Guest author: Katherine Miller
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As a music teacher, I have always struggled with assessing student performance standards like singing and playing instruments. Don’t get me wrong, I do it every single day. Usually, I take anecdotal notes while everyone is working together.
Individually assessing students takes a lot of time, and what are the other children supposed to do while I individually assess? The music room has no desks, no independent books, and, frankly, it’s hard to monitor others while trying to give your complete attention to the student you are assessing. Because of this, student portfolios have always been interesting to me, but I have never really mastered how to make it work without a ton of additional work for me to do.
Class Dojo is a well known website used to help support teachers in classroom management. It allows teachers to encourage important skills and communicate with families through messages, updates and photos.
Along with all the great features that come with helping students be behaviorally aware and accountable, Class Dojo has a way to help with creating student portfolios for assessment, too.
Within Class Dojo, each class has a “story” which allows you to post things for all connected parents in the class to see. Each student also has an individual “story” which allows things to be posted for just their family to see, or for you to view for the purposes of assessment!
A perfect, already organized and created by someone else, spot to record student performances!
Putting it to use
Class Dojo requires no additional sign in for students once a teacher has set up their account. Both teachers or students can add things like videos, pictures or text to their wall.
For example, my second grade students were practicing creating their own rhythms with a new note: the half note. I traveled around and took a quick video of each student clapping and saying the rhythm they composed. I was able to quickly post their performance by hitting one button and then it was available for both families and myself to view.
About the Author
Katherine (Katie) Miller holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Otterbein University (Westerville, OH) and a Masters of Educational Leadership from Antioch McGregor Midwest (Yellow Springs, OH). She has 14 years of professional musical experience as a music educator and performer.
She is currently employed by the School District of Waukesha in Waukesha, WI where she serves teaches K-5 General Music and serves as a district model tech classroom.
You can connect with Katherine Miller on Twitter: @K8TMiller