Sight Reading Factory is a fantastic resource to use at home, especially during a potential period of online learning. My school closed on Tuesday and now we are entering day 3 of uncharted territory!
Here is the message send from the co-founders of Sight Reading Factory:
If you’re looking for a remote eLearning solution for your music classes while schools in your district are closed due to the COVID-19 virus, Sight Reading Factory is offering free student accounts during the time your school is closed.
If you’re not familiar with SightReadingFactory.com, we are a cloud-based application for practicing sight reading. With the assignments feature, students can record themselves performing a teacher-configured sight reading exercise directly through our online platform. Students can then submit their recording to the teacher for grading. SRF works on virtually any modern device – smartphones, tablets, laptops, Chromebooks, etc. With SRF student accounts, teachers can organize students into classes/groups and can also view reports on their students to monitor their usage and track progress.
Our unique composition engine allows you to customize and configure sight reading exactly to the needs of your students and generate a virtually unlimited supply of unique sight reading exercises. Click here to try out a free demo and generate some sight reading exercises.
Check out this page for more information on SRF student accounts and the assignments feature.
If your school will be closed due to the COVID-19 virus and you’d like to take advantage of this offer of free student accounts during the time your school is closed, please write to us at email@example.com.
How to Use Sight Reading Factory for distance learning!
Before doing anything I list below, just go to their website and try the demo on their home page; you do not need to give an email or fill anything out. Once you see how easy and effective the program is, you will be sold on the plan below!
This plan will work for you and your students:
- Contact Sight Reading Factory at: firstname.lastname@example.org. They will provide you with one code to disseminate to your choir
- Log onto Sight Reading Factory as a teacher and create a class. Just click on CLASS and then create a NEW class. You can create as many classes as you want. I suggest keeping this simple. Perhaps you could have a beginner and advanced class, and have your students self-select into the appropriate class; you could create a class for each chorus that you have.
- Create an assignment(s) – and select a due date. Next, they ask for a key signature, time signature, length (number of measures), tempo, and a few other/less important things. The bottom line is that the options are restrictive enough that you won’t get confused. Create as many assignments as you’d like. Each assignment will meet your specific parameters but each student will receive different assignments. It takes well under one minute to create an assignment. The best part about this is that you can just “duplicate” the same assignment over and over again; since every example is brand new, students will receive a different assignment every time, even if your parameters remain exactly the same!
- Send the code out to your students and they can instantly join the class(es) you’ve set up. They will see the assignments when they join your class!
The purpose of your assignments
Assignments can be as simple or challenging as you wish. I suggest keeping them simple as the goal is to keep our singers positive and engaged through this difficult time.
How assignments work:
Students will click on an assignment and have endless tries before submitting their take to us. (Students can sing directly into any computer mic.) They can even hear the correct notes played alongside their recorded performance. This means, they will have a clear sense of how they did before submitting. While students cannot redo any exercise, they can try over and over again; when they try again, a new exercise will be generate that meets the exact same parameters.
When they submit an assignment, we will know how many times they tried to complete the assignment (how many different assignments they attempted).
How to Grade in this Current Climate:
Our goal is to motivate our students and keep them involved. I would suggest grading on a simple scale. 4 = outstanding, 3 = excellent, 2 = fair (passing), 1 = needs improvement.
Since our students are at different levels, we want to encourage all students to be successful. A score of a “1” is for a student who doesn’t submit an assignment or makes little effort. I would recommend a passing score of “2” for any student who makes an effort. A score of “4” is for students who excelled on the exercise and a “3” is for hardworking students who make a serious effort with a decent result or talented sight-singers who don’t make the effort to refine their effort.
If put into a 10 point scoring system, it could look like this:
- 10 = outstanding
- 9 = excellent
- 8 = fair
- 5 = needs improvement
One more GREAT Sight-Reading Factory Idea!
This is not only another effective idea, but it is an alternative for students who do not have the same access to a modern computer/chromebook/mic. All they need is access to email and a printer.
On Sight Reading Factory, create an 8-measure exercise that meets your parameters (for example, 4/4 time, key of D major, notes/rests no faster than 1/8 note, range of an octave), and make a PDF of each exercise.
From there, send the PDF assignments out to your students and ask them to label the pitches below the notes (d, r, m, f, etc) and the rhythms above the note (1+2+3+4+). If you have google classroom or another method of submission, have them submit it to you. You can always send a sample 8-measure exercise with an answer key for all students in order to ensure they understand the concept.
We are living in a scary and confusing time right now. Health comes first. We must take care of ourselves, our families, and our community.