SUMMARY:When the results of formative assessment reveal that a student isn’t learning, I want to problem solve strategies to help the struggling student see some success and achieve the set objective. The student(s) will need differentiated instruction, scaffolding, a modified assignment, or supplemental material. For example, I recently taught a lesson to a class of four and five year olds. I told the story of the history of the song “Hot Cross Buns,” then we practiced singing it. We applied the Kerwin Solfege hand signs to the notes and the children all were able to participate successfully. Later, when I introduced the bells, some students could play it easily, while others struggled.
Some aspects of music assessment simply reveal that more practice is needed, being that musical performance a skill that must be developed through practice and repetition. From my assessment, it seemed that the children understood the lyrics and the notes being used in the song, as well as the rhythm.
But many couldn’t apply the concepts to the bells. Upon assessment, I decided to restructure the grouping. The original grouping consisted of 6 children playing the song with 3 bells each while others sing, use solfege handsigns, and play percussion with jingle bells). I restructured the grouping so that there was a “DO” group, “RE” group, and a “MI” group.
Even transitioning into groups turned into a fun game that reinforced the objective of “Pitch.” The kids stood in the back of the room and I called them one-by-one and told them a pitch name. Then they had to find the correct bell according to their pitch group.
When the students were only playing one bell, all the students were successful and worked together to play the song. In the end, the objective was met and the students were engaged and had fun.
In order to help the students reflect on their learning, I took a video of them playing “Hot Cross Buns” and shared it with them for self evaluation.