When I first began teaching, I used worksheets quite often to assess student understanding. As I've gotten older and more experienced, I have realized that there are so many other ways to assess! However, there are times when I believe worksheets are really the best way to assess. In this post, I'll write about all the ways I love to use worksheets in the music room.
Sometimes, after teaching a melodic or rhythmic concept, we want to jump right away to dictation. But students are not always ready for that step…they first need the chance to simply copy a rhythm or note onto the staff. Tracing worksheets can be GREAT for that. You can have students trace over a circle on the staff and color it in (reinforcing where that note goes on the staff) and they can also trace over a rhythm to understand exactly how to write it (especially with rhythms that are trickier to write, such as ti-tika and syncopa!) Below is a picture of my third graders a couple years ago completing tracing worksheets for low la during centers. Also check out Tanya LeJeune's tracing worksheets here.
I love using manipulatives to write and compose rhythmic and melodic patterns; you can read more about popsicle sticks for rhythmic writing, solfa manipulatives, and staves with erasers in other blog posts. Sometimes, though, students really do just need paper and pencil to dictate and/or compose. When they are using manipulatives, it's already written for them–they just have to arrange them, but the act of writing a rhythm or note on the staff is a more complex skill. Download a freebie for composition with quarter rest by clicking on the picture below (and if you've previously downloaded, I made a few design changes so make sure to re-download!)
I love having students reflect after a performance. After they watch their performance, we discuss it. What did they do well? What could they do better? To take it one step further, you can have them write about the strengths and weaknesses of the performance! Below is a picture of a fifth grader's performance evaluation this fall; I got the worksheet from a great set by Cori Bloom. (And yes, reading this student's words made my day!)
Worksheets can be a great tool to use when responding to music. After listening to a piece of music, students can write about how it made them feel, which instruments they heard, what they noticed, etc. These free SQUILT worksheets by Jennifer at the Yellow Brick Road are a great way to have students respond to music! I wrote this blog post about using interactive notebooks in your music classroom as a way to integrate writing and have them respond to music; I am hoping to implement these at more than one grade level soon!
Last month, I saw some dabbing worksheets for the general classroom on TpT, and thought, “Huh…I bet those could work in the music classroom!” So I got to work and created some worksheets. The idea is that students would have bingo daubers/ dabbers and would dab the correct answer. They can also categorize by using different bingo dabbers. Here are a couple pictures of my first graders working on dabbing worksheets in centers.
I thought kids would enjoy these, but they loved them so much the majority of each class voted the worksheet center as their favorite center (over instruments AND throwing a squishy ball at the SMART board!) They were definitely a hit!
I've created a freebie as a sampler of my dabbing worksheets; you can download them for free here.
Tracy King at Mrs. King Rocks wrote a very informative post about dabbing worksheets here.
What are your favorite ways to use worksheets in the music classroom? Feel free to comment below!