Data-generating assessments, Rubrics, and SLOs
Date: September 18, 2013
Greetings from Wisconsin! I'm a first year teacher in an 8th and 9th grade choral classroom. I write in hopes of learning from your collective knowledge about data-generating assessments. The school will be initiating a new "Educator Effectiveness" development plan next year built on a foundation of trackable student progress generated from assessment data. What used to be called "teacher observation," while still recognized as an invaluable assessment tool in the classroom, does not provide the evidence necessary. My questions are fairly specific; however, feel free to answer as broadly or detailed as you wish. In addition, feel free to pose new questions I may have otherwise forgotten.
-What skills in the rehearsal are able to be tested *effectively* with pencil and paper? (**Effectively: Writing down that a half-note is equal to two quarter notes is probably something that could be tested on paper. When I ask aloud, they all seem to know the answer. However, when practicing rhythm or engaged in our repertoire, they sometimes have more "creative" ideas on how long a half note is. Off of the same idea, the fact that a student can identify "mi re do" on paper is one skill, but the more masterful skill (and one that, to me, is evident of progress) is whether or not they sing the correct pitches when they know the syllables they should be singing are "mi re do." Does that make sense?)
-What skills in the rehearsal are only effectively measured and tracked objectively in a one-on-one session, student and teacher? With each skill, what do you find to be the most efficient and effective way to measure these skills? (I would love to take each student individually and practice/assess rhythm, sight-singing, and vocal technique on a regular basis in order to track development, but as we know, this is an impossibility.)
***A note on this one - The district does subscribe to SmartMusic, and upon installation of a SmartBoard, I hope to develop an effective means to show students how to practice/take assessments on pitch and rhythm. Feel free to include ways you incorporate SmartMusic into assessment.
These assessments are dependent on "learning targets" or "Student Learning Outcomes" (SLOs). The district has an excellent model of SLOs in place, but we also believe that the effective program is constantly and critically reflective, so anything you'd like to share on this topic is also welcome.
Finally, if this is something others are interested in, I would be happy to learn how to use the "cloud" or some free, private (or public, I suppose) online storage (something like Google Drive/Docs?) to create an "Assessment and Rubric Warehouse" where we able able to share tools we use in the classroom as an aid to each other.
Thank you -- Hope everyone's year is off to a great start!
D.C. Everest School District
Junior High Choirs