New Year, New Goals: Sight Reading Factory & Progress Reports
This year, we are implementing two new tools in every choir class that will help students practice, assess, and keep track of their learning. It is our goal that students will have an increased sense of awareness in terms of their skill development, and will then be empowered to take greater control over their learning.
Sight Reading Factory (SRF)
The first tool that we are implementing this year is the use of individual student accounts through SightReadingFactory.com. We have used Sight Reading Factory in class daily for the past two years. Students will now be able to utilize Sight Reading Factory for self-paced, individual practice at home. As teachers, we also have the ability to assign, collect, and assess students’ sight reading ability through Sight Reading Factory assignments. This will allow us to more effectively, and more regularly, provide direct feedback to the students to help them improve.
Sight reading is challenging. Most meaningful learning experiences are! We learn the most when we struggle, persevere, and eventually find success. To make the learning experience less daunting for the students, we are shifting the focus for these assignments away from the grade earned and towards the feedback received. This will, we hope, prevent students from avoiding what is difficult because they are worried about the grade.
What will this look like? Students will receive a completion grade in Schoology for each assignment to reward their sight reading practice, regardless of the student’s progress. In addition, the valuable feedback on the student’s progress will be reflected directly in Sight Reading Factory. Each student will receive a “grade” of “+” (the student’s answer was 100% correct), or “-” (the student’s answer was not 100% correct). The student will then receive specific feedback regarding what was or wasn’t correct, and suggestions for future practice. This may include specific techniques to practice, or suggestions for moving up or down a level while practicing using Sight Reading Factory.
Parents, if you would like to remain up to date with your student’s progress, please encourage them to share their SRF login with you. The Schoology gradebook will let you know if they are turning their assignments in, but not how they are developing as sight readers.
Quarterly Progress Reports
It is our goal this year to provide each family with a detailed quarterly progress report for every student in our program. This is an ambitious task, but with the help of Sight Reading Factory, our student’s chromebooks, and a few new tools and ideas, we have a plan that we think will be possible. Parents, be on the lookout for the first quarter progress report sometime around the end of October or early November. These reports will include assessment data as well as student self-assessment comments and feedback from the teacher.
As grades begin to appear in your Schoology gradebook, take a moment to visit the “Mastery Tab.” This Schoology tool gives a visual representation of a student’s grades for a particular class based on skill rather than by assignment. This may help students determine what they are meeting standards in, and what they should keep working on. This is not a new tool, however we are hoping to use this more consistently and effectively this year.