Submitted by Dianne Park, San Diego, California

Idea posted August 19, 2002

I just finished my upper graders for the year and wanted to inform the parents about my grading system. I got the rubrics from the MusicK8.com Mailing List, and then wrote a student eval. for the kids to fill out. They were remarkably honest (for the most part), and it will be interesting to see what the parents think about this way to grade. Here's what I wrote and am going to send:

Dear parents,
Your student will be receiving a music grade based on behavior, effort, and achievement during this past 8 weeks. Achievement expectations are based on our State Music Standards. Here is the rubric I am using. I have circled the grade I believe your child deserves.
EFFORT:
The student is on task.
The student is cooperative.
The student is a good listener.
The student participates positively.
The student follows directions.
ACHIEVEMENT:
The student sings in tune with good quality and blend.
The student learns the melody, words, and rhythms quickly.
The student maintains good posture while singing.
The student demonstrates excellent skills in: Rhythm, Form, and Melody. (through movement, instrumental, written, or other activities)
The student demonstrates excellent retention of knowledge learned about Music History, Connections, and Music Theory.
GRADING RUBRIC:
E = Excellent - Always does the above to the best of his/her ability.
G = Good - Almost Always
S = Satisfactory - Usually, but requires prodding to achieve and exhibits only "satisfactory" behavior
N = Needs Improvement - Sometimes, but behavior is unsuitable to classroom environment, makes little effort
U = Unsatisfactory - Almost never participates appropriately, doesn't try, is disruptive
Your child filled out his/her own evaluation of their behavior and learning in this unit. It is attached. I hope you will go over it with them. In most cases, I agreed with your child's assessment of him/herself. I hope this gives you a clear idea of the expectations I have had for your child in music. Best wishes to all our graduating fifth graders.
Here is the student eval. Change to suit your situation...
Your student will be receiving a music grade based on behavior, effort and achievement during this past 8 weeks. Achievement expectations are based on our State Music Standards. Here is the rubric I am using. I have circled the grade I believe your child deserves.
EFFORT:
The student is on task.
The student is cooperative.
The student is a good listener.
The student participates positively.
The student follows directions.
ACHIEVEMENT:
The student sings in tune with good quality and blend.
The student learns the melody, words, and rhythms quickly.
The student maintains good posture while singing.
The student demonstrates excellent skills in: Rhythm, Form, and Melody. (through movement, instrumental, written, or other activities)
The student demonstrates excellent retention of knowledge learned about Music History, Connections, and Music Theory.
GRADING RUBRIC:
E = Excellent - Always does the above to the best of his/her ability.
G = Good - Almost Always
S = Satisfactory - Usually, but requires prodding to achieve and exhibits only "satisfactory" behavior
N = Needs Improvement - Sometimes, but behavior is unsuitable to classroom environment, makes little effort
U = Unsatisfactory - Almost never participates appropriately, doesn't try, is disruptive
Your child filled out his/her own evaluation of their behavior and learning in this unit. It is attached. I hope you will go over it with them. In most cases, I agreed with your child's assessment of him/herself. I hope this gives you a clear idea of the expectations I have had for your child in music. Best wishes to all our graduating fifth graders.
Now here is what the students filled out. They were remarkably honest! This was for grades 3-5. For No. 14, I clapped rhythms and they notated them.
Name _____________ Grade ___ Room ____
MUSIC - STUDENT EVALUATION SHEET
1. SINGING/VOCAL SKILLS - I try to sing my best using good posture and breath control. I use my best singing voice.
ALWAYS

  SOME OF THE TIME    I HAVE TO BE PRODDED    DON'T TRY

2. A favorite song I sang during this unit was ________________ from ________________ (name the country or state).
3. MOVEMENT/DANCE - I make an effort to follow directions and work with my classmates when we do movement activities.
ALWAYS

  SOME OF THE TIME    MY BEHAVIOR COULD IMPROVE    I DON'T

4. Name your favorite movement activity in music during this unit: ___________
5. PARTNER WORK - I make an effort to follow directions and work with my classmates appropriately. I don't fool around. I try to make it a successful experience.
ALWAYS

  SOME OF THE TIME    MY BEHAVIOR COULD IMPROVE    I DON'T

6. Name a favorite partner activity you did during music this unit: ____________
7. RECORDER - I remembered to bring my recorder back to use in class.
ALWAYS

  SOMETIMES    NEVER    DIDN'T BUY ONE

8. I have learned to play the notes B-A-G. I know the fingering and the proper way to blow. I try not to squeak.
YES

  NO

9. I can read B-A-G on the staff. I can play at least 3 songs using these notes.
YES

  NO

10. Write the names of three songs you can play on the recorder using B-A-G.
________________________________
________________________________
________________________________
11. I follow directions. I put my recorder in resting, practice, or ready position when asked.
ALWAYS

  SOME OF THE TIME    MY BEHAVIOR COULD IMPROVE    I DON'T

12. Name another favorite recorder song you can play well: _________________
13. RHYTHM WORK - I can read and clap rhythms containing these notes:
YES

  MOSTLY    NO

14. Write out the rhythms you hear.
____________________

  ____________________

____________________

  ____________________

15. INSTRUMENTS - I am careful with the instruments. I follow directions. I play only when appropriate.
ALWAYS

  SOME OF THE TIME    MY BEHAVIOR COULD IMPROVE    I DON'T

16. What other musical activities did you participate in this year?
MELODY MAKERS CHOIR

  BAND    ORCHESTRA    RECORDER CLUB

Other musical activities outside of school: __________________ (write in if you did a church choir, take piano, dance, or other lessons)
17. I will be performing at the All School Luau. You can count on me!
YES

  NO

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