot of center ideas, check out some different ideas for your own […]

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