Professional Practice Inclusive practice Strategic Development of Classroom Environment Classroom Learning Routines Use of Technologies Wide Range

of Literacy and Communication Styles Scheduling Methods of Inclusion Classroom Set-up

Learning Centres Technologies List Graphic Organizer

Literacy-focussed, crosscurricular timetable Big Ideas StrategyClustering curriculum expectations Creation of an Exemplar Diagnostic Assessment

Unit Plan Development

Use of Exemplars Reflection on Diagnostic Assessment Reflection Explanation of Items

Progress Report 3 Rationale

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Some Thoughts on Inclusion: Upon entering a classroom, students must feel safe and at ease. These are some defining characteristics of a “utopia.” I think of this before I think of terms such as “diversity” or “learning challenges,” and in this regard, efforts towards inclusion are for the benefit of all students. Some of the most practical examples of inclusive strategies, routines, and policies include:  Developing a sense of community by putting a cyclical list of jobs to be performed by a handful of students. Feeding the fish, watering plants, erasing the board, straightening desks, and handing out papers are all jobs which need to be done. Group incentives always help this go smoothly. Labeling as many classroom spaces or items as possible helps students learn where to return items, look for them, submit papers, or help themselves and be more independent. Stations, such as the newspaper, “Please Cut These For Your Teacher” folders, or even an ongoing chess game for passers-by can give students something to do during those awkward downtimes. Students often want to feel comfortable just hanging around, but don’t want to feel pressured to start up conversations or act goofy. Provide times for sharing experiences, hobbies, and cool discoveries regularly and in addition to the routines. Students love to share but often are discouraged from doing so when it does not fit what can be very rigid patterns/habits of social interaction. Students may struggle with “getting their two bits in” during discussions. Specifically asking easier response-type questions, such as “What was cool about that, Daryl?” especially before others begin responding may help them feel as though they are launching the discussion. Encouraging students to relate a concept discussed to their own experiences. Keeping distracting sounds, scents, or uncomfortable temperatures to a minimum, as these can be a huge impediment to students, not only as a leaning obstacle, but as a source of embarrassment from being noticed for such sensitivities. Buddy systems for major project process or even routine notices may help students record assignments, events, or facts with greater care, having a peer expectation as well as the comfort of consulting with a peer as opposed to the teacher. Some of the brightest students simply struggle to keep things mind, and are embarrassed to be always asking. (Not to sound harsh, but) react and even discipline students in consistent or similar ways so that girls or boys, for example don’t feel they are being treated with a lesser standard. This actually distances them, and makes them feel like outsiders to those who are valued highly enough to have high standards enforced upon them. Ensure second language learners have essential instructions either printed in simple language, clearly, or even translated if at all possible. Welcome pictures and artwork from students. Display it upon encouraging them to tell you it’s okay to do so. (Even asking them, “Can I display this” may still represent too much pressure). Those who do want it displayed feel great. Include modes of communication, either via newsletters, notes, or even student reflective journals which convey to immigrant parents what it is and how it is that students are learning. 2

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According to Lloyd and Mark (prescribed reading), student-centred learning styles are often foreign to children and parents alike; reassurance that the students are learning and “keeping up” is a great way to instil confidence and ultimately a sense of inclusion. Lloyd and Mark (2011). What Makes a Classroom Environment Welcoming to New Canadian Students: Lessons Learned from the Alternative Teacher Accreditation Programme for Internationally Trained Teachers (ATAPTIE), Queen’s University. These are some of the ways inclusive classrooms can be directed. Teaching with a focus on select students and their experiences will heighten an awareness of all students One of the questions I still seem to have unanswered is how to know when it is appropriate to involve other peers in ensuring some of these accommodations are in place for students with specific requirements or needs. One can burn oneself out as well as compromise the level or degree of learning experienced by the rest of the class if not careful. Somehow, student peers must be trained and helped to maintain an inclusive environment. Inclusivity demands a growing sense of community and an atmosphere of empathy. Thanks for reading, -David

