When I first posted Rhythm Pizza it was one of my most popular printables. Teachers from all around the world wrote to me about how using this hands-on approach helped teach rhythm values. Over the years it seems to be forgotten, buried in long ago posts. You can find the original post here.
After I shared my frustrations in trying to cut circles in foam board, one teacher left a comment that it would have been easier for me to cut it with kitchen shears. Also if foam board sounds too hard to use, try gluing it to sheets of craft foam, which unlike foam board, is really easy to cut. Or you can just laminate and use it without the 3-D effect. However, gluing it to foam board really makes it easier for children to manipulate.
Anyway, I hope you will give it a try because it is really a great way to explain note values to children who haven’t learned fractions yet. If you’ve ever asked a student how many quarter notes is equal to a half note and received a blank stare, you know what I mean. If they are in elementary school, it could be they have not yet been introduced to the concept of fractions, so you have to do that. Piano teachers are so used to gifted children that sometimes we forget many children don’t learn fractions until 4th grade. Rhythm Pizza works really well to get the concept across, plus you are giving them a head start in math. If students learn what notes equal instead of how many beats the notes receive, then it works for all time signatures. Two eighths always equals one quarter note.
We all learn in our own time.