Accountability, consistency, data, evidence– these are some of the words that are shaping expectations for assessment in our music classrooms. More than ever before, schools and parents are seeking concrete evidence to demonstrate what students are, or aren’t, learning. This shift doesn’t need to make life more difficult for elementary music teachers, though. A strong, well-organized assessment system can bring numerous benefits.
If your music class assessments are not exactly systematic or unified, you aren’t alone. Assessments are often developed in isolation, for one class and for one unit at a time, especially if you are teaching music at multiple grade levels. Comparing students’ performance on various assessments throughout the school year can be like comparing apples to oranges, and some music assessments can be hard to grade objectively.
If you want to introduce more consistency and unity to your assessment process, check out Emily Conroy’s Music Assessments Bundled for K-5th Grades. An especially great value for multi-grade teachers, this bundle provides 74 different assessments for the six grade levels included. Assessments address a number of commonly taught skills at each grade level. (Follow the link below to the product page to see a list of the different skills assessed at each grade level.)
Print Music Lesson Plan Assessments
74 printer-friendly music assessments for kindergarten-5th grade music students (PDF )
One cumulative assessment for each grade level which may be used as a pre/post assessment.
Cover and Instruction Pages for each grade level
So what’s to gain from implementing a new assessment plan?
First, you may gain a clearer sense of your students’ and classes’ strong and weak areas. Having a better picture of what your students actually understand can only help you meet their needs. In addition, you’ll be able to communicate much more meaningfully about students’ progress and needs. Instead of trying to defend your opinion or impression of a student’s achievement, you’ll have something firm to point to.
Installing a consistent, unified assessment system can also help you track students’ performance throughout school years and even across grade levels. Finally, good assessments can help you plan well. It’s easier to decide how to spend each class period when you know where you want to end up.
Reviewers agree that Ms. Conroy’s organized, well-designed, and progressive assessments provide just the type of evidence they need to demonstrate student learning. If you are looking for a way to improve and structure assessments in your elementary music classroom, look no further.
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