SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2014

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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aSSeSSMent Redefining Assessment Tina M. Atkinson J times 560 students . . . and then I'd ust saying the word "assesspass out. Thinking about it as a collecment" causes anxiety in most tion of work that shows each student's art teachers, and, for those of us process really simplified things. in elementary, heart palpitations So how can you use the idea book and cold sweats. Just the thought of as a pre-test? Let's take self-portraits giving quizzes and tests to our 300 to 800 students is an overwhelming pros- as an example. I usually start selfportraits with some questions about pect. It's time that we redefine what identity, have students answer them assessment looks like in the artroom individually in writand create and develop strategies that not It's time that we create ing, then discuss only measure student and develop strategies them verbally in table groups. growth, but also conthat not only measure After a class distribute to it. student growth, but cussion, students Our goal is for students to assimilate also contribute to it. explore various works of art and define new knowledge, skills, their answers even more. Depending and techniques, blend in their own on their grade level, students would personal experiences, and create artdraw a "face map," focusing on correct works that demonstrate their growth. Pre-tests and post-tests are a great way facial proportions in their idea books. Then they would move on to practice to do that. a variety of media, and create finished self-portraits, all in their idea books. idea Books The pre-test idea book exercises In my artroom, students use "idea show a starting point for understandbooks" as pre-tests and post-tests. ing facial proportions and identity. These are inexpensive books that I At the conclusion of the unit, the make for my first- through fourthstudent's finished self-portrait is the grade students. Students use these post-test. What is even better is that books to launch learning experiences, you have evidence of student growth brainstorm, sketch, and write about what they are learning. This idea book through the idea book. You can also see the risks students took when they becomes a kind of portfolio. The first pushed the techniques they learned thing I used to think of when I heard beyond what you had shown them. "portfolio" was the AP portfolio . . . rubrics and Checklists Now that we have a handle on portfolios, pre-tests and post-tests, let's go a step further. Let's look at rubrics and checklists . . . stay with me, now. I like to use a student self-evaluation rubric/checklist. Administrators love these and so do students. Try this simple formula: Take your standards that you flipped into measurable objectives and transform them into "I" statements. Going back to the self-portrait example, the statements may be something like, "I created a self-portrait using correct facial proportions." "My self-portrait includes two or more details that tell viewers more about my identity." or "I created a patterned background using complementary colors." I bold the vocabulary words. The rubric is a great way to assess how students connect to the written word. This assessment tool helps develop the student's art vocabulary as well as assess his or her current knowledge. In the rubric, students rate their own work one statement at a time. First-grade students respond by checking "yes," "sort of," or "no," while older students use "excellent," "well done," "OK," or "poor." Taking the time to reflect on what has been learned, what was successful or unsuccessful, adds more value to the Continued on page 46. 14 January 2014 SchoolArts

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