I will often see students nodding along as I, or another student, is presenting at the board. However, when the time comes to explain it, or even work problems themselves, students will sometimes be at a loss over material that they seemingly understood only moments ago.
As I continue to play with Smart Music (online program), I have noticed something. I actually sound much worse when playing with the accompaniment than alone. I credit this to the fact that I can self regulate the difficult parts of a song and slow down my playing to match my ability. It was much more challenging to have the background playing and keeping me accountable. I had to really know and understand how to play the music and wasn’t able to trick my mind into thinking I could play a song.
It is important that we hold students accountable for content. I am not talking about many multiple choice tests that don’t seem to truly check for understanding, but truly authentic assessments. This helps teachers (and more importantly the students themselves) can not trick themselves into thinking something is fully understood. Now, how to do this effectively could very well take my whole career. For now, I will continue to work with my accompaniment to hold me accountable.