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Classroom Diagram

The attached file is a scanned drawing. Essentially, it features triangular desks which can fit together for a square work station. Ideally, they would include some space for a book or two underneath. Student supplies are kept along the side, near the door, including coat hooks, etc. Desk clutter then is kept to a minimal. Textbooks and workbooks are kept on a moveable supplies station. In front of this station sits a whiteboard, which might be raised and swivelled up so that students are not hidden behind the station when retrieving materials. The station demands everyone respect the rules and instruction regarding who and when to go fetch materials, and will demand the teacher be clear in this. In the end, I think it is more organized than the free-for-all “get your books.” The station sits on the carpet, and being moveable, can be pushed back to allow the occasional carpet time which is still needed during the transition to grade 4. The class itself highlights a slightly open area in the centre, useful for class presentations, or central viewing of an item. Project-based work is emphasized, and this allows a central area for it to be carried out. Otherwise, a 3-D roller bookshelf, aquarium set-up, or aesthetic fake tree might prove a productive use of space. The intent is that it also gives students a sense of being in their section, not stuck in the middle of one chaotic world. There is room for 32 students, including a small “get-a-way” station near/on the carpet, perhaps for an autistic individual. Ideally, the arrangement is for 24 students though. The teacher’s desk is slightly to the side, and as an office, less accessible. The section of it to be used throughout the teaching day is quite central, emphasizes ease for distributing materials and handouts, and yet allows access to electronics, and the rest of the teacher’s workstation. On wheels, it may be rolled out to that open middle area with only a few, upon which might sit an overhead projector. The TV sits on top or mounted to the wall atop the teacher’s filing cabinet so that it is elevated, but prevents the cluttered look from developing around the teacher’s desk. Windows are along the same wall so there is less distraction when the teacher is speaking. The more traditional overhead screen, blackboard, and maps unit is in the traditional front of the class – the right side of the diagram, and the entrance is at bottom right. Shelving is kept to the corners, so as not to get in the way of traffic. The design is open concept so that students can interact, but can maintain intimate and appropriately sectioned small groups to be productive. Walls space is maintained for visible classroom rules, student-work displays, and bright posters.

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Learning Centres
Learning centres surely present students with a sense of ability to engage with the subject matter in more tangible ways than experiences offered by rigid text work. Levels of interaction can vary greatly depending on the intention of the teacher, the manipulatives being used, and the degree of social interaction encouraged. Learning a specific, yet interrelated skills, or visiting a new element of content on small-group rotation allows students to harness the knowledge of their peers and put it to use, whereas this knowledge is otherwise repressed by students unwilling or unable to share in larger discussions. One of the biggest hurdles in implementing the learning centre concept at the relatively young age of 9 and 10 is getting students to fully interact with the given activity, as opposed to merely arriving, exploring, and reacting at a basic level. Inventive strategies can further ensure student learning is guided and productive. Taking the time to explain to one of the natural leaders how to, in essence, run one of the stations and then lead the other groups each time one arrives on rotation may ensure a far higher degree of efficiency. Peers would essentially teach one another this way. As the activity would repeat for that leader, a tremendous sense of ability and accomplishment can arise by the period’s end. This practice is also excellent for those who are willing, but not natural leaders: to be coached specifically, and hence be seen as “good” at a certain subject by the peers he or she is teaching is a tremendous boost for that student’s self-esteem, and a good reminder for the other students that we are all able. Student leadership also allows the teacher to rehearse elements of peer-respect, and the applicable rules and principles of allowing a person to have “the floor” when appropriate. Learning centres are often avoided by teachers who are in the run of planning content day to day, as it can be time-consuming. It is an excellent example of working backwards in a unit plan’s construction, as a real sense of the desired skill-sets need to be strategically premeditated; this is probably more effort than the implementation in actuality. In the long run, stations may often require less preparation and assessment time from the teacher than traditional plans, as stations often last longer than one period, and usually present a foundation upon which other self-directed write-ups and reflections might be built. Stations work best if they have been thought about early on in the course construction as a viable and routine aspect of the course activities. Stations require physical set-ups in the way of desks, floor space, and accessible materials which can be retrieved in an orderly and safe manner. Knowledge of associated routines, such as how to write up the activity engaged in or how to divvy up individual roles within a group, are essential for every student to have and feel comfortable with; only then will the stations be extremely successful. They either work very well or flop, and it depends on the familiarity of the students with the associated routines. Stations or learning centres have probably been one of the best examples of the teacher acting as facilitator more than teacher. This ability to step into the background while still remaining very aware of each student’s progress is a valuable skill and opportunity because it often helps students forget they are learning!

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Using Technology in the Classroom Rating Of 3 Technology Used
Voice Recorder

Description of Practical Use
   Use while making a video outside so that sound narration quality is better Use personally to give self-notes Record mini-lecture explanations to be easily uploaded to website or listened to once by student away or student who struggles to keep up in a focussed environment Useful in drama – speech or oration practice, reflecting on practice quality and performances. Excellent tool to provide focus and even coaching to small ensemble group in music class, working alone; provides multi-rhythms, optionally spoken, can digitally record for proof of what they have accomplished, and for self-analysis For quick research/verification online, students can participate in a class inquiry, or consult other opinions/perspectives on an issue in real time. Conduct teacher or student-led interviews with guests in a given field, even on site take virtual museum field trips allows students on other campuses to participate in the class discussions and presentations Administration can conduct distance interviews for teachers, as we are in a remote area up North Communication Tool for parents, great for schools in which students are often away on trips, etc Upload homework or maintain active group project efforts even when not meeting/consulting in person Allow participation for semihomeschooled students who are joining classes at our private school Upload links to additional helps

Dr. Beat Metronome and Recorder

Smart Phone

Skype

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Internet Department Web Page

