I let students loose and gave them the option of sitting in the hallway or in the classroom to work. I then offered students the chance to come to a mini-lesson on reading the note names using So-Mi-La. Most students chose to work on their orchestra instrument research, some students chose to research a composer of their choice, but I did have a handful choose to come to the mini-lesson. In the mini-lesson, we reviewed where to find mi and la if we knew where so was on the staff. Students were given a short song (Doggie Doggie) and asked to write in the notes where appropriate using S for So, M for Mi and L for La. Once they were finished writing in the notes, I had them go over to a colored xylophone to play through the song. They each used their own strategies to practice the rhythms and then added in playing the notes. They were told which key was So and then they figured out which were Mi and La. Over 80% of the students who chose to do this activity were able to play through the song without mistakes by the end of class using So- Mi- and La. I also put up a S-M-L listening game from SMARTExchange on the SMARTBoard for students to practice aurally identifying correct So-Mi-La patterns. The students seemed to really like this.
To get a flavor for what our classroom looked like and sounded like this morning, as well as to hear from students directly what they were working on and learning, feel free to skim through and watch the video below!