Ashley Hall's Professional Education Portfolio

K-12 Certified Music Educator

Substandard C

4. EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Management and monitoring of time, relationships, students, and classrooms to enhance learning, including the ability to:

c. Construct a learning environment and grading process where both teacher and students have high expectations and mutually understand what is expected of each other to foster optimal achievement of all students;

This substandard addresses the teacher’s ability to organize and maximize their student’s learning environment to include an appropriate grading process and space for individual and cooperative learning activities. This substandard also addresses the teacher’s ability to communicate the high expectations that come from this type of grading process and promote the high achievement of every student.

In marching band, students begin the memorization process in July during band camp. At Pennfield, as is with most districts, students will sight read through possible music selections and a program will be put together by the director. Come time for band camp, the students will receive their own copy of each song for their own personal use. On the songs, the directions of their marching drill will be written. Come beginning of October, the music will be put aside and the show performed from memory (depending on the difficulty of the show and music, this deadline can come anytime after mid-September).

As part of the memorization process at Pennfield, we have “Memorization Quizzes.” Just as the title indicates, the students are responsible for playing a specific selection from memory for a letter grade. To keep the grading fair and not to single out one student in front of the ensemble, we have the students play the song in their squads (four students that have been grouped together since band camp) while the rest of the band plays quietly behind them. We individually assess squad by slowing walking past the group, listening to each individual performer without the need to single them out. We also have the students play spread out on the marching field, grouped only by their squad, so as not to be too close to any other sections and to have to worry about being judged by another student. We do this so as to make the assessment process as “user friendly” for the band members as possible and, as is the policy in all the band ensembles at Pennfield, a student can redo their grade at any time before the end of the semester for an improved grade.

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