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Finale Music Notation Program

Band in a Box Software

Digital Camera

SMART Board

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Distance Education Online Courses

YouTube

Basic versions can allow students to create much more impressive pieces of music, harnessing the copy and paste features, as well as the efforts of individuals in a groups for a combined creation, writing out scores which allow practical music theory experiences, and often more sensible demonstrations than a teacher can provide on a blackboard. Allow student creations to dub music over moving film with precision synchronization. (film strips perhaps which other media students have created). Allows students to manipulate the various tracks in a band, providing easy “canned” accompaniments for solos and other music projects. Take snapshots of student learning, stations, presentations, and artwork, especially pieces which cannot be easily stored. Easily remix into a windows video presentation or incorporate into a word presentation. Upload student examples of work to central viewing monitor for class benefit; interact with it in real time A near infinite amount of possibilities which I am not overly familiar with, but eager to learn about Web-based courses for students taking correspondence courses in affiliation with their school Connect central screen to teacher computer for easy access to serious, informative, and fun supplementary examples related to the lesson to engage students, bridge lesson sections, or offer reinforcement in 5 minute segments

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Essay-Style Outlining Organizer The chart/organizer which I am commenting on can be found either as the pdf (I copied it as another file just for this purpose) or at http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/persuasion.pdf . It is useful in writing either formal essays, using the essay format in casual writing, or simply organizing topics in a report. They all involve the same organization of thought process. Traditional outlines for this type of thing can look fairly daunting though. I like this chart because it uses very simple headings and there is an obvious flow and direction. Specifically, it is organized from left to right instead of top down. This keeps the central goal and how it relates to the smaller points in the eyes of the one creating the chart. We tend to skim back over what we have read much easier if able to go from left to right. Otherwise, the top-down format implies the message, “too much information is here to bother trying to figure it out” in our brains. Additionally, the finer points listed all on the right side do come out in a top-down format, which is very useful for a quick numbering of the points. Numbering ones points helps to re-examine the most appropriate order, and to reconsider even if a point is relevant enough for inclusion. This kind of analysis can be done as early as grade 5/6 and doesn’t have to be a skill honed in grade 9! Good organizers may encourage students a great deal.

Peer Response to posting:
Hey David, This is a really great graphic organizer that I could see myself using. I liked how you mentioned about it being left-to-right instead of vertical. It seems to have many uses in language and could be extended to other subjects as well! Thanks! [Identity concealed]

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David MacLean July 07, 2012 Module 3 Class Schedule Model Subject Area Announcements/ Sharing Math Practical Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Self-Inventory Geometry Via Art, Gym or Drama read Day 5 Show & Tell Money Via Art, Gym or Drama read

8:50 9:05 9:45

10:25 10:45 11:05 11:30

Silent Reading Snack Recess Language Arts

Heroes Patriotism Multiculturalism Arithmetic Logic/ Charts Problems Via Art, Via Art, Via Art, Gym or Gym or Gym or Drama Drama Drama read read read

Novel Study Via Either

Novel Study -Via Music -Music Proper

12:10

Practical

Grammar/ Cursive Writing -Via Music -Music Proper

Reading Comp Via Computers -Computers Proper

Media Graphic Organizers Via Computers -Computers Proper

1:00 1:25 1:45 2:25 3:10

Recess Snack Social Science / Science Practical After school Activities/Extracurricular

S.S. Geo. Poetry Explor’tns

Sci or Math Gym Ent’mt

S.S. History Char. Ed/ Careers

Sci Reading Research/ Careers

Tie-it-up project Artistic Portfolios

This timetable looks rather simplistic at first glance, and in a sense, it is. It places core subject focuses in large chunks, recognizing that these represent core skills upon which associated skills can be built, but not that these are more important than other subject areas. Where slots of time allow for alternations, these are preferably done in two-three day groups as opposed to flipping daily. It is a fiveday schedule, which is easiest for everyone to work with, including parents, who deserve to know when their child is in a certain subject. The consistency is also designed to help provide a secure environment for learners. No one likes not knowing what’s coming next, and it’s a headache for filling out or abiding by an agenda. Where there are blanks, it is assumed that the left column provides that information. The timetable also makes use of the double snack tendency, as opposed to a mid-day lunch, as this works better for a healthy, active lifestyle, allowing for the immensely popular five-meal-a-day trend which emphasizes regular, smaller, nutrition-focussed meals.

