Carpet Squares for Working With Groups

Many months ago, I bought a bunch of carpet square samples from a flooring store.  Even though I was still in grad school at the time and didn’t have any real use for them (yet), I had a plan for them.  And they were incredibly cheap.  :)

During last week’s Piano Readiness Class, I got to try them out for the first time!  I put out three squares for my students and myself to sit on while doing activities on the floor.

Here’s what I liked about them: 

  • They are much softer to sit on than the hardwood floor that is in my studio.
  • I could create a circle with the squares, and they instantly knew where to sit.
  • It was easy to transition from an at-the-piano activity to the floor again, because they knew exactly where to sit and liked returning to “their square.”
  • Each student has his/her own space and “personal zone.”  This might help prevent students from touching/distracting each other.
  • I can make the circle tighter or looser as needed, for different games/activities.

I decided to buy all different colors of carpet squares, hoping I could come up with a game dealing with colors (I haven’t yet – let me know if you have one!).  It occurred to me that some students might fight over which color they wanted, but that hasn’t happened so far.  Hopefully, it won’t.  :)

Anyway, I just thought I’d share my photo and ask if anyone else has used carpet squares for group lessons before, and how well it has been working for them?

PG
Joy Morin is a piano teacher in Perrysburg, Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1115 posts here.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted 12 September 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Hi
    I have used mats for many years for my group lessons. But over the years the girls always wanted the pink one, so I got rid of it. Then there was always another colour that one student had that another student had. So I went to Ikea and bought 10 yellow mats. Problem solved.
    Lois

  2. Aleta
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I wanted to have a “gameboard” to use with various games. I laminated 9×12 inch multicoloured construction paper, taped together 5 or 7 at a time and now have a movable floor gameboard. Used it at music camp to introduce note and rest values. My helper invented a game using addition/subtraction of note values (I think from Sing a New Song website). You could do something like that with your carpet tiles, too – just need to secure to floor so they don’t slip. Be careful about double-faced tape you use; I couldn’t remove it easily from tile floor.

  3. Posted 12 September 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Wow, I just had a flashback to grade 2! We had carpet squares in the “reading corner”.

  4. Kat Osborne
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    As a reward for a successful group session, you must play a form of musical chairs. Kids will love jumping to their square. It can even be played by sitting cross-legged on squares instead of standing.

  5. Bethany S
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Carpet squares are fantastic. I used something of the sort when I taught General Music.

    I would love to know more about your curriculum and such with your piano readiness class. I have considered adding one to my studio and would love to hear what you do.

    Always inspiring. Thank you.

  6. Tish
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve also used carpet squares as a foot rest for my younger students. If you don’t have an adjustable bench, carpet squaresy are easy to add or subtract from the pile for the perfect height of their little legs. Students ask for them all the time if I forget to pull them out.

  7. Posted 16 September 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Lois: great idea! Hehe, I did very much the same.

    I teach preschool music classes, and the carpet squares have been a lifesaver, literally. They all know exactly where to sit each time and are far less likely to fight with each other when they have their own space. And although it would be fun to do games with the different colors, I’d say having them all one color is *not* a bad idea…you could then almost hide different colored note cards under them for some type of game (which would unfortunately only work once, though).

  8. Maria
    Posted 18 September 2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I teach preschool music as well, and I use woven placemats (for the table) on the floor, to help the little guys know where to sit, keep a nice circle, etc. At the end of class, helping to roll them up and build a woodpile with the mats is a good job for one of my kinesthetic, wiggly little boys and makes him feel important.

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