FAQs for Elementary Music Class Grading
As of 10/9/20, the Special Area grading system changed from the ESNU system to the ABCDF system. It was retroactive for the first quarter and will continue moving forward.
What do final quarter grades mean?:
A = Exceeding the standards (Previously "E")
This grade indicates that the student is participating and developing skills that are on target and/or above grade level with the Sunshine State Standards outlined for the content area. To receive an “A” students must be participating and making regular improvements in skills and comprehension.
B = Meeting the standards (Previously "S")
This grade indicates that the student is participating and developing skills that are on target with the Sunshine State Standards outlined for the content area. To receive a “B” students must be participating and making regular improvements in skills and comprehension.
C = Progressing toward the standards (Previously "N")
Students who receive a “C” are making their best effort in the content area. The student is below grade-level standards and is showing some improvement in skills or comprehension.
D = Needs improvement (Previously "U")
Students who receive a “D” are sometimes giving their best effort in the content area. The student is below grade-level standards and is showing minimal improvement in skills or comprehension.
F = Unsatisfactory (Previously "U")
Students who receive an “F” are not making an effort in the content area to show steady improvement of skills or comprehension. This grade is a reflection of poor participation and effort. The student is below grade-level standards and is showing minimal improvement of skills or comprehension.
Z= Zero = Student did not complete the work.
****Special Area grades do NOT count in the calculation of GPA, Honor Roll of distribution of ribbons. ****
How does this new system equate to the old grading system?
A = E
B = S
C = N
D = U
F = U
How are quarter grades calculated?:
Music grades are calculated using 3 categories:
Musicianship (skill in music) - (50%) assessment of reading/writing, performing, classifying, creating, and responding
Participation (20%) - quarterly grade based on the overall level of participation in class.
Classwork (30%) - the practice of skill in music (i.e. worksheets, informal assessments)
You will also see a 4th category called, "Lesson Completion". This is a way to track those assignments that have been completed via a checkbox and not grade. However, this will factor into the participation grade at the end of the quarter.
Rubrics for individual assignments and assessments can be found in Focus.
I don't see the percentages for music grades. How are music grades calculated?
I do not grade using percentages. Focus calculates each letter grade in the following way for my class.
Here is an example of how a quarter grade would be calculated by Focus.
Classwork 1 - B=3
Classwork 2 - C= 2
Classwork 3 - A= 4
Classwork 4 - A= 4
Total points received: 3+2+4+4= 13
Total points received divided by the number of grades: 13/4=3.25= B
Quarter Grade- B = 3
Total points received = 3 = B
Assessment 1 - A = 4
Assessment 2- A = 4
Assessment 3 - B = 3
Assessment 4 - A = 4
Total points received: 4+4+3+4=15
Total points received divided by the number of grades: 15/4=3.75= A (Focus rounds up at the .5 mark, making this an A)
Next comes the calculation of the final grade using percentage weights for each category.
Classwork - 30% - B=3
3 x 0.3= 0.9
Participation - 20% - B=3
3 x 0.2 = 0.6
Musicianship - 50% A = 4
4 x 0.4 = 1.6
Add the numbers for the final grade: 0.9+0.6+1.6 = 3.1 = B
How does assessment work in music?
Assessment type varies and depends on the skill being assessed. Music is taught sequentially and is a skill-based subject, and is assessed as such. Students learn to move to, read, sing, play and write music and are assessed on their ability to do so as is pedagogically and developmentally appropriate. Rubrics are always provided in Focus for assessment. Please feel free to ask questions about the subject matter being taught and assessed. I would be happy to talk to you about what I teach and why. I love teaching kids music and am passionate about their musical growth!
As with other subjects, music is sequential and a firm understanding of each concept is essential for success. No topic “goes away”, instead we build on it and use it for the duration of our time in music together and beyond. There is no better way for me to know if students have a firm understanding of a topic than that of assessment.
What if my student isn’t understanding a topic?
I am always happy to work with students individually. I offer tutoring on Tuesdays after school, by appointment only.
If I notice that many students are struggling, I will reteach the topic and/or give opportunities for students to improve their grades. This is to my discretion and the trends that I see using assessment data. I use assessment to track individual student progress and for tracking how all students are grasping the content. Please trust that I want your student to grasp this content!
Sometimes students need more time and instruction to grasp content. I will do my best to reach out if I notice your student is struggling. I understand that it may seem like a long time to you if I’m not contacting you after a few assessments that aren’t ideal. However, I only see students, at maximum, 9 times a quarter (barring any absences, days off of school, field trips, etc). What are weeks to you are only a few classes to me. :)
Please check the Focus grade book for communication. The grade book is our primary way of communicating how your student is doing in class.
Do you give extra credit or allow corrections to work?
I am blessed to teach my students for 6 years in a row! It is important that students grasp the material as it is presented as we continue to build on all content in my class. Just as in other academics, we keep using and building on what we have learned previously. Therefore, I do not give extra credit assignments, but do allow students to correct work done in my class. I give half credit for corrections on quizzes, and full credit for corrections on all other work. However, opportunities may not always be given in class for corrections. If your student would like to correct something, they can find the work on Google Classroom and correct it there. If corrected, you must message me on Focus messenger or email so that I know to go back and check the work. I will not know if you don't tell me. ***Do not message on Google Classroom - I will not get your message!***
Please feel free to message me with any questions. I will get back to you as soon as I am able!