Domain 3: Instruction

For the fourth week of our class, we are focusing on Domain 3 of the Danielson Framework: Instruction. For more information about what we are doing for the class, read my post about Domain 1: Planning and Preparation or 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 3:

  • 3a: Communicating with Students

  • 3b: Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques

  • 3c: Engaging Students in Learning

  • 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction

  • 3e: Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness

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 3:  Instruction, for in-depth study for this week. After you select the Component for in-depth study, make bullet points for each criteria found in the Distinguished and Proficient columns.

  1. Explain in a narrative how you plan to accomplish each criteria now listed as a bullet point (point by point). Combine the Relevant Information from page 1 with the Elements found on page 3. Use language from the Possible Music Examples found on page 4 if appropriate.

  2. Pretend that I know nothing about music and you need to convince me that you deserve more than just a Basic evaluation rating. I really do not get the feeling that everyone understands that you are fighting for your professional life--the job you save may be your own.

  3. The grading rubric will be the one found on the worksheet. If your narrative correlates with language found in a certain level of the rubric, then that will be the corresponding grade for the assignment. Distinguished = A; Proficient = B; Basic = C; Unsatisfactory = D; Incomplete or no assignment = F

It is not enough to tell me that you will do something, you must prove to me in writing that you have a plan and you know how to accomplish it.

I chose to focus on Component 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction. The bolded statements below are the bullet points from the Distinguished portion of the rubric followed by my narrative describing how I accomplish these bullet points.

Students are asked to suggest appropriate warm-ups to use considering the repertoire to be rehearsed. Our students utilize Foundations for Superior Performance, Bach and Before for Band, and Aaron Cole’s 36 Chorales for Band in their warm-up process. These titles have a wide variety of different technical and melodic exercises that can be differentiated to a wide variety of student abilities and goals. As students enter the classroom, rehearsal objectives including repertoire are posted on the screen. There is time given for individual warm-up before a full ensemble warm-up using the above-mentioned titles. Students choose exercises from the warm-up titles that fits their goals for growth as well as the rehearsal objectives. This can involve particular key centers, tonal patterns, rhythmic patterns, articulation patterns, and expressions across all three titles.

Students carry out peer evaluations on learned material. Individual and small group performance on a daily basis is encouraged in the ensemble. Assignments within the repertoire are given to specific students or sections at the end of the rehearsal with the expectation that these assignments will be performed as part of the next rehearsal in front of the class. Students are familiar with the wind and percussion rubric, which are posted in large form around the room, and help formatively evaluate assigned performances using the rubrics.

Students are assigned to carry out individual conducting tasks with the larger group. Expression and interpretation are key components of our rehearsal objectives. Students are encouraged to make individual interpretative decisions within their music and to share these musical decisions in performance and discussions with their peers. Students are asked questions like:

  • What are you trying to communicate?

  • Did you communicate effectively?

  • What would you need to see from the conductor to help you perform in that way?

As rehearsals progress, students are asked to take time on the podium conducting the ensemble through short passages. They must answer questions like:

  • What are you hearing?

  • How would you like to hear that passage?

  • Can you communicate that non-verbally?

Due to the student-centered nature of these rehearsals, virtually all students are engaged in musical contributions that fully align with desired instructional outcomes. Our structure allows student-initiated questioning about the music as well as suggestions for interpretation, intent, and expression. Students are frequently prompted to move beyond the notes on the page to what is happening around them in the larger picture.


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.