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Day three of a “top ten” series of blog posts for this week. It is that time of year when progress reports for the fall might be due. When an elementary music educator has to write a progress report and fill out a check list for each student in grades Kindergarten and up, you realize that this can quickly become a time consuming task. In addition, you realize that you want to take the time to make sure that you are assessing and describing each student accurately. However, due to the timing and how often you may or may not see your students, writing elementary progress reports can be difficult. Here are some items that can be included on progress reports, however, these are just some possibilities because each teaching situation is unique:
- A review, statement, or paragraph about the concepts that were taught, experienced, and/or mastered during the first trimester. This can be brief so that you can end it with a link or web address to your music classroom’s webpage where the parents can visit to see the curriculum in more depth.
- A brief statement or reference to our current music standards and how we are currently meeting them.
- A brief statement or reference to an activity or project that was cross-curricular.
- A reminder of upcoming performances.
- A statement about social and emotional learning behaviors.
- A statement about the student’s current goal for music class, whether it be to continue working on a musical concept or skill or to continue working on a behavior skill.
- A statement about the student’s favorite music activity, whether it be how much the student loves to sing or how much the student enjoys learning new dances.
- A checklist that consists of assessments for singing on pitch, performing and mastering certain rhythm patterns, note reading skills (if applicable), recorder performance skills (if applicable), shows respect to the classroom instruments, follows directions, and/or shows respect to a variety of musical styles and cultures.
- If you have a great anecdote about a certain student, it could be included in the report.
- If you saw the child have his/her “aha” musical moment, it could also be included in the report.
How do you keep track of all of this during the trimester? I adore the iDoceo app for keeping track and organizing the assessments and comments. It has been a life saver for me this year as it keeps all of my students’ progress, assessments, behavior charts, seating charts, etc in grades PreK through 5 organized.
If you have several reports to write, all of the items listed above would make the report very long. My philosophy is to include what you feel is necessary for that particular student. All ten items are not necessary, but a few of those items go a long way for a parent who is taking the time to read the report. Finally, I have always felt that the younger the child, the more thoroughly the parent reads the report. I am noticing that about myself as a parent these days.
I hope that these items assist you with your progress report writing this year.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com