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<<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
Featuring art and art lesson plans, examples of my
artwork, genealogy resources, information about
contra dancing and Celtic music--and more!
AIM: SKBK56, ArtrageousSBK, & others
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