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Lesson Plans

Re: statement

From: artrageous
Date: Tue Aug 22 2000 - 06:19:16 PDT

  • Next message: Donald Peters: "Re: duty question"

    <<Why do you grade so hard in art? It is just an elective (even though
    our district requires it for graduation). Students should not be given
    below a B in art. Not everyone can do art so you need to go easy on

    There's more to an art class (especially at the middle or high school
    levels) than just "doing art." My students are graded on things like work
    ethic and use of class time, turning written work and homework drawings in
    on time, how well they follow directions, etc, and on their effort and
    attitude (in fact they generally grade *themselves* on stuff like effort and

    I don't do a whole lot with homework, but usually they have a weekly written
    assignment pertaining to our unit or to a particular artist, as well as a
    weekly required sketch that reinforces some of the concepts we've been
    covering in class.

    I DO realize that art is an elective, and I know a lot of students are
    struggling to keep up with assignments in lots of other classes (I'm a mom,
    so I'm sensitive to the pressure that some kids are under in terms of

    Last year no one earned below a C in my class (as a final grade). Even
    though some students couldn't "do art" as well as others, they did really
    nice jobs on the written assignments, were conscientious about turning work
    in on time, were pleasant and cooperative in class, made excellent use of
    their time, etc.

    At the beginning of the year I told them how they would be graded--that it
    was on the whole package--and at the end of the year during an awards
    ceremony for the whole school, the student who had best fulfilled ALL of the
    components for excellence in art received an award. Several people were
    surprised that it wasn't the art "star" of the school (who frequently turned
    in sloppy or incomplete written assignments, didn't make good use of her
    studio time, and had an attitude as large as the canvases she worked on...)

    This year there will probably be two awards--a purchase award for work
    submitted by students and selected by a panel of judges for the school's
    permanent collection--and then the one for the student who pretty well "gets
    it" across the board.

    But aside from awards, I think it's important to be really clear with
    students from the beginning regarding what's expected of them in the class.
    In this way they'll see that there is more to the class than just "doing

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