After reading your post, Sid, I was reminded and forgot to tell Eileen that I use a daily participation grade, too. I give 2 pts./day, but if I find that the student is going above and beyond what is expected and they are helping another student or clean up after someone else, they get an extra point. My project points are not too high either. If they screw up and don't turn anything in, it's usually easily traced by their lack of participation grade...this helps when I have to call parents. Yep, required by our district even at the HS level...I'd do it anyway even though passing out an "F" is certainly a wake-up call for some of these lazy bones.
It's self-explanatory in my ART 1 class...you work and put forth the effort, you get a good grade. If you are talented yet don't show the effort, then your grade may not be as high as someone without much talent. I agree that fun, basic, interesting projects and lots of encouragement and pats on the back are your best tools.
>From: Sidnie Miller <SMILLER@elko.k12.nv.us>
>Sent: Aug 4, 2009 2:48 PM
>To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re:[teacherartexchange] 1st day seating & multiple project choices for HS
>I know many teachers that have assigned seating--as long as you do whatever you
>plan to do at the beginning of the year and are consistent I think it will work. Trying to
>change midstream is a huge problem. I usually let kids sit wherever and talk if they
>want. I do give a participation grade every day---it gives them 2 points/day if they
>come in, do their work and clean up. It's a small number, but then I deal in small
>numbers (25 pts. for an assignment). It ends up being about 1/3 or 1/2 of their grade
>so after a while they get the idea. Some pretend to work, but since they never have
>a finished project it doesn't work. In many art programs the classes are filled with
>people who don't really want to do any work and don't care about their grades. I
>decided that it doesn't mean that I can't like them anyway, but I will definitely give
>them the F they earn. We always have a few "real" artists who love the class and
>the challenge and do great things. I used to be really upset because I only had 5-10
>really competent artists--now I think, well, how many off the chart math students
>I imply that studio art means your first art course?? I would definitely not give
>them free range of assignments, especially if their background is poor.
> Make them learn fundamental stuff--color theory,
>elements and principles, look at art history, technique. You an always make assignments
>that are fun. Students with no skills can't usually do great work and mostly waste
>good materials. Really encourage anyone or any assignment that is well done, and
>encourage them to take higher level courses where they will have freedom.