I grade along the way...so kids get a grade for their thesis statement, their drawings, their work habits, their clean up habits, their cooperative learning habits. They get a grade for the bisque ware, they get a grade for the glazed piece. Accidents DO happen in life, as well as crummy 1st time work. I keep in mind that this is probably the first time they have ever worked in clay and grade accordingly. I don't know about you, but my first experiences with certain materials was disastrous, BUT that said, I learned from those experiences, and my next work was a lot stronger. I teach in high school, and we have 8 sequential art courses. What a kids does in a beginning crafts class is definitely not weighted the same as what a kid does in ceramics. However, all of this is precipitated on the student themselves...they must take responsibility for their work, their craftsmanship, their ideas. So often we as art teachers come up with what we think will be a 'boffo' idea, present it with enthusiasm, and then students look at us like we are from Mars. They don't have the same passion for the idea as we do. Our jobs is to also teach them to take ownership of the idea, and not to just thrust the project on them. Authentic learning comes from within,and is not necessarily tied to the perfect end product.