Parts of a Whole

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SYNTHESIZING, ANALYZING AND CREATING
SMALL GROUP INITIATIVES – APPLYING PRACTICE

We shift from being teacher focused at the board to small group student focused allowing for more group problem solving. Students huddle together and Eduardo says, “We need to figure out how to make 4/8, 8/16, 2/4 equal half a measure.”
“First we have to reduce the fraction,” responds Vivian. Eventually they come to the conclusion that every combination they have created equals “1/2.”

We incorporate the knowledge we have gained so far into constructing individual compositions. Students are comfortable calculating fractions and converting them to musical notations. We have invested considerable time and energy into arriving at this moment where students can problem solve and translate between these two different languages. “When I think about my students revisiting fractions in the future, this visceral and aural experience will have been embedded in their sensory memory. Working toward the goal of individual creation will solidify this experience.”

The students take time to work collectively constructing small group rhythms using 4-count measures. The result is a fruitful play in experimentation. Student groups take turns performing for the whole class to finally experience the sounds of their unique combination of musical notes.

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