This week has been another busy one – as it always seems to be! But, it has also been a fruitful one.
In my last post, Time to Reflect and Renew, I wrote about my frustration levels with my Senior Music class. I also included a link to the Working Towards Improvement Freebie in my TPT shop.
So last Monday, I gave out this resource to my class, and we had a rather frank and honest discussion about their progress – and lack there of. I told them about my concerns going into the Yearly Exams, and I also gave them their current Assessment Mark and what that would equate to in the HSC exams. Most students, were not impressed with their marks. This was no surprise to me, because I was not happy with their results either.
I always want my students to feel like there is a way forward, so that is where we went – forward. I asked the students to be honest with themselves and complete the Effort/Achievement scales. I was really glad to see the students were honest with themselves and took this seriously. After this I talked to them about what my SMART Goal for the class is, and we had a discussion about why this important – to have an actual goal.
My SMART Goal was for Higher completion rates in the Yearly Exams and improved class averages for both the Performance and Aural Exam
It was after this discussion that I have interviewed my students individually to help them create their own SMART Goal.
For most students this was easy because they had a lot of room for improvement. I started by asking them ONE main question – how many marks do you need to improve to get the mark you want? In most cases the students were realistic and aimed for a suitable number. After this we broke this number down into the two last things they have to do in their Yearly Exams – a performance and an aural (listening) exam. For most students, I asked them if they could improve in the Aural Exam by 4 marks? This didn’t seem too daunting when I put it in terms of they only needed to find one extra mark per question (there are only four questions in these exams). Most students agreed that this was possible.
My next question was – how will you make this happen? All students identified that they needed to learn their music terms, and they needed to keep writing, without stopping in the exam. Most students also asked for some homework, so they could practice in their own time!!! How could I argue with this – they were asking for homework!
The next topic we discussed was how they could find the remaining marks they need for the Performance Exam. Again, the students were really honest and could articulate what it was they needed to do – some said they had to perform a whole song!, others identified that they needed to work on nerves. At this point we identified strategies they could use to get where they wanted.
During each of the interviews I took notes, and I asked the students to commit to their goals by writing them down – it makes it real that way. The information I collected from the students was valuable feedback for everyone. They knew what they had to do to get where they wanted, and I had a list of resources that I needed to create for my students to move forward.
So this weekend I have put a little pack together for them. In it they have a USB with practice Aural Exam questions, a book to write their practice exams into, as well as a collection of the Music Terms. I created a smaller version of the Senior Music Term Cards that are available on TPT – mainly as I didn’t have enough card paper at home to print them out on, and I wanted this ready for Monday’s class!
It is now up to the students to work towards their own goals, of course with my support and guidance. I am hoping that by being more aware of what areas they need to work on, they will achieve their goals, and in turn I will achieve mine – higher completion rates and improved class averages.
Until next time
Julia from Jooya