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Counting The Beat

The following examples of student work illustrate achievement at the mathematics standards for years 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The task used in this illustration was part of a music unit and was used to introduce the students to rhythmic notation before they composed a piece for percussion.

The task relates to achievement objectives for Number from the mathematics and statistics learning area in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Counting The Beat

Most pop songs and classical music pieces have an underlying crotchet beat or pulse.

1. With a classmate, use the symbols below to fill your 4 x 4 grid so that each square is the equivalent of a crotchet beat:

2. Clap through your grid, counting the underlying beat as you do so (that is, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4 …)
3. How many notes of each type would be used if your grid was clapped or played three times?

Some features of students’ work used to make judgments in relation to the mathematics standards are described below.