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One of the most important things I believe we can do in scheduling, keeping in mind an emphasis on giving prime time and priority sequence to core subjects, is to resist the temptation to squeeze in a scheduled block for back-to-back, rotating “lesser” subjects, such as Music, Art, Drama, and Gym. The fact is, these are not lesser subjects at all; they are modes of learning, and represent skills which are just as valid and authentic as literacy and numeracy. They are simply not the focussed-upon skills at the moment, given our social goals. That is fine. However, if we call them mere subjects, we run the risk of marginalizing them. To avoid this, it is important to cover “core” skills, such as literacy and numeracy through art, drama, music, and gym activities. (Notably, the Arts may be actually appreciated, developed, and given meaningful project space if implemented properly). Additionally, in any subject, core or fringe, the practical use of learned ought to represent about 50% of that course’s time, with the other 50% being devoted to content and theory. However, now we tend to see 90% content in core subjects, and 1020% content-focus in lesser subjects. For example, music theory represents 10% or less of course time; gym represents probably 5% or less of theoretical training; Art and Drama may receive little technical instruction owing to the need to make use of the precious little time afforded to the subject. Kids are allowed to enjoy the Arts with maximum time for practice, but minimal time for being actively taught skills. (This may be part of the reason why such areas are relegated to the sphere of “unimportant” to begin with; depth of content is not given a chance to prove itself worthy). Regardless, we will see an improvement in our literacy and numeracy, and student engagement generally when we provide greater thinking and engagement tools through the once-emphasized Arts and Sports. However, the latter must be effectively integrated into other subject areas. In this timetable, core subject areas are bolded, indicating that its slot, as well as the following, is devoted to the subject area. However, the second slot is intentionally used for implementing the focus-subject throughout the curriculum in order to cover those subjects, but also to solidify the theoretical components in a more inclusive, enjoyable, and cross-curricular approach. The five-day schedule should not be set in stone; rather, the consultant, special guest, parent, cross-class arrangement, or Arts/Gym teacher ought to plan their schedule along with the classroom teacher in order to pre-schedule days of back-to-back Drama or Art, for instance. (As core subjects are often more efficiently executed throughout longer periods of time, so too are artistic, cross-curricular activities or projects, which would otherwise be relegated to busy-work if only in half-hour segments and once a week, as is so often the case). In this scenario, an Arts/Gym could implement a project of particular subject-focus through the entire week, albeit in mere 40-minute segments. This offers continuity, purpose, and security for the learners; cut-up scheduling blocks are otherwise very stressful for all involved. Practical Drama may be substituted for practical Music the next week, or with switches of two and two throughout the week if so desired. Flexibility is key, and is indicated by a schedule which allows cross-curricular or unique subject time slots.

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Timetabling is, nonetheless, always tricky because we deal with the space issues and instructoravailability issues when a subject cannot, for either reason, be taught in the homeroom. For example, computer time will likely be done in the lab; gym and possibly art and drama, may be done in a larger auditorium. If such a space can be regularly booked during this period, for either subject, this would be ideal. Though not always used on Day 1, the space may be well-booked for more intense times of Music, for example during a Musical preparation, or be used by other classes with a once-per week rotation of Music. During such times of non-use by the homeroom on Day 1’s, the practical application of the core subject would still be facilitated during the time-slot, but in the classroom. How? By making use of the time for planning, discussing, performing, or writing about their project-experience by the impetus of the core-subject; students will begin to put multiple skills to work, potentially tying in numeracy, arts, cooperative learning, literacy, and performance/reflection. Maths, Languages, and Sciences, as the three main subject areas, should have a key theoretical concept as their impetus at the beginning of the week, particularly in that first 40-minute segment. Alternative modes, such as covering the ongoing topic of Division, through fractions, graphing, or money/exchange would then let the teacher utilize the other core blocks. Further practical, or hands-on activities directly related to that initial class may then take place in the associated practical period following. In the morning, a similar strategic emphasis is placed during group discussion or presentation activities which directly follow the morning announcements; a number of important character-education themes are interwoven throughout the week. With this approach, there is continuity, but there is also an intentional address of character education, careers, the notion of pretending and exploring, and media literacy, amongst many more, and all of which are so crucial.

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Clustering Curriculum Expectations: Connections Between Music and Dance Grade 4 Arts Curriculum Package
*One will notice the integrity and unity that comes out of the new Arts Curriculum which naturally extends itself to a cross-curricular approach. Similar code numbers tend to be as similar as possible. Expectations included on the below chart are considered similar; the third column explores the relationship between these with a potential connecting activity. Occasionally the third column also includes an expectation which applies specifically to the execution of the activity. DANCE MUSIC SYNTHESIS – Possibilities BIG IDEA and Rationales A1.1 translate into C1.1 sing and/or play, Identify several diverse dance a variety of in tune, from musical rhythms and their Explore the movement sequences notation, unison and twoassociated cultural contexts, connections we observed in nature (e.g., part music with simple exploring the movements perceive between wind developing into a accompaniments from a which seem to lend contrasting elements tornado; water freezing wide variety of cultures, themselves to the within the arts to and melting on a styles, and historical periods emotional atmosphere produce a range of landscape; rain (e.g., perform folk songs with during a listening and reemotional affects. transforming into a syncopation and traditional creation process. storm; a caterpillar songs with a simple harmony Identify signs/cues/prompts Final achievement in evolving into a part) which correspond to the learning process, butterfly) Teacher prompts: different movements. representing a 20-30 Teacher “What process can you use to Consider the effect of minutes of focus. prompt: “How could sing or play an unfamiliar certain movements being your sequence of song from notation?” “What performed back to back or movements are the differences between being performed on top of demonstrate the the two parts?” “What is the each other. Apply this transformation of rain rhythmic relationship process and connection of into a flood or a between the melody and the ideas to that of melody and hurricane?” accompaniment?” accompaniment. Explore ones willingness to alter or direct ones choice of dance movements to respond to an accompanying drum, identifying what in the music theoretically inspired such changes (ie the repeating ta-ti-ti figure).

