What is your new approach to differentiating assessment?

I use several types of assessments in both music and Native American Culture.  My new approach from the readings in this class include:



After the readings of Heacox (2009), Wormeli (2006), and Hall, Strangman & Meyer (2003), I have discovered that some of the implements I already use are the perfect assessments for music performance.

In music performance the perfect assessment that is much differentiated is the audition.  Whether it is instrumental or vocal the audition is differentiated in various ways from the performance levels of the student to the performance levels of the ensemble.  What I have gathered from this class and the readings of both Heacox and Wormeli is that the most wonderful thing about the audition is that it can both be the pre-assessment and the post-assessment. 

The audition is a pre-assessment in many ways including as Heacox writes on page 29 it is the same as using an end-of-unit test as a pre-assessment.  Here is a Percussion Assessement and here is a Clarinet Assessment.

The ideal Student Self-Evaluation indicated by Heacox (2009) pp. 42-43 is the “Seat Challenge.”  Instead of the seat challenge being a competition for parts it really is an assessment not only for the students to be evaluated by the director but it is a chance for self-evaluation by the students themselves.

An absolute post-assessment is the One-on-One “Staged” Task as mentioned by Heacox (2009) pg.  47.  In music this can be the solo or small ensemble “contest” performance for teachers (directors).

Here are several Choral & Vocal Assessments of all of the above.



Assessing American Indian Students in Native American Culture is very tricky and is most often regulated by Tribal Law.  However when teaching non-Natives Native American Culture, I have used a wide variety of pre and post assessments.  While thinking of new assessment approaches and searching the internet I found the perfect flow chart for me to use in teaching Native American Culture.  This is from Hall, Strangman & Meyer (2003):

I have attached some Native American assessments below that I can use and for the chart above the Curriculum box would read Tribal, State and Federal BIA Standards.

NA Assessment 1

NA Assessment 2

NA Assessment 3

NA Assessment 4



Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2003).  Differentiated Instruction and Implications for UDL Implementation. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Retrieved [06/08/2011] from http://aim.cast.org/learn/historyarchive/backgroundpapers/differentiated… 

Heacox, D. (2009).  Making Differentiation a Habit.  Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.

Wormeli, R. (2006).  Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Addressing and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom.  Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.



  1. Nancy
    3:19 pm - 6-22-2011

    Thanks–nicely done. I am curious about assessing American Indian Students in Native American Culture is tricky.

  2. Patient Warrior
    4:01 pm - 6-24-2011

    It can be very tricky as it can involve the whole Nation. It is why many Nations are very particular of the Education of Native Children in both Native and non-Native areas.

  3. Douglas Nenry
    1:53 pm - 10-21-2018

    This is good stuff. May I give this to teachers in our district?

  4. Timothy Iron Horse
    4:02 am - 4-7-2020

    Thankfulness to finding this blog. Jamie is very smart and wise and very knowledgeable.

  5. Susan James
    8:11 pm - 4-25-2020

    Thanks Jamie! I will use this in classes when we have classes again.

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