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Implementing Music as a Formative Assessment Strategy to Improve Student Cognition

Judy Beard & Mark Perez

Strategies Cover September October 2019

Teachers strive to create the best and most effective learning environment for their students. While there may be differences among the content delivery methods within K–12 education, the goals of educators are consistent in that they seek to improve long-term cognitive retention, student motivation, and enjoyment. With regard to meeting the needs of students, educators face many challenges, such as preparing students for standardized assessments, implementing curricula, and increasing retention rates.

Teachers tend to rely on traditional content delivery, formal assessment strategies, or packaged curricula to meet standards. However, more authentic teaching and assessment methods may best suit the varied needs of learners (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). While there are other unique delivery methods of core content, music and poetry, when used as a formative assessment tool, can check for understanding and assist in measuring cognition. Music and poetry can increase student motivation, bridge the gap between school and home, and make meaningful connections with students (Scammacca et al., 2007).

This article will focus on innovative ways for implementing music and poetry to improve engagement, vocabulary, and active participation in the health classroom setting.

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