Episode 4 – Introduction to Formative Assessment

Join Ruth for some super effective formative assessment strategies for the classroom and rehearsal room. Formative Assessment informs the teacher as to where students are in their learning and in this way drives the pace of curriculum implementation. 

Video Transcription

Hi music colleagues. Ruth here from Take Note Music. Thanks for dropping in.

I want to share with you another way to maximise your teaching effectiveness in the classroom and in ensemble rehearsals. It’s the work of Dylan William formative assessment and combined with explicit questioning is an amazing tool to give teachers feedback on where the students are in their learning. I call it ‘show me you’re learning’ with the students, and it’s useful for prep through to adult learners. It engages all learners in the class instead of just one. You don’t have to call on one student for an answer. You don’t have to wait for the loudest, quickest, cleverest musicians to be answering. It gives time for all students to be engaged in the learning. 

Sometimes you’ll be asking the students, do you need more time to think? And in this way the more reserved students or the slower thinkers or students who just need a little more time to think are still engaged and given the opportunity to show where they are. There are various ways for students to show their learning. The first one is an either or, so am I performing the beat or the rhythm. The beat or the rhythm. Is the new note, a step-up, or a skip up. A step-up or a skip up. Then you can go into using numbers, so students can show one two or three as to which rhythm you clap or which melody you clap.

The third way is to identify the form you can use. A B C was the next phrase A B or C. Higher or lower. Do you agree or disagree. Agree or disagree. Formative assessment is fantastic for large groups of students. All students can show their answers in an ensemble setting and be engaged then in all the learning, it is so important for teachers to have this feedback so that they know when to move on in the curriculum. In preparation lessons, in the teacher book, the step-by-step guide is informed by this feedback, and therefore it is integral to determine the pace of your curriculum implementation. I encourage you to implement this and see for yourself. Happy teaching!

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