Traditional method books did work for us, so I designed a beginning band method that allows students to be successful with our schedule.
I teach 60+ 5th graders daily, all at once, for 40 minutes. I wanted to design a curriculum that focused on playing folk tunes that the kids would know. This curriculum introduces 8ths and 16th notes, as well at 2/4, 4/4, 3/4, & 6/8 time signatures. It also introduces tetrachord scales.
White Belt - Mouthpiece sounds and instrument assembly
Yellow Belt - Play by Ear - Twinkle Twinkle. One note at a time.
Orange Belt - 5 note scale, Merrily We Roll Along, Au Claire De La Lune
Red Belt - Hot Cross Buns, Twinkle Twinkle. 4 note scale
Green Belt - Are You Sleeping? The Victors, Bb Tetrachord
Blue Belt - Tom Dooley, Aura Lee, F Tetrachord
Purple Belt - This Old Man (partner song), Old Brass Wagon (partner song), Eb Tetrachord
Brown Belt - Paw Paw Patch (partner song), Bow Belinda (partner song), C Tetrachord
Black Belt - Amazing Grace, Row Row Row Your Boat, Ab Tetrachord
This system can be used as the focus of your elementary band, or it can be used as a supplement.