K-5 Learning Targets: An important reality of the job.

Frontpage Forums General Music K-5 Learning Targets: An important reality of the job.

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    It is important that your students walk into your room every day, with you having carefully prepared the next lesson for them. What is sometimes missing from K-5 Music lessons (as we are such a performance-based class, aren’t we!?) is the need to clearly state and write out your learning targets. This practice is not new for your gen-ed colleagues, but has become more a “new thing” for some music teachers.

    First, you should identify the kind of learning target your are teaching towards, and have it relate DIRECTLY to the specific national standard(s) you are addressing….
    The various learning target types are:
    1. Knowledge Level: represents factual knowledge, from memory, procedural knowledge, explaining a concept. BE WARY of using the word “understands”.
    2. Reasoning Level: represents a student’s thought processes, such as execute, predict, infer, compare, hypothesize, critique, evaluate, etc…
    3. Skill Level: represents a real-time demonstration or physical performance. All performances must have a quality rubric attached and taught to students.
    4. Product Level: represents an actual physical product produced by the student.

    Next, be sure to clarify and define any potentially confusing words for students.

    Lastly, convert the learning target into student-friendly language. Keep it simple.

    Here are some examples: (Today, I am learning to… or I can…)
    I can tell when music is fast or slow. This means I know when music is fast like a (insert rabbit picture), or slow like a (insert turtle picture).
    I can use music vocabulary to describe what I hear.
    I can use music vocabulary to explain what I like or don’t like.
    I can demonstrate appropriate audience etiquette.
    I can identify instruments, their families, and their ensembles.


    Val Ellett
    Northwest Division Representative
    NAfME Council for General Music Education (NCGME)

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