Thanks for visiting the official Beat Blocks blog!
The idea of using blocks for rhythm dictation is all over the internet now (although you may notice I published it in Music K-8 years ago.....), but often stops only with rhythm. Why not build up as well? Music functions in layers, with multiple layers of rhythms plus melodies, chords, and dynamics. Beat Blocks are built so that even the littlest of hands can manipulate them and explore concepts previously thought beyond their comprehension.
I use Mega Bloks for my blocks for many reasons. First of all, they're big. They're easy to find, hard to lose, and even students with low motor skills can easily notate with them. Secondly, THEY MAKE SENSE. One bump is one beat. The end. One bump doesn't mean two eighth note beats, as Duplo and other systems allow for. With younger students that doesn't make sense, nor does the fact that it is two beats wide.... it just leads to a lot of conversations that defeat the purpose of a simple manipulative. Using the shorter bases as metered measures allows students to mix and match notation to find what combinations can fit within a measure, something that paper and pencil don't allow. I can easily write a whole note in the same space as an eighth note if I want to. And how do I know what notes I'm dealing with? There are a lot to choose from.... oh! The teacher only gives out the notes that are appropriate to the exercise. If you're working on syncopation, the teacher adds a syncopa block to the set that day! If you're working with the chords C, F, and G, you'll find only those chord tones included in the set.
It's really a no-fail system. I hope you find it useful. I'm not out for your money but I do have sets available online if crafting isn't your thing or you don't have time, or just download the labels I've already formatted and go crazy with some mod podge (dont use nail polish - it's toxic but mod podge is not!)
Check back often for more updates. As I use them I'll post new ideas and please send me ways you use them too!