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A1.2 use dance as a language to explore and communicate ideas derived from a variety of literature sources (e.g., develop dance movements based on actions or emotions depicted in myths, short stories, legends from different cultures, picture books, or poetry) Teacher prompts: “What action words from the legend give us clues about the kinds of movements that would help tell the story through dance?” “How could you and your partner use dance to communicate the dilemma in a book such as The Great Kapok Tree?” “How would your dance change if you recreated it to reflect the perspective of a different character from the story?”

C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of musical signs and standard notation on the five-line staff, and use devised notation to record the sequence of sounds in a composition of their own (e.g., create a soundscape with other students or a melody map using their own symbols; include fermata and sudden changes in dynamics in their compositions; use a system of syllables, numbers, or letters to represent simple pitch notation in a composition) C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing and/or playing, composing, and arranging music to create a specific effect (e.g., compose pieces using different expressive controls, such as staccato/legato or crescendo/decrescendo, to create contrasts and changes in mood; compose a pentatonic melody for recorder or voice with a bordun for an accompaniment) Teacher prompts: “What element could you change to further alter the effect?” “What family of instruments could you use for your arrangement? How would changing the instruments change the effect?” “What can you do to create a musical texture that is like the texture in a song from the Renaissance period?”

Allow for a diverse narrative of dance movements or musical sequences to be marked or cued by studentcreated markings which create representational meaning for them personally. Allow such sequences to be worked out backwards by other groups who interpret and explore a combined dance and music responsive presentation based on these cue markings. Grade 4 Language Arts Curriculum identifies the following general outcomes: -demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts; -generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience; -recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning;

Understand the various purposes for assigning cues and symbols for less concrete artistic expressions

Evaluate via primary observation, and interpret the cues of a secondary source. (Create and interpret art symbols).

Using physical texts and references over the overhead of specific terms, followed by a discussion of each, meaningful literacy opportunities can be an added and important feature of these combined lessons

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A1.4 use the elements of energy (e.g., collapse, explode, float) and time (e.g., duration, suddenness) in a dance piece to communicate an idea (e.g., show the journey of a balloon as it floats, explodes suddenly, and then collapses back to the floor) Teacher prompt: “How would repeating the same dance phrase but changing its quality (e.g., firm, light, vibratory), tempo (e.g., decreasing speed), or rhythm (e.g., erratic) affect the message you are trying to communicate to the audience?” A1.3 use narrative form to create short dance pieces on a variety of themes (e.g., a dance based on the theme of a quest or other type of journey; movements arranged [choreographed] to create a relationship [linking, parting] between some of the dancers) Teacher prompts: “How could your group create a dance piece inspired by one of the adventures of the Knights of the Round Table?” “How can you use choreography to give your dance an introduction, rising action, a climax, and resolution?”

C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship in musical performances (e.g., sing “O Canada” using controlled breathing technique and relaxed and straight posture while producing a clear and open head tone in their vocal range; play the xylophone using proper mallet technique) Teacher prompts: “How do you produce a sound that is clear and in tune when singing?” “How can you convey the meaning of the song to the listener?” “How can you use wrist action in playing a metallophone?”

Use these skills (beside) to execute the artistic demands above. Use terms related to Energy to explain practical performance markings and skill sets.

Explore artistic performing as the ability to direct and guide energy 20-30 minutes for each focus area.

C1.3 create musical compositions for specific purposes and audiences (e.g., write a composition for recorder using musical notation on the five-line staff; compose a piece using nontraditional notation, such as a melody map or icons; compose a soundscape to represent the physical landscape of Canada; create a composition to accompany a dance piece) Teacher prompt: “Using your voice or an instrument, create a melodic contour that represents the contour of the boundary between Canada and the United States. How could you use your voice or an instrument to re-create this contour line?”

Allow a story or muted film sequence play, and have students represent what they perceive through a musical or movement-based narrative presentation. Or have the dancers represent the image, and associated group members to notate the sequence.

Respond to or create original artistic sequences using an existing literary inspirations for foundational structure. 20-30 minute activities in both streams.

