SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2012

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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High School Studio Lesson Exams the Secret ingredients Betsy DiJulio T tion-based assessments, "authentic" his year, many high-school assessments, "balanced" assessments, teachers in the district where portfolio presentations, and twentyI teach experienced exam first-century skills. anxiety because midterms— as we had come to know and love A Chopped Inspiration them—were no more. For a variety of An avid Food Network fan, I knew reasons, the semester exam schedule almost instantly what I wanted to do: looked very different, the details of a Chopped! challenge, complete with which aren't important here. More to boxes of secret ingredients. For those the point is the new philosophy about unfamiliar with exam content and format that underI simply built the studio the television show Chopped!, four pinned the schedule. portion of my exams chef-contestants are District-wide around the idea of creating each given a box of high-school teachers something from a box of secret ingredients in every discipline secret ingredients. from which they were encouraged must prepare differto reimagine traent dishes. Their dishes are judged by a ditional exam design. In particular, panel of well-known chefs after which we were asked to consider some of one contestant is "chopped." the following guidelines and options: an emphasis on performance/applica- 32 november 2012 SchoolArts Left: Thaylor Davis. Right: Jaya Sullivan. Secret Ingredients Obviously, I didn't eliminate anyone from the exam process. Rather, I simply built the studio portion of my exams around the idea of creating something from a box of secret ingredients. In our classrooms, four students sit at each of six tables, so I purchased a pack of six hinge-lidded boxes for about $10. Each box was half the size of a banker's box and held a nice amount of objects purchased from the dollar store and selected from my still-life bins. Assigned Materials Each student was given a sheet of guidelines, an 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm)

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