Reply To: New Teacher Evaluations

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We had to start this process last year (and it was thrown at us at kind of the last minute)… Last year, we just had to choose once class to provide assessment data for. It didn’t necessarily have to be a pre-/post-test kind of situation, but if we had data on a particular skill that was assessed and then later in the year a similar skill or the same skill at a more advanced level for comparison that’s kind of what they were looking for. Performance assessment rubrics were acceptable as data, as long as there was an explanation of what the number for each level/benchmark of the rubric means–and the skill being assessed fits in with a state standard. I used my first grade classes… I had assessed them near the beginning of the year on accuracy in performing the resting tone (one of our state standards) of a familiar song in major tonality, and then later in the year I had data when they were assessed singing the resting tone of an unfamiliar song in minor tonality. Fortunately for my data-reporting purposes, the overall accuracy increased between the first time and the second time and met my goal of 80% students showing proficiency by the end of the school year (increased from 66% to 81%).

This is what I submitted to my district (which I think they had to submit to the state–our district is one of 11 districts piloting a teacher evaluation system for the state, so we have to provide info to the state):

Grade 1 Music

1.3.2.B.4 Vocalize the home tone of familiar and unfamiliar songs.

Skills and Knowledge:
Students must know that the resting tone or home tone is the sound around which a song is centered.
Students must be able to audiate (internally hear) and to perform this sound or with accurate pitch using
their singing voices.

Assessment Rubric:
3 (Proficient) — Student performs resting tone using a singing voice with accurate pitch.
2 (Partially Proficient) — Student performs using a singing voice, but resting tone pitch is not accurate.
1 (Not Proficient) — Student does not use a singing voice to perform (uses a speaking voice timbre).

80% of students will demonstrate proficiency in performing the resting tone by the end of 1st grade.

Lesson Objectives/Activity Descriptions:
1. In between repetitions of a familiar song sung by the class, students will individually perform the resting
tone or home tone of the song on a neutral syllable (‘bum’) on the teacher’s cue.
2. In between repetitions of a new or unfamiliar song sung by the teacher, students will individually perform
the resting tone or home tone of the song on a neutral syllable (‘bum’) on the teacher’s cue.

Then below this I had a spreadsheet listing each student’s name and their scores (3, 2, or 1) on the two assessments, and the percentage of students who showed proficiency in each assessment. For this year, I will be doing something similar for each grade, maybe picking 2-3 different skills that they’re assessed on. This is actually stuff I had already been doing, as I’ve been using performance rubrics for assessments towards their report card grades anyway… I just need to make sure that I remember to re-assess them on the same or a similar skill later in the year, which should be no biggie because I usually do that anyway.

For more advanced skills and older students, you could assess their performance of a particular rhythm pattern at different points in the year, playing a passage with a steady tempo, their intonation, or whatever is important to your curriculum, or you could compare the performance of a familiar song with a particular rhythm or notes with sightreading new material using the same rhythms/notes later in the year. Make up a rubric that reflects different levels of performance and keep a spreadsheet of their rubric scores.