C2.1 express detailed personal responses to musical performances in a variety of ways (e.g., respond by drawing, moving, using visual organizers, telling a story, making a collage; compare recordings of singers they think have a “good voice”, and defend their preference) -identify whether they thought this connection to dance was appropriate or not.

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A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts By the end of Grade 4, students will: A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, how forms and styles of dance reflect people’s different social and political roles in various communities, times, and places (e.g., court dances in different countries in the 1500s and 1600s reflect the customs of the upper class [kings, queens, and people of the court] while country dances reflect the customs of the common people; carnival dances in Toronto, Brazil, New Orleans, and Cuba reflect various cultural traditions; martial arts disguised as capoeira dance reflects a response to oppression) A3.2 identify and describe the different roles of dance in their lives and in communities around the world (e.g., to socialize; for entertainment; to communicate and tell stories; to enrich the school experience [through a dance club]; to celebrate a good harvest year; as part of religious ceremonies)

C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts By the end of Grade 4, students will: C3.1 identify the role of music in a community today and compare it to its role in a community of the past (e.g., music for gatherings now and in the Middle Ages; songs sung now and by the voyageurs) Teacher prompts: “What are the types of gatherings where music would be performed in the Middle Ages? And now?” “What kinds of music would be played or sung then and now?”

Explore the connection between symmetry and asymmetry as reflected in music sound, notation, speech, and movement, having students examine how they feel as an audience exposed to those displays. Explore term Affect. Develop such terms for their vocabulary and encourage their use when commenting on future performances, as in keeping with A2.3

Consider the sentiments associated with the term symmetry and connect it to the Baroque Dance performances. 40 minutes joint Art, Music, History discussion/activities.

C3.2 demonstrate an awareness, through listening, of the characteristics of musical forms and traditions of diverse times, places, and communities (e.g., medieval musical genres performed by troubadours or minstrels, Indian classical music, music in Islamic cultures, music performed by female musical artists in North American culture, Aboriginal powwow music) Teacher prompt: “What kinds of songs did medieval troubadours perform? Where did they sing these songs?”

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Providing Exemplars in Music Class  Notation – Simplified Steps: Just as students require practice with forming letters to write, students should always be given models of the formation of music notes and signs, even though they may see plenty of these in front of them. A line to practise forming the various parts of these symbols, such as squaring the flags, filling in the heads, and making clefs surround the correct lines. Students can tell the difference, but notice new subtleties when shown sloppy versions. Showing the exemplars while students have pencil and paper in hand is a good idea, as students will want to try their hand at the suggestions immediately. Pitch – Perform it wrong: Teaching pitch to students is carefully and progressively done using tried and true methods of “simple” intervals and melodic forms. Nevertheless, students will struggle to understand the difference between high and low pitches, or will be unsure whether one is specifically too high or too low. Ending is easier than beginning, and so a good exemplar is to finish the line of a familiar song by deliberately ending on the wrong pitch. Every brain will desperately want to find the correct pitch. Once it is provided, either by the teacher or by a student, it can be rehearsed whether this note is higher or lower than the original, incorrect pitch. Playing the incorrect pitch again at the ending, students will then use the new terminology to explain what is wrong with the pitch. “Go higher; go lower” are excellent exemplars provided by peers and observed by the rest of the class. Describing a Sound - Listed Vocabulary Words: Describing sounds, tones, rhythmic feeling: exemplars often function to improve a student’s ability to understand or classify something; improving ones vocabulary through modeled use, as it relates to a certain subject, is an exemplar. A teacher might listen to a piece of music and point to a large posted vocabulary sheet of adjectives or simile phrases she might use when asked to describe what she is hearing. Student might learn to anticipate which of the posted terms she would use to describe each sound as they become more familiar with this common, otherwise very abstract, association of word and sound pairings. Performance – Peer Recordings: There is hardly a better way to provide exemplars for young performing musicians than to model the performance oneself. Next best though is to provide recordings. Recording students on a digital recording device regularly will provide a teacher with many varying levels of quality which might be shown at appropriate times. Permission should be gained by alerting students that their performances might be heard by later year students. Students usually readily agree if their names are not attached to it, except where they clearly excel. Hearing a variety of approaches to a piece, aside from the crystal clear, edited, professional recordings is sometimes the only thing that gets a student to

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New Music Class
Purposes of Diagnostic Assessment: Diagnostic assessment is probably one of the most poorly executed tasks by many teachers, perhaps more so in higher grade levels at which times subjects may be not introduced but revisited from past grades. Having a firm understanding of where most of the class is at will help much more than just knowing the curriculum documents would have one assume they are at a given point. Conveniently, these initial assessments often reveal who are the experts already, and who may be a useful resource as a peer leader. Diagnostic Assessment might be used additionally for:  Helping alert individuals in the class as to where the rest of the class is at. (Sometimes it is good for the “smart cookies” to know right away that this is being studied not to bore you, but because most of us really don’t know this stuff yet…) Clarifying what is and what is not part of a topic Clarifying the purpose for studying Offering students a glimpse of the big picture right from the start, often helpful for encouraging early formation of ideas about culminating project topics. Helping the teacher form the unit plan most effectively Help students reflect and focus on new content areas Provide the teacher an awareness of which areas and which students may require specific attention, as well as what students tend to be most interested in Alert the student to what they do not know, and encourage students that there is much to learn in this area by asking, for example on a medieval prep quiz, “What is Excalibur?”

