We also know that Level 4 of the all important Danielson Rubric requires Student Assessment, Student Rubrics, and Student Designed Learning.
In a music class which is very teacher centered by nature I am making a big leap to give students control of their grade this year.
I will establish five assignments in my gradebook:
- Performing/Responding (40%). This is all the instrument specific stuff and the listening/writing/responding.
- Sight-reading (20%). Sight-reading tests, ear training, and dictation.
- Music Theory (10%). Vocabulary, chords, scales, harmony, etc...
- Concerts (20%)
- Participation (10%). I felt strongly I needed a column for professional responsibilities which might include having your instrument, designing a practice plan, supporting classmates, etc..
Now here is where things will get crazy:
- Every two weeks the student will summarize their learning in each category. They will review teacher based assessments, student designed goals, and assign a grade. I will review and conference with student if needed.
- This grade will be put into the gradebook. The gradebook will reset each marking period.
- So...the assignments will be static--but I will edit the grades bi-monthly with the student assigned grade.
- There will be a ton of assessments archived in MusicFirst, Google, etc... We will assess constantly--but grade only every two weeks.
Some things I hope:
- That students begin to create their own assessments and learning. If I was a player in a great band the band director would lead rehearsal--but I would lead the learning. I would figure out what to do be ready for next rehearsal.
- That students and parents have a much better understanding of what they are doing in class.
- That we do not let school "run us over". That students realize they can control so much.
This is a grand experiment. I am sure I will screw up something. But at least we are trying!