Individualized Instruction and Differentiation with the SmartMusic Gradebook

Teachers often ask about SmartMusic and individualized instruction: “If all students get the same assignment, won’t those who progress at different rates be penalized?” Fortunately, the SmartMusic Gradebook lets any assignment be modified to meet the needs of each student in your class. Today we’ll look at some ways this can be accomplished.

Let’s say you’d like to assign a line from a method book. Here are the available settings:

You can choose which parameters are required, and you can change the settings for any parameter you’ve marked as “Required.” For example, you might disable the Tempo requirement and have the Solo Line on: 

This would allow the student to play the piece at any tempo they choose, but the solo line would have to be on for the assignment to be submitted. Clearly there are many different options that could be chosen here.

Now that you see how easy it is to change settings, how can the assignment be sent to specific students?

On the bottom of the assignment window, you are given the option to schedule an assignment to an entire class or individual students:

Clicking on Selected Students allows you to determine which students will receive each assignment. You can even select students from other classes:

Other ways you can individualize an assignment may be less obvious. In the Schedule Assignment window, the Grading Options allow you to distribute the points for a SmartMusic Assessment and Recording as you see fit. For example, you could use the same assignment for the entire class but change the point values so that the recording is worth more than the assessment. (Because you provide the score for each student’s recording after listening to each recording, you can ensure that those who did their personal best, for example, receive the maximum points.) Also, by using the Scheduling Options, an assignment can have a different due date scheduled for selected students.

The fact that students can be enrolled in more than one class can also be very helpful. Just as a student in Concert Band could also be enrolled in Jazz Band, you could have a flute class made up of the flutes from the Concert Band. To take it a step further, you could even have a class of ONE student!

Finally, you can even create your own Grading Scale as I have done here:

Music teachers have always tried to find good ways to track student progress. The SmartMusic Gradebook made it possible for me. I am sure that you will discover many other ways to use the Gradebook to individualize and differentiate your instruction.

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