Monday, 19 November 2012

Descriptive Feedback in the Music Classroom

One thing that I have always loved about being a Music teacher is how much direct feedback I give my students every day. "Sit up straight," "Use more air," "I love how clear your tone is!" What I also love is how students will use that feedback right away and see results. 

My Grade 6 class has been working on giving each other descriptive feedback after viewing presentations. The students completed a "Two Stars and a Wish" sheet (photo to come) for another student and used the Descriptive Feedback chart to the right to structure their feedback. The students then revised their presentations and shared again. This descriptive feedback chart came from a lesson I found on the OMEA site. Teaching students how to give this type of feedback is definitely a process but I am hoping that they will be able to move away from comments like "That was great!" and "You were awesome!" Maybe not move away completely because I do like appreciation but create more constructive comments. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Learning Goals

Report cards are done. Parent-Teacher interviews are this week. Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on what I have been teaching my students and how well they are learning. 

One thing I have seen on Pinterest and have been able to use successfully has been my Learning Goals chart (see below). 

This idea originally came from Music with Mrs. Dennis' blog. I didn't have a pocket chart so I used some chalkboard markers to write the grade levels and just stuck it on one of my chalkboards. I tend to update it at the beginning of each week by looking at the learning goals on my lesson plan using dry-erase markers. Each grade is a different colour, of course!

Charts and posters can become wallpaper. I am learning that I have to train my students to use the anchor charts and learning tools I put up around the room. Otherwise they do not see them as tools to help them with their learning. At the beginning of each lesson I ask my students what our learning goals are for the period as I gesture towards the Learning Goals board. It helps focus their attention and hopefully activate any background knowledge they may have or spawn some questions.