edTPA K–12 Performing Arts Assessment Handbook
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the ” If the function is to explain a procedure or technique, then students
might use sentence starters like “First I…” and “Then I…” to structure the
explanation, and use “Finally I…” to signal the conclusion. Students respond verbally
and/or physically to symbolic and gestural language in music and dance to
demonstrate understanding of these forms of language in a performing arts
syntax: The set of conventions for organizing symbols, words, and phrases together
(e.g., sentences, graphs, tables).
In music, syntax refers to the
principles for organizing structural elements into sequences. There are multiple
levels of organization including: scale structure, chord structure, and key structure. In
tonal music, an example of syntax is the expected order of harmonic progressions or
melodic pitches and rhythms.
language supports: The scaffolds, representations, and pedagogical strategies
teachers provide to help learners understand, use, and practice the concepts and
language they need to learn within disciplines (Santos, Darling-Hammond, Cheuk,
The language supports planned within the lessons in edTPA should directly
support learners to understand and use identified language demands
(vocabulary/symbols, language function, and syntax or discourse) to deepen content
aligned: Consistently addressing the same/similar learning outcomes for students.
artifacts: Authentic work completed by you and your students including lesson plans,
copies of instructional and assessment materials, video clips of your teaching, and student
work samples. Artifacts are submitted as part of your evidence.
artistic expression: Creative talents that include self- and/or personal expression,
imaginative choices, interpretation, creativity, improvisation, and the ability to explore and
create freely without formal boundaries within the specific discipline of the arts. These may
be realized through physical movement/dance, musical performance, the spoken word,
composition, choreography, and/or the written word.
assessment (formal and informal): “[R]efer[s] to all those activities undertaken by
teachers and by their students . . . that provide information to be used as feedback to modify
teaching and learning activities.”
Assessments provide evidence of students’ prior
knowledge, thinking, or learning in order to evaluate what students understand and how they
are thinking. Informal assessments may include, for example, student questions and
responses during instruction and teacher observations of students as they work or perform.
Formal assessments may include, for example, quizzes, homework assignments, journals,
projects, and performance tasks.
assets (knowledge of students):
personal: Refers to specific background information that students bring to the
learning environment. Students may bring interests, knowledge, everyday
Zwiers, J. (2008). Building academic language: Essential practices for content classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Santos, M., Darling-Hammond, L., & Cheuk, T. (2012). Teacher development to support English language learners in the
context of common core state standards. Stanford University Understanding Language. Available at
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan,