On October 23, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the first in a series of posts detailing the “how.” Continue reading “A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Curriculum Review”
This year, we have been using the new web-based version of SmartMusic with our 10-12th grade students. We were awarded a grant for our 5 teachers and 116 teachers to have SmartMusic Teach subscriptions. Dr. Christopher Russell has a description of the different platforms, but here is a brief summary: Continue reading “The New SmartMusic Web”
Our professional learning community has changed some things for this coming year:
- Updated our Wind Rubric and Percussion Rubric to unify language across achievement levels.
- Added tempi to our schedule of assessments with a few adjustments of content.
- Transitioned to using Infinite Campus to record data to meet building goals for standards-referenced grading.
- Began using Screencastify to record student assessments
Our Vertical PLC is doing things a bit differently for this coming school year (16-17). I’ve written about what we did in Year 1 (13-14), Year 2 (14-15), and Year 3 (15-16) as well as a presentation at the 2016 Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference. Part of our decision to change in the coming year was out of a desire to better communicate student progress in Infinite Campus to students and parents. Our district has also set the following goal for high schools: Continue reading “Collecting Data in Year 4”
Last month, I finished my third and final summer at VanderCook College of Music, earning my Masters of Music Education! I have been meaning to write and reflect a bit on my last summer, but band camp started the Monday after graduation. Things have been a bit hectic (and warm) trying to gather my thoughts. Here are the biggies: Continue reading “Masters of Music Education”
Can you believe we are still in school? Large Group was four weeks ago! Our PLC decided a few years ago that our 9-12th graders last assessment during the school year would be an ensemble project of their choosing. This was the second year of doing it, and we think we have finally started to get some things figured out! Here are the details: Continue reading “Ensemble Project”
Apologies for the long delay between posts. I am in the midst of my Master’s Project for my program at the VanderCook College of Music. Couple that with the normal stress and business of three ensembles and a studio of 112 students, and you see why I haven’t been writing.
Earlier this week, SmartMusic released a publicity campaign touting their new web-based version coming this Fall. I have been both a private and public beta tester of the software, and I’ve remained pretty quiet as we’ve moved through the testing. I can tell you I am very excited for the implications of this as my district moves to 1:1 with Chromebooks for grades 5-12. Let’s take a look at what the new version has to offer:
A look at all of the blog posts I made in 2015. Not as much as 2014, perhaps a resolution for 2016… Looking back at the posts, it looks like 2015 was a year frustrated by the conversation around educational funding. It was also a year of learning for myself and my PLC in our work to become better teachers for our students. Take a look: Continue reading “2015 in Review”
One of our Governor’s four goals is the Best Schools in the Nation. As part of his progress towards “world-class schools,” the Governor and the Republican-led House passed an education reform bill in 2013 which led to the creation of the Iowa School Report Card. The Department of Education’s FAQ and Technical Guide have several details about the what, why, and how of the report cards. I’ll briefly summarize: Continue reading “Iowa’s School Report Card”
On December 10, 2015, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published a report entitled Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting. I discovered it from Scott McLeod’s tweet: Continue reading “GOP Math on Education Funding Doesn’t Add Up”