In my district, teachers make goals that we are to work on through the school year. This year, I have been working on collecting and analyzing data in order to ensure that my students are developing proficiency in their note reading skills.
Today, I had my beginning students do this little assessment to check for fluency on the notes of the D scale:
Students were divided up into groups of two. I set a timer for one minute. One student would hold the paper and point to each note while the other student had to name the note and pluck the note on their instrument. The student holding the paper marked any missed notes with an 'x' and drew a line showing how far they were after one minute. The students then switched roles so they each could have a turn naming and plucking the notes.
I really liked this assessment because it only took 2 minutes and the I got some great data! I can see who my really fast note-readers are and I can see who is slower and who needs extra practice. I was really happy to discover that all of my beginners are able to read notes and all were able to read quite far into the exercise. I would now like to work on increasing note-reading speed for some of the slower readers.
I have been brainstorming ideas of how I can get my slower note-readers to get a little extra practice. I decided that I will do this same assessment activity using lines in our method book. If we do this just one time per class period, it would only take up 2 minutes and that little bit of extra practice with the notes will help all students gain speed and fluency.
Also, I think I will set up a little note reading app on my iPad during tuning time. Students bring their instruments to me at the front of the room and I tune every student indiviually every day. While they are waiting, they can play the note-reading app for a few seconds to see how many notes they can get right.