New Teacher Evaluations

Frontpage Forums Band New Teacher Evaluations

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #13145

    As you may know already, there are new teacher evaluation requirements that rely on student growth outcomes. What are you doing to measure student growth this year? Are you conducting pre and post tests like core subject areas? My administrators are requiring us to have pre and post test data related to our classes. This is not new to the core subject areas, but is new to others like music and art. I am struggling with this and would like to gather some ideas related to this. Thanks!


    This year, I started to keep developmental records on my junior high students. I see grades 6-8 in one band, and keeping strict records of individual student progress will allow me to give them better formal assessments. There are six levels of proficiency on my checklists- the first is for beginners and the sixth would be for super amazing achievers. It’s basically a checklist that describes what students should know or be able to do at that level (tone, scales, articulation, sight reading, understanding terms, etc). I used to assign playing tests based on grade, but I think this will ensure that students are being assessed at an appropriate level, not at the level they “should” be in a certain grade. This checklist (which I adapted from the one used in the La Crosse, WI school district) also lets me see where the deficiencies in my teaching are. I am using some pre- and post- tests to assess some of these areas, but not very much. The checklists include a place to put the date that a student demonstrated their ability or knowledge to me.

    I should also tell you that I’m still finding out where my students fall in the developmental levels. It’s taking some time to sort everything out, but in the long run, I think we will all find it beneficial.


    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.


    I used a rubric for my beginning 6th grade flute, clarinet and trumpet class. It used 6 areas – Rhythm, Articulation, Dynamics, Phrasing, Tone Quality.
    Then there was a rating of 1 with these descriptors
    Five or more inaccurate notes.
    Five or more inaccurate rhythms. Major rhythm/beat problems.
    The articulations were not played correctly at all.
    None of the dynamics are played.
    None of the phrasing is correct.
    Tone is not clear, controlled or supported.

    2 was
    Three or four inaccurate notes.
    Three or four inaccurate rhythms. The beat is often unsteady.
    The articulations are inconsistent. Some of the articulation markings are played correctly.
    Some of the dynamics are played.
    Some of the phrasing was correct.
    Tone is fuzzy, sometimes uncontrolled, and needs MUCH more air support.

    3 was
    One or two inaccurate notes.
    One or two inaccurate rhythms. The beat is sometimes unsteady.
    The articulations are inconsistent. Most of the markings are played correctly.
    Most of the dynamics are played.
    Most of the phrasing was correct.
    Tone is mostly clear, controlled, and could use more air support.

    4 was
    Notes are consistently accurate.
    All rhythms are played correctly. The beat is steady.
    All of the articulation markings (staccato, slurs, accents, etc.) are played correctly.
    All of the dynamics are played. They are obvious and consistent.
    The phrase marks were always played.
    Tone is consistently clear, controlled, and has full air support.

    Since I did the pre-test after they had only learned 3 notes, they obviously scored a 1 in each category. I told them that it was okay to fail since they had not learned enough to play the exercise successfully (I used beginning method book exercise that I would use around January-February).
    In January we will do the mid-year assessment and after the spring concert will do the final assessment.

    My goal was “By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, 100% of the 4B Beginning 6th grade Band class will score at least a score of 18 on a rubric scale of 24.” My strategy for achieving the goal was that in regular classroom instruction, the notes, rhythms, articulations, tone quality and dynamics would be learned in order for them to do an exercise (by the end of the year) that they would regulary perform mid-year.

    Good luck!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • The forum ‘Band’ is closed to new topics and replies.