Were there kids that did not meet the expectation of completing five songs (BAGED songs)? Yes. Those students were given feedback, guidance, one on one time, peer learning time, and more so and many of them just chose not to practice or not to work during the time given, and by the time they realized the due date was close, it was too late to acquire the skills they needed to pass. It's a good life lesson to learn that due dates are important and meeting expectations takes WORK. Work needs to come first, play and leisure time second. So, while they may not have acquired all the recorder skills, they at least were able to acquire some, and they definitely learned some life lessons as well.
I am really excited to tweak a few things for next year and continue with the Star Wars theme. Students were really motivated by this and most worked very hard to reach their goals and improve on the recorder each time we met for class.
Tweaks for next year:
I have already picked the start and end date based on our upcoming school year calendar. This year I waited too long to determine when to start and didn't have it planned out well. Next year is already planned out so it won't take me by surprise!
I am going to spend a little more time on BAG with students leading up to recorder.
I will still require students to play through a BAG exercise and pass before moving on to the recorder jedi songs.
I am going to make sure students are aware of how many times I will test in class, let them know that I can only see them one time to test, but multiple times if they need more guidance.
I will work with students to make sure they understand exactly what makes a good performance and how to practice before we begin (work on small chunks, keep adding small things together, then work your way up to the whole piece). I am going to stress PATIENCE on the part of the students and being ok with working on something for a long while.
If there are more things that need to be tweaked, I will make sure to post them here as I continue to reflect on the last several weeks with students:)