My mom taught me about a nice assessment tool for the students to use on the class. It's very simple. I try to do it with each class at least once a semester now.
It is START / STOP / CONTINUE. I have the students write on a piece of paper these three words and then they have to give feedback for each. I always encourage them to write as much as they would like because it helps me understand what they are thinking about class.
Under START, they write the things that we do not do in class that they would like for us to start doing.
Under STOP, they write the things that we do in class that they want us to stop doing.
Under CONTINUE, they write the things in class that they would like to continue doing.
I was surprised to find that some of the students do not like the storytelling method of teaching. I think this relates to the idea that some people will always be bored no matter what you do with them in class. I try to make the class as fun and dynamic and silly as I can. But of course, I need the help of the students. Sometimes students do not offer suggestions to a story and it of course doesn't hold their interest because they have decided not to participate in the group. Unlike other classes, when we participate, we are usually having a wonderful time, and laughing and really enjoying ourselves. The students who are not participating are in essence like wallflowers at a social function. It's a tad confusing because I really thought that everyone would enjoy this, but there will still be students who get bored. Even though I try to bring them in, they might still choose to tune me out.
There are times I think maybe they are not understanding. But on the quizzes they will do fine. So I guess they would rather be bored in class. I'll still work on reaching them so they won't dislike this teaching method.
Many students wrote that they would like for us to do song-day more often. Currently I have it scheduled for Thursdays. Maybe I should consider that I could reward them with an extra song day one week if they are really on fire for the class.
Otherwise, most of the comments were that I should continue to do my different warm-ups (see them here).