Individual inquiries in Performing Arts: “How do students stay on track and monitor progress?”

Straight to it; to help stay on track, we’ve implemented check-ins at the beginning of a lesson where we share successes & challenges, news, and resolving issues as a group.

For example, someone may need music for a movie, a drummer for their band, they may be ready to share a song, or need a partner for a dance.

New alliances are formed, collaborations grow and the energy level is sustained.

We’ve also been using SEESAW!

I’d like to expand on how we’ve been using Seesaw:

I should add that our individual inquiry ‘dream goals’ have been running in Grades 2-5.

Prep and G1 have been following a ‘play-based learning’ approach, exploring the ‘stations’, having fun and developing some preferences and passions whilst getting prepared for some specific goal setting in the near future.

What can I say, it’s been SO much fun! (did I mention that in a previous post? :-))

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Here’s how we use Seesaw to keep on track and monitor progress…

For Prep & G1:

Step 1:

I set an activity for the whole class…

Here’s a couple of examples from Seesaw:

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NB Using the activity function on Seesaw really helps because I can easily set the task, see who has submitted a response, and see who needs support to complete the task.

Step 2:

Time to give and receive feedback! Students pick a random name from a hat

Their job is to watch their peer’s sharing video on Seesaw, and respond in the following manner…

Feedback = 1 compliment and 1 suggestion.

(nothing more, nothing less)

An audio or a video response is fine, with a 1-minute time limit.                                     

Sentence starters are provided, eg…

“I really liked the way you…” / “I was very impressed by the way you…”

and “Something you can work on is…” / “To make it even better you can…” (respectively).

These help to keep the comments positive, promoting a growth mindset and a supportive environment.

For Prep & Grade 1, students can record a video or audio for their feedback.

Step 3:

Each student then listens to the feedback provided to them, and responds to the feedback on the same thread, with sentence starter prompts.

Again, the idea is that it’s all very positive, with the aim of building each other up; growing as individuals and as a community.

I should add that we also posted to individual student’s Seesaw ‘streams’ during lessons, and that we plan to develop and document this more during the coming semester.

NB As these students aren’t following dream goals, I can choose key times, for example, 1 month before the end of each semester, and have the whole class/grade feedback at the same time. Students don’t have to have a ‘polished’ performance but are merely showing what they’ve been working on. However, if they have something which they want to share live, we accommodate this and upload the video straight to the Seesaw activity.

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For grades 3-5:

Students are asked to reflect once per week on SEESAW. A simple reflection is enough combining PA and VA (more on this PA/VA ‘open studio’ collaboration later!)… here’s an example:

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This weekly check-in…

  1. Keeps students on track as they are accountable… with agency comes responsibility!
  2. Enables them to balance their time between VA and PA.
  3. Is a good reference point for them for the following week (keeps them on track).
  4. Offers a great timeline of progress.

I also videoed assembly performances and uploaded to Seesaw for feedback, and used a simple rubric to help students self assess.

Other tools and strategies we used to give and receive feedback:

  1. Students collect feedback from peers face to face.
  2. Students fill in a Google Form to feedback to their peers… I also provide feedback to students this way, as well as conferencing with them.
  3. Feeding back directly after a performance in-class… performers sit on the ‘hot-seat’ (a comfy chair with high sides- extra safe zone!) with a mic, and get to pick students who will feedback using the ‘compliment & suggestion’ formula.

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Once feedback has been received and responded to, students are then free to reflect, spend some time thinking, trying something new.

Then it’s time to set a brand new Dream Goal. And so it goes on 🙂

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If a student discovers something that they’re passionate about in Performing Arts, and wants to continue to work on that skill in a new goal,


However, I will encourage them to have a look around before setting a new goal, check-in with some other students and see what they’re learning, try some new ‘toys’, but if they are adamant in developing their existing passion,

who am I to insist that they change it.


“How have students been sharing their learning?”


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