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Tools for recording diagnostic assessment        Recording devices Chart Paper Graphic Organizer/Mind Map templates “Defining What We Know” question guide pages for distribution Journals Data for distribution Labelled pictures and maps

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Strategies for engaging in diagnostic assessment  Brainstorming through class and individual graphic organizers. The complexity of a graphic organizer may reveal the extent to which a student can not only identify familiar items, but also understands and can communicate the connections amongst these. Journal entries, open-ended, or more specific Charts Tasks (Example, “Bring me primary source from home. All I can tell you is that a primary source is a document.” Once various sources are in the room, it will be pretty clear what they know or don’t know, and these can be classified together. The definition will be pretty clear). Socratic Dialogue: “Tommy, what is a fur trader? Why did people want all those furs? What would a person have to give up in life in order to be a full time fur trader? Etc. The readiness of answers and the rest of the children’s expressions may indicate a lot about where they are at. Matching and identification activities Sifting/Compiling: Distribute data to class members so that the relevant data can be contributed as a class effort onto a chart. The process of making the chart may be a skill the teacher wants to be sure the general class is familiar with.

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How to Use Diagnostic Strategies and Tools in a Lesson:  Present four or five visual representations or pictures and ask students to match the picture to the rhythmic pattern they hear demonstrated for them.  Do the same and have them match the picture or visual representation to the rhythmic notation pattern on the other side of the board or on their pages.  In fairly general groups (four or five), have students choose either to clap a notated rhythm all together or to clap one of the visual representations all together. Rationale: The various schools and teachers experienced by a given class pupil set may vary widely when beginning a music class at the junior level. A large part of diagnostic assessment has to do also with discerning the difference between what students know, and what they are comfortable revealing about what they know. This may have to do with fear of being called upon to lead too much, performance anxiety, or fear of being compared to another “hot shot” music student. These initial activities, especially if performed in groups of the teacher’s choosing, will involve a high degree of interaction, reduce the pressure on individuals, alert the majority about what most know or do not know, and likely offer the teacher precious insight as to the personalities of the students and their comfort zones. In the assessment strategies above, matching both to what was heard and what was correctly notated is important because it may vary widely. Students might think themselves quite able in the area of rhythm, but demonstrate little to know knowledge of theory, in which case a teacher would be careful not to make them feel ignorant when addressing theory notation. 18

Giving the student groups a choice as to which to perform will also help the teacher diagnose what their comfort level is; even if they seem to understand the notation, they may opt for the picture. Given the teacher’s observations of conversations when deciding why to perform one over the other, the teacher may also gain an appreciation of whether or not these are simply more disposed to a creative approach. The interaction is the most valuable aspect of this diagnostic assessment.

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Grade 4 Music
The following is designed for a music teacher who is new to the students (in this subject area), beginning a unit at the start of the term. The unit is on cultural music appreciation and involves stories, dramatic performances, dance, and musical compositions. Students must first know that they have some sense of notation structure, musical terminology to analyze a performance or a sound, and understand that other cultures have purpose for their music.

Diagnostic
 Play music bingo with them to gain a sense of notation symbol recognition

Potential Changes Required
If they are excited about it, they probably feel fairly confident. If not, I make some adaptations, or even display the symbols with labels on the board or on separate pages which they can look at Take note of any interesting habits or seeming mislabels as students engage in this new subject. Gain a sense of whether or not pairs would work (paired with like abilities). Consider an additional activity, pairing stronger and weaker students. Re content, if students feel comfortable with the terms (including analysis terms) on the crossword, introduce the next assessment. Consider taking the assignment up, first working through a model assignment. (Helpful to use a “previous year’s” so that students are labeled “smart kids” too early on. Take up the good ideas of some other students’ assignments, clarifying a piece of vocab/terminology which could be used instead of a wordy description. Emphasize the value of poetic, non-terminology phrases as being also valuable for descriptions. Identify one area where students did focus on and one which they did not. Develop both areas over the next week or so. This will help bridge the gap between terminology which is readily available to certain students, but familiar to most upon reminders given. If students seem quite familiar with these by the end of the exercise, the teacher can continue on with the unit as planned. A third who seem not to understand will warrant some group presentations, involving these specific kids being joined to groups who are knowledgeable. Specific class listening analysis walk throughs of several cultural musics should be done for their sakes.

