When I start a project I make a heading in my grade book for that project.
When each class comes in I ask the teacher if anyone is absent. If they
are I quickly mark that in my grade book under that project. I do not make
students make up art projects. It is simply too cumbersome for me and
confusing for them. So the absence mark in my grade book simply excuses
them from that project.
We all work together on a project. When students think they are done they
raise their hand and we decide together if they are done or if more needs to
be added. When we agree together that they are done they put their project
on my desk to be graded. They are not allowed to move onto the next
project until we have agreed together that the previous project is done.
Therefore I never have any unfinished projects although I do have excused
projects if they are absent. If a student is unmotivated or works really
slowly we talk together about whether they should continue to work or
whether we need to just "find a point of contentment" on that project and
move on to the next one. This is where individualization comes in because
some kids need to be pushed harder and some do better in a different medium
and just need to move on. I expect excellence from my students and they
know it and over time they have learned not to ask to "be finished" until
they have really worked hard on a project.
For grading--I have learned to simplify--this is for elementary only---Each
project gets either an S- S or S+ This makes grading fast and
easy. At the end of the quarter I simply average them in my head (it's
only 4-9 grades because we only see them once a week) and give them a letter
grade. Occasionally I do have a parent question a grade. At that time I
go back and assign number grades to each of the S grades and show the parent
how I arrived at the grade. Usually the parent isn't really questioning my
grading but is really interested in how their child could be making such a
low grade in such an "easy" class. This gives me an opportunity to educate
them on what we really do.
This system works for me. I hope some part of it might be helpful to you
or someone else.