Thursday, October 10, 2019

Make and Take Workshop

Recently I organized and hosted a workshop for our local Orff Chapter.  It wasn't my typical workshop of singing, speaking, moving, creating, and playing, but a Make and Take. The workshop was inspired by the St. Louis, MO chapter who hosted one last school year. 
A Make and Take workshop is where participants come to make manipulatives for the classroom, explore how to use them, and take them home.


 Our local chapter has been struggling for a few years and I was hoping this would bring our chapter together and boost membership.  It did- we had 37 teachers sign up and many new members!  
Interested in having a Make and Take Workshop?  Here is what I did:

1. It's All in the Details

Date of workshop, time (I would recommend 4 hours), and place.  You will need a space large enough for tables, chairs, and materials.  We used our library and it was a perfect space as there were auxiliary areas we could use for specific projects that needed hot glue.  We charged for materials only but wouldn't know the specific cost per person until everyone registered. There was a cut-off date for registration and we had several people inquire after the cut-off date.  I did not charge a fee for hosting or presenting so it truly was a "materials only" fee.  I let everyone know the cost would be no more than $40.00 per person and chose projects and materials accordingly. 

2. Project Choice

 I wanted a variety of projects that I use frequently and that students enjoy; some rhythmic, some melodic, games, instrument recognition, etc.  I also wanted some material heavy projects and some paper projects.  The participants needed to be able to take the items home immediately, so nothing that needed significant dry time (paint, wet glue, etc.).
I narrowed down my initial list to six projects with an "extra goodie" of some apple erasers:
No photo description available.
  • Top left corner - Bundles of Joy (activity from Artie Almeida) and Noteman (activity from local chapter members Shari and Ashley)
Materials:  150 pipe cleaners per person to make a class set of 25 Bundles, scissors, one large baggie.


  • Top right corner - Music Memory/Concentration Game


Materials:  Cardstock and 2 sets of (color) printed sheets of game pieces, glue stick, scissors, one small baggie.
Game pieces available with and without names of instruments:


  • Middle Right - Apple Erasers to use with song, "Apple Tree"
Materials: Apple erasers purchased from Target Dollar Spot, one small baggie.

  • Bottom Right - Rhythm Dice and Roll & Create Rhythm Worksheets (not pictured) 

Materials:  Foam Counting Dice - one pack per participant
 FREE download of Worksheets , Sharpies and small baggies.

  • Bottom Middle and Bottom Left - Rhythm and Melodic Monster Magnets

Original idea here from Elizabeth at Organized Chaos.

Materials:  Tin Cookie Sheet, 1/8" Grid Tape  , Magnet Circles(Or Pom Poms), Googly Eyes, Hot Glue (we used Gorilla Glue hot glue sticks).  Everyone made 8 cookie sheets with 64 magnets.  Each cookie sheet needed an accompanying baggie with 8 "monster magnets"; 3 eighth notes (2 small googly eyes on each), 3 quarter notes (1 big googly eye on each), and 2 rests (no googly eyes), scissors, hot glue guns.

  • Middle Left - Solfege Texting Sticks

Materials:  25 Large Craft Sticks per person, 2.5 pages of printed solfege papers, scissors, glue sticks, one small baggie.





  • Middle -  Kaboom Game

Materials:  One plastic cup per person, 25 regular colored craft sticks per person, ball point pens (sharpies bleed on the wooden craft sticks), one large baggie.

 3. Order Materials, Determine Costs Per Person.  I ordered everything myself as our chapter is struggling, then I communicated costs to all who had signed up and asked for payment.  Our costs came to $29.76 per person!  

4.  Helpers!

Get everything ready and try to separate as much as possible - I put the 64 magnets each in a big baggie and had helpers at the workshop an hour before to get everything laid out and separated so materials would be easy to pick up and count out.  I also put signs above each material to let people know what they would need and a visual of what the finished project should look like.

 5.  Participants Arrive

Once everyone was present, I quickly went over where materials were (scissors, glue, and pens/Sharpies were on a separate table, hot glue station was in a different room, etc.), showed the visuals, reviewed the projects and let them know we would spend the last 30 minutes going over materials and how they would be used. This 30 minute time at the end was when I went over the Apple Tree game with the apple erasers, demonstrated how they could also turn these into magnets by gluing mini magnets on the back and use the cookie sheet boards to show the melody. 
I also had a QR code to scan as participants came in which had a pdf of all directions, links to projects, visuals, and many extras to use to make more manipulatives at home.  This was helpful as several used this document throughout the workshop to make sure they understood the project directions and final product. 

It was a very successful workshop and I enjoyed the conversations with other music teachers. We rarely get time to sit and chat with each other and many others commented on how nice it was to have time to "talk shop" while at a workshop.  I encourage you to give it a go! 
Let me know if you have questions.

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