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Music Education Department
Westminster Choir College of Rider University

SUBJECT AREA: Primary General
Student Teacher: Ashante Taylorcox
University Supervisor: Sharon Morrow
Cooperating Teacher: Laura Hall-Carney
School/Site: Parkway Elementary School
Classes Observed: General Music Grade 4

Summary and Recommendations:

This was my third observation of Ashante at her student teaching placement at
the elementary general music level. Today I observed a fourth grade general
music class using recorders. Again, Ashante was well prepared with a detailed
lesson plan for this class.

While she was handing out recorders, she had questions already on the board
that the students needed to work out. This was a nice opening for this class.
Everyone had work to do to keep them occupied, focused and quiet while you
dealt with the logistics of getting instruments out for students.

To address the questions on the board, you said, First row, clap example #1 with
me, after which you added Lets learn from our friends.. I love this idea that they
can learn from their friends. It also supports the work that the students did in
the first row. Nice touch. I also liked that you had a rest position for recorders.

This transitioned seamlessly into a review of notes they had learned. I loved that
you asked questions while you were erasing the board. This allows you to do a
non-thinking task (erasing the board) while asking the students to perform a
thinking task (reviewing fingering for recorder notes learned). Nice review.
Good use of positive reinforcement at one point, My fourth row is ready. Great.

Ashante asked, I need one special friend to pass out papers. The rest of the class look up
here. Again, this was a nice transition, letting a student take the mundane task of
passing out papers (calling them a friend) and giving direct, clear instructions
for the rest of the class (look up here). At one point there was playing at an
inappropriate time, and you gently chided them by saying, Should you be playing?
Im going to give you a compliment. This gentle use of humor is also a nice way to
maintain classroom management.

Moving on to new material, you had students look at their music that had been
passed out and identify the dotted quarter notes. You then asked, My friends who
play instruments, what is this? (showing a quarter note, tied to the first of two
eighth notes and ending with two quarter notes). This is nice for the students
who are involved in band or orchestra to strut their stuff, allows the other
students learn from their peers (a different feel than learning from the teacher,
and a good idea when you can incorporate this!).

I also loved your motion for the tied note when we were clapping the rhythm (an
arch that moved forward). This is a great kinesthetic representation of the dotted
quarter note in that it keeps the energy moving forward while holding the note
for the extra eighth note duration.

To bring the days lesson to a musical completion, you had the students read
from music notation while they played with a pre-made accompaniment track.
This was fulfilling musically for the students that was evident from their
enthusiastic response to the activity.

After the class, Ashante and I discussed other possible ways to present the
concept of dotted quarter and eighth rhythm figures. We also discussed the
importance for her to be completely clear on all rhythms ahead of time. I
appreciated that she stopped to center herself before correcting a clapped dotted
quarter/eighth note rhythm that she had on the board.

I was pleased to see real professional growth in Ashantes teaching and
interacting with her students. It is clear that she is gaining confidence in her own
work, and getting clarity in her expectations for her students.

Great work! Keep it up!

Dr. Morrow

Beginning/Ending time of visit: March 3, 2014 at 12:15-1:00 pm.

___March 3, 2014 ____________ ____________________________________
Date Signature University Supervisor

I have read the summary statement above.

Signature Student