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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 50 of 60

ASSESSMENT Redefining Assessment Tina M. Atkinson J I heard "portfolio" was the AP portust saying the word "assessfolio . . . times 560 students . . . and ment" causes anxiety in most then I'd pass out. Thinking about it as art teachers, and, for those of us a collection of work that shows each in elementary, heart palpitations student's process really simplified and cold sweats. Just the thought of things for me. giving quizzes and bubble tests to our So how can you use the idea book 300–800 students is an overwhelming as a pre-test? Let's look at self-porprospect. It's time that we redefine traits as a common example. I usually what assessment looks like in the artroom and create and develop strategies start self-portraits with some questhat not only measure student growth, tions about identity, have students answer them indibut also contribute It's time that we redefine vidually in writing, to it. then discuss them Our goal is for what assessment looks verbally in table students to assimilike in the artroom and groups. late new knowledge, create and develop After a skills, and techstrategies that not only class discussion, niques, blend in measure student growth, students explore their own personal experiences, and but also contribute to it. various works of art and define their create artworks that answers even more. Depending on demonstrate their growth throughout their grade level, students would draw the learning process. Pre- and posta "face map" or generic face, focusing tests are a great way to do that. on correct facial proportions in their idea books. Then they would move Idea Books on to practice a variety of media, and In my artroom, students use "idea then to create finished self-portraits, books" as pre-tests and post-tests. all in their idea books. These are inexpensive books that I The pre-test idea book exercises make for my first through fourthshow a starting point for understandgrade students. Students use these ing facial proportions and identity. books to launch learning experiences, At the conclusion of the unit, the brainstorm, sketch, and write about student's finished self-portrait is the what they are learning. post-test. What is even better is that The idea book becomes a portfolio. The first thing I used to think of when you have evidence of student growth 14 January 2014 through the idea book. You can also see the risks students took when they pushed the techniques they learned beyond what you had shown them. Rubrics and Checklists Okay, now that we have a handle on portfolios, pre- 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 for your unit plan and transform them into "I" statements. Let's go 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 the viewer 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 checkContinued on page 46. SchoolArts Continued from page 14. learning experience and students are more likely to transfer what they have learned to other content areas. I also use this self-evaluation as a standards-based checklist to guide students through the art-making process. It also keeps me on track. The vocabulary that I include in the rubric reminds me to consistently reinforce the objectives each week. I keep the checklist visible by placing it under the document camera and leaving it up as a reference. Students hear it, see it, read it, write about it, and create it—it doesn't get any more "differentiated" than that! embrace Assessment Educate your administrators. Keep doing what you love and loving what you do, because no matter what, we will adapt and overcome in the most colorful way possible. Tina M. Atkinson is a national board certified art teacher at Percy Priest Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee. Clay Tools & Reference Materials New Book Figure Sculpting by Philippe & Charisse Faraut $54.95 + Shipping PCF PO Box 722 Honeoye, NY 14471 585-229-2976 46 January 2014 SchoolArts

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SchoolArts Magazine - JAN 2014