Friday, February 12, 2016

A Principal Asks... Lesson Frames in the Performance Classroom

A new, but learning fast, LYS Principal asks:


I was wondering if you could give me some pointers on how to have my music teacher close his lessons effectively?  He is struggling to understand how Lesson Framing integrates in a performance based class and frankly, so am I.


SC Response
A great and common question.

First, a primer on The Lesson Frame.  The Lesson Frame has an ‘Objective' (what WE WILL learn today in class) and a ‘Close’ (how I WILL demonstrate that I truly learned what I needed to learn today).

In the academic classroom, the two best ways for the leaner to demonstrate that she got ‘IT' is to discuss the key elements of the ‘IT’ with a peer (a quick turn and talk), or write the key elements of the ‘IT’ down (a quick critical write).

The prompt for the ‘Close’ should push the learner to the Application level of rigor, or higher.  This is important because in academic classrooms, students primarily operate at the knowledge and comprehension levels of rigor.

The performance classrooms (art, band, choir, sports, vocational, kindergarten, etc.) are slightly different than the academic classrooms.  In those classrooms, proof of getting ‘IT’ is often the finished product. Examples: the straight weld, the traced ‘A’, or the executed procedure.  So in many cases the ‘Close’ in the performance classroom is a show and explain activity.  

Also, in these performance classrooms, the students are often operating at the application level of rigor.  When teachers are able to close with more than ‘show me;’ if they can get students to connect, justify, or consider what if... Then student thinking can be easily pushed passed the application level of rigor.  This in a word is... AWESOME.  

Finally, when the class is working on a group performance or project, the format of the Lesson Frame may be flipped.  For example, the band will play something at the end of the period.  In this case the objective could be the ‘I WILL’. I will work on my piece of the song. The close could be the ‘WE WILL.’  We will come together and play the song as a group.

I hope this points you in the right direction.

Think. Work. Achieve.
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