The "Count It" Series - Very Easy
The following files are full band exercises specifically designed to work on counting skills. The notes tend to stay in an easy range, where the rhythms are designed to test and improve counting skills.
Try this... take a class that knows all of these concepts. Give them a click on the metronome or other steady pulse (NO CONDUCTING) and see if the students can play it correctly from beginning to end correctly. This can let you know how solid the rhythmic reading is!
Sight-Reading Bootcamp - Easy to Medium Easy
The following files are unison exercises that I cooked up to prepare students for the sight-reading component of Region/Honor/All-State Band Auditions. I typically make only enough copies to pass out to the students, go through a sheet a day, and go through the process of HOW to effectively sight-read. You could also use these to teach concepts much like you would use a method book. If nothing else, its new notes to put in front of your students.
Essential Etudes for the Full Band - Easy to Medium Easy
This set of three etudes (for the full band) is designed to let you know which students are reading notes and rhythms correctly. It specifically works on sustained notes and rests. If students aren't counting correctly, these pieces will sound quite bad...these are NOT intuitive in the sense that most entrances are on 1 and 3, etc. I always pull this out as a reading exercise a few months before Concert Festival. It lets me know just how well I've taught rhythm!
Articulations and Dynamics
These three short etudes go beyond just working on rhythmic reading. Each etude highlights a different aspect of technique young musicians will need in various pieces of music. These are great to work up in about a week. I usually pass these out before handing out concert music.
Mini Etudes for the Full Band
These etude sets are for the developing band looking for some quick reads to developing some higher level reading and sight-reading skills. Each set contains several "mini" etudes that focus on a different element of rhythmic reading, with each etude varying keys often seen in developing bands (though the main focus of these is reinforcing the rhythmic vocabulary). I like to spend about a week on each set.. great for playing tests or pass-offs.
Count. Play. Level Up.
Count Play Level Up is another resource for teaching rhythmic reading. For now, it is very basic. I plan on continuing to write this until it gets quite advanced. My reasoning behind writing these exercises is that method books don't tend to reinforce concepts as much as needed. Count Play Level Up is a great resource to accompany the method book and for students to have a daily (or every few days) reminder of basic techniques and habits introduced in the method book. The exercises are slowly progressive-emphasis on slowly.
These exercises can also be used to simply see test how well the students are retaining concepts. Give an easier set to an older group and see if they make any mistakes. I also like to use these exercises to teach cut-time. Just play them twice as fast and teach how differently the eyes move and that the pulse is on 1 and 3.