Domain 2: Classroom Environment

For the third week of our class, we are focusing on Domain 2 of the Danielson Framework: Classroom Environment. For more information about what we are doing for the class, read my post about Domain 1: Planning and Preparation. This post will focus on the work we are doing for Domain 2: Classroom Environment. As part of our assignment this week, we were asked to complete the Relevant Information portion of the worksheets for all components in Domain 2:

  • 2a: Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport

  • 2b: Establishing a Culture for Learning

  • 2c: Managing Classroom Procedures

  • 2d: Managing Student Behavior

  • 2e: Organizing Physical Space

We were also asked to select one of the components for more in-depth study. The result of our in-depth study was to develop a narrative proving we know how to accomplish the proficient or distinguished criteria for our selected component:

Choose one Component from Domain 2: Classroom Environment, for in-depth study for this week. Develop a narrative that will prove that you know “HOW” to accomplish the criteria contained in the Distinguished or Proficient boxes of the rubric. In your narrative: Combine the Relevant Information from page 1 with the Elements next to the bulleted points on page 3. Accomplish the criteria in the Rubric on page 3. Feel free to use language from the Possible Music Examples found on page 4.

I narrowed my choice down to two separate options: 2c - Managing Classroom Behaviors or 2e - Organizing Physical Space. Classroom management is definitely something I want to improve in my teaching, but with the busy-ness of this past week (conferences, Senior Night, jazz band auditions, last week of marching rehearsals, State Marching Band Festival, and the Mid-Iowa Band Championships), I didn't feel I could adequately develop a narrative for 2c. I hope to do that sometime soon; not as a requirement for this course, but as a way of improving myself. Below is my response to the prompt for Component 2e: Organizing Physical Space

Response Ankeny Centennial High School has a performing arts wing included in its campus. This wing includes a large choir room with storage for robes and costumes and a small ensemble room; a large double band room (approximately 6,000 square feet) with two acoustic dividing walls; two instrument locker rooms with approximately 175 lockers each; two large ensemble rehearsal rooms; a music library with a multi-function printer and large sink; six practice rooms; four offices; a 750 seat auditorium with appropriate sound and lighting equipment; a large green room with office and storage space and two changing rooms; and a large scene shop. In the foyer of this performing arts wing is a ticket booth and coat check, restrooms, and the visual arts classrooms for the high school. The performing arts wing can be completely closed off from the rest of the building for events. Below is a picture of the plans for the rehearsal spaces:

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

Each of the rehearsal spaces come equipped with a Boston grand piano, 135 chairs and stands, a large Da-Lite Fast-Fold 69” x 120” Projector Screen, an Epson PowerLite Projector, an AppleTV and Airport Express, a mixer board and 2 Yamaha powered speakers. Each of the practice rooms come equipped with a Lenovo M73 ThinkCentrePC, SmartMusic Practice Room Subscription, Blue Snowflake USB Microphone, Yamaha MSP3 Monitor Speaker, and a Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Digital Piano. The setup in my room looks like this:

Room Setup

Room Setup

Rehearsals for three different ensembles occur in my band room: Symphonic Band (10th Grade,30 wind students + 3-10 percussionists), Jazz Collective (top auditioned 9-12 jazz band, 20 students), and Jazz Studio (second 9-12 jazz band, 20+ students). I rehearse the Symphonic Band and Jazz Collective, while my colleague rehearses Jazz Studio in my band room and Wind Symphony (11-12th grade concert band, 41 wind players + 3-10 percussionists) in his band room.

Rehearsals for Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony occur simultaneously during the first period of the day. This year, percussion students meet as a studio with our percussion coordinator. We have 14 percussion students in grades 10-12. They will cycle through concert band rehearsals, percussion ensemble rehearsals, and individual or small group lessons depending on the needs that the literature for the various ensembles. Rehearsals for Jazz Collective occur on Monday and Thursday mornings before school and Tuesday evenings. Rehearsals for Jazz Studio occur on Tuesday and Friday mornings before school. A bus is available to transport the 9th grade students in either jazz band to their building after morning rehearsals.

Because of the fluid nature of the students and equipment in the band rooms, students are responsible for their own equipment. The basic set up of the concert and jazz band chairs and stands as diagrammed above is maintained. When students enter the rehearsal space, they are responsible for ensuring they and their equipment are in the proper location for the start of rehearsal. The students have ample space to store instruments, music, and other equipment in their lockers or folder cabinets.

With the technology available in our rooms, I am able to display a Keynote presentation wirelessly from my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook Pro through the AppleTV and projector in the front corner of the room. At the beginning of every rehearsal, expectations and a schedule are displayed on the screen. I can also wirelessly stream audio through our Airport Express, located with our mixing board and powered speakers near the back of the room. I can control any streamed audio or video from any device from anywhere in the rehearsal space, freeing me to move in and amongst the students.

We use FileMaker and Google Sheets to keep track of our instrument inventory, music library, and student locker information. By integrating this information with a Charms Office subscription, students and parents also have access to the instruments, music, and padlocks checked out to them. We own over 120 different wind instruments, two full sets of concert percussion instruments, and a myriad of electronics. Our music library consists of over 820 concert band titles and over 760 jazz band titles, all shared between the two high schools in our district.

Our organization of the physical space puts us in between the proficient and distinguished categories of Component 2e. Our rehearsal setting is safe, and music learning is accessible to all students. There are students utilizing the performing arts wing throughout the day for individual and small group practice in addition to ensemble rehearsals. We make effective use of physical resources, including instructional technology. Our students assist by adapting the environment to advance ensemble music learning. Our rehearsal spaces can remain setup with equipment and technology so students can arrive and immediately begin making music.


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.