Fill in a crossword together on the board or in pairs which I choose based on previous teacher’s insight regarding behaviour and academic seriousness

Have students fill out a concert review of a video or audio concert so that the teacher may gain a sense of what students readily would contribute as analysis information; i.e., what plane of thinking are they on?

Give students each a card with a local/cultural dance or music term on it. Play a number of rhythms or melodies which might be associated with one or more of these, and have students raise their cards. (Could have them stick these to board if they would not be re-used).

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Candidate reflects: Please respond to the following question: 1. Identify any connections you have made in the course between theory and classroom practice. I have found the modules on evaluation quite helpful and thought-provoking. The assignment which encouraged an evaluation of the merit behind applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to lesson construction and delivery was very helpful. Whereas I found it a theoretical point of interest at first that we might be regularly falling short of allowing students a full exploration of content, I benefitted from the practice of forming category-specific essay questions and now I see that teachers can be very specific about which level of thinking a student should or could be at, according to how we present the question or assignment.

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Rationale of Items Included
Thoughts on Inclusion
Inclusive practice is not only a theory, it is a disposition, a state of mind, and an assumed reality that to be practically modeled by the teacher first and copied by students. It is term to describe a normal classroom, not a special classroom, though it is worth mentioning that such a reality has taken a lot of work and focus to change the prevailing attitudes from several years ago.

Classroom Diagram
Organization is one example of professional practice in that implements an effective learning environment, based on a high standard already assumed necessary by the teacher. Classroom set-up specifically anticipates the likely results which may come out of a system – that which facilitates learning, comfort, and security. Alternative options for class set-up are flourishing with the availability of new furnishings, and from the demands of inventive and interactive approaches, some of which may or may not cater to the general class. Continual revisions and assessment of the classroom environment may be necessary, and certainly reflects the professional standards of a teacher’s practice.

Learning Centres
One common practice for teachers (often which demands more inventive classroom set-ups, as indicated above) is to facilitate discovery, hands-on learning, and peer-guidance activities by setting a physical path of activities out for students on a rotational basis. The diversity, degree of preparation, and sheer scope of learning outcomes and skills facilitated by this practice is a great indicator of the standards, strategies, and level of effort put forth by that teacher. I will be focussing first and foremost on how to implement these over the next year. I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect upon their use as well as my peers’ experiences.

Technology in the Classroom
Familiarity with emerging and traditional technologies is an important field to discuss and reflect upon within the teaching spheres, especially so for younger teachers who may find this to be one of the most valuable ways to contribute to a staff team. Being able to support other teachers who are less familiar with such technologies often involves being trustworthy to evaluate the utility of it honestly. A “progressive” teacher does not simply embrace technologies of all descriptions; he evaluates it according to a number of criteria and is open to hearing from others.

Graphic Organizers
Though a relatively minute element of the teaching practice, I found this exercise symbolic of the professional teaching practice because by discussing the utility of a fairly basic graphic organizer, several new ideas emerged. These light-bulbs can help a teacher a great deal, owing not to new theories or programs, but the willingness to think creatively. This is results from maintaining high standards of practice.

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Class Schedule Model
This exercise also reflects a teacher’s high standards of practice, as it demonstrates an awareness of cross-curricular and literacy focuses which are otherwise neglected. Though most teachers agree that these practices are beneficial, they are ignored owing to a rigid or overly traditional sense of scheduling confines. An open mind to scheduling can facilitate a higher degree of accomplishments, and learning experiences valued more by students.

Clustering Exercise
Interpreting and strategizing in terms of implementing the curriculum demands is a challenge. Training ones’ self to think openly and creatively about which expectations are related in one way or another will drastically reduce ones work and, at the same time, enable one to focus on a more thorough examination of each expectation. Being smart about the curriculum is more important than being busy with the curriculum, and is reflection on a teacher’s high standards of practice.

Providing Exemplars
Students require models for absolutely everything they tackle. There is no purpose, no standard, and no inspiration or satisfaction that comes from busy-work, the product of work assigned without models. Exemplars are another way of planting seeds which inspire student growth. Inspired teaching is practical teaching.

Music Class Diagnostic Assessment
This lesson plan focussed on strategies useful for diagnosing a new music class. Similar to clustering curriculum expectations, this example of professional practice enables a teacher to be efficient with her handling of the curriculum; editing, working toward, and re-examining the activities of expected outcomes is crucial to deliver appropriate lessons, relevant to each class of learners. Accurate diagnosis of the state, quality, and range of prior understanding represented amidst a group is critical when setting up appropriate assessments and evaluation plans. This requires practical implementation, and cannot be assumed, regardless of one’s professional knowledge.

Candidate Reflection
This statement is an example of professional practice in that it represents a teacher’s dedication to reflective practice. Feedback is always welcomed, and reflections become opportunities even to advise ones’ self. Making efficient use of this skill is one of the surest ways to continually develop, as opposed to stagnate, as an educator.

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