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Lesson Plans

Re: grading systems

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
lindacharlie (lindacharlie)
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 13:38:45 -0500

Pam's excellent advice for grading in secondary art classes points out
significant differences in the possibilities for us elementary people.
for secondary level where you probably have three preps (different
classes) per day at most and a daily planning period in which to
accomplish such tasks. (Of course there are exceptions where middle/high
school art teachers have 5 or even 6 preps but I expect those are not
the rule, and they still have a daily planning period.) In my elementary
situation I NEVER teach the same grade level more than once a day
therefore have 6 preps a day (Yes, you can have all grade levels in a
given day do clay, paint or whatever, but that still requires time for
prep...cutting clay/making sure brushes are washed and paint is
replenished, etc. not to mention back-ups at the kiln and drying rack.)
My "planning" time consists of 3 minutes between classes and 23 minutes
attached to lunch. This is better than some (like art-ala-cart!) and
worse than others.
I took a graduate level portfolio and performance assessment class two
years ago and agree that rubrics ARE THE BEST ways to grade art
products. I just haven't figured out how to accomplish designing,
producing, and filling out rubrics, then transferring these grades to a
record book (remember not all K-1 kids are reading and able to do this
on their own) for 36 K-6 classes (800 kids) I see once a week (unless
there is a holiday, curriculum day, school assembly, illness, field
trip, or power failure that falls during their art time). I also
hesitate to use even 1 of my precious 47 minutes per week having primary
students negotiate a rubric. Because I work with individual classroom
teachers on special interdisciplinary projects, not all grade levels are
even doing the same thing at once which further complicates the
I also consider affective learning an important part of artistic
development. My students receive many varied opportunities to express
their understandings and beliefs about their own art, the art products
of others, and the studio environment, in a safe, informed, and
respectful way. This type of learning is clearly stated in our district
art objectives. Some students' behaviors preclude growth in this area.
Their grades reflect this. I have had opportunities to discuss this
aspect of grading with parents and found them to be understanding and
even supportive in guiding their children toward growth. Others, of
course, feel that "it's ONLY art...who cares."
That said, I'm still open to any suggestions you all have found to be
FEASIBLE for the large number of different classes/students elementary
art teachers face, and the limited amount of time we are provided in
which to accomplish our preparation, teaching, and assessment. I'd sure
like to hear from some of our college professors on this topic! (I hope
I have not given the impression that I think you secondary folks have it
easy up there-just different.)
Linda in cold, crisp, but green land of hardy snapdragons
(lower) Michigan

Pam Wellington Lackey wrote:
> A few really simple hints:
> 1.always write seating charts, rosters and grades in PENCIL.
> 2. Whatever system you use, keep it SIMPLE.
> 3. Use a POINT system and clearly stated RUBRICS for objective grading
> systems that cannot be successfully challenged.
> I use rubrics and a point system. That way I do not have to take the
> time to split areas into percentages. Students get used to using the
> rubrics and depend upon them for clarity in understanding assignments,
> assessing their own work, and predicting how well they are doing. (
> they fill out their own rubric and score their projects before I do.) I
> don't get into grading behavioral issues. I found out the hard way that
> it is illegal to tie acedemic grades to behavior issues (at least in
> Pennsylvania it is) so the rubrics hit all of the things necessary. I
> teach 7-12 grade. Hope this helps.
> Pam Wellington Lackey
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