Archive for the ‘Assessment’ Category


St. Patrick’s Day Rhythm Identification

March 14, 2014

I mentioned before that I am not a big “holidays in the Music room” sort of person. I want the activities to add to my curriculum, not take time away from it. I found a cute way to sneak in a little St. Patty’s Day fun while staying on topic and not taking any extra time to introduce the holiday.

My Kindergarteners have recently learned ta (quarter note) and ta-ti (eighth notes.) They have been reading flash cards, writing/drawing the rhythms on dry erase boards*, and doing simple dictation with craft sticks.  They were ready to identify the pattern they heard performed from a selection of choices.

After perusing Pintrest and mulling over ideas, I had a brainstorm. Why not leprechaun gold? 


For this activity, I performed one of the six patterns and asked the students to find it on the page. They were instructed as to which color crayon to use for each turn. This made it VERY easy to look around the circle and see who was correctly identifying the rhythms.


For the first three turns I clapped and spoke the pattern using rhythm syllables. To amp up the rigor, the last three patterns were only clapped. Most of the kids found the patterns very quickly. When there were only two patterns left, I asked the students to articulate how they were different. (ie. “One pattern starts with ta and the other one starts with ta-ti.”)  Since I do not give report card grades to Kinder, I sent the completed worksheets home with instructions to read all of the rhythms to their families. (Five-year-olds think getting Music homework is the coolest thing EVER.) If I were to do this worksheet with the older classes, to whom I do give grades, I would likely do the same. I would simply look around the circle to quickly mark down the names of those who did not accurately identify all of the patterns, and how many were correct. I would only have had one or two children whom I would have needed to make a note about. 

Interested in this worksheet and versions including other rhythms?  Check them out on my TpT page. It’s a freebie!


Student Self-Assessment

January 29, 2014

Wow! This poor blog. So neglected. I do have a good reason.  🙂  After getting married this past summer, the school year kicked off with a bang. I discovered the first week of school that I am pregnant!!! Needless to say, I have been a bit consumed with that, on top of all the normal school year craziness.

I’ve been busy in the classroom implementing new ideas and utilizing all sorts of manipulatives. I thought I would mark my return to this blog by sharing one of these new ideas. I can’t take full credit for this. It is really a combination of ideas that I found on Pintrest. (Oh, Pintrest, how I love thee!)

Student self-assessment; so incredibly important, yet even more neglected than this blog. It is a facet of of student learning that I tend to push of for “next time.” Of course, “next time” rarely comes along. I am making a concerted effort to make the time since returning from winter break. So far I have tried two different approaches that I feel have been quite successful.

1) Self-assessment at the conclusion of a group project. The students had just created and performed a composition in Rondo form. They had worked in groups of four students. Each group had been given an identical set of hand percussion on which to perform. Using iPads, I video recorded each group’s performance. The groups then watched their own performance on the iPad. (I am lucky that we have an entire class set of the devices, se each performance was recorded on a different iPad.) Upon viewing their performance, the students completed a reflection worksheet. This form is adapted from two different ones I had found online. I like that there is a quick rating system for overall assessment, but I was also able to include a constructive written reflection. It is worded in such a way that the students can celebrate success, but also set a higher goal for themselves in the future. This activity gives the students an opportunity to watch their own performance (which rarely happens) and asks them to reflect on their process.

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2) Knowledge Acquisition Check-In.  My 3rd graders have been working on learning the absolute letter names of the notes on the music staff. We have been doing all sorts of activities (poems, flash cards, spelling words on the staff, memory games, iPad games, etc.) to reinforce this learning. As part of their music centers this past week, the student completed a letter naming worksheet. When they completed the assignment they turned in their paper at the Self-Assessment Board.

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Each folder corresponds to a level of understanding that is outlined on a poster that hangs next to the folders. This is such a simple way to check in with the students regarding how comfortable they are with a given element presented in class. I have seen teachers use this as a place to turn in Exit Ticket activities, as well. As you can see, a few of my students were very honest about how they felt. It confirmed my suspicions regarding how well they understood the material. Better yet, it takes no more time than handing the paper in to the teacher or placing in a completed work bin.

Have you implemented self-assessment strategies in your classroom? If so, what have you done that has proven successful?

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