Embedding Carol Dwek’s ‘Growth Mindset’ into the culture of your classroom or ensemble creates fertile ground for the powerful impact of Dylan Wiliam’s ‘Formative Assessment’ strategies. Learn how the ‘Which One?’ activity and ‘Let’s Check’ strategies invite students to show their learning and share their thinking.
Hi music colleague. Thanks for dropping in.
Recently, I discussed Dylan Williams work on Formative Assessment and how impactful that’s been in my teaching, and it works brilliantly but needs to have the growth mindset embedded in the classroom culture to be effective. This growth mindset needs to be established so that you can rely on what you’re seeing out there rather than them thinking. ‘I’ll just give the answer that the cleverest student in the class is giving because I don’t want to make a mistake’.
They’re always right. So they’re not always right, and you need to point that out, but it’s more that the students really need to feel confident that they are welcome to make mistakes and that is a learning opportunity for everyone. I saw this embedded in the culture in a classroom in London when I went to do some observation and crikey it was a joy to see their students going yep. I made a mistake, yep that was me, and it made me realise how important that is to establish.
So in the which one strategy which I’ve been referring to students will have done some repertoire with their, with the rhythmic content and revise that then they’re going to perform each rhythm separately saying the rhythm names clapping it. Then the teacher will say which one and ask the students to show their learning one two three or four. The students will then have an opportunity to close their eyes before they show their learning, in that way you can confirm that it’s their thinking not someone else’s. Once we’ve done the which one, then, the important step happens. Let’s check now, this is the learning opportunity, you say let’s check I see twos threes and fours, so the students will perform number two while you perform number four which was the one you performed. It’s a great idea, even if everyone is on board with the same answer, to actually say I see twos and fours as a way of confirming the learning.
So I hope that tip’s really helpful. Happy teaching!