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Re: Grading in elementary

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Feb 01 2004 - 17:17:31 PST


Our lower school kids are graded each trimester. I agree with you,
elementary is not place to discourage any child from being enthusiastic
about art. They are still developing fine motor and you will see all
sorts of levels of development. But, in my opinion, what you can grade
on is whether or not a child is putting effort into their work (vs.
rushing everything), and whether they are willing to try new
things...techniques, concepts, etc.) It's more of a commentary than a
grade, I think. It is reflective of the child's interest and
involvement in learning about art, which is a visual language and a
vital part of our culture. I would never give a child who tries a bad
grade. I frequently ask them to take risks and remind them that they
cannot grow if they do not take risks. I also tell them that I would
rather see them take a risk to learn something new, or do something a
new way than to do what feels safe all the time in art, the boring tried
and true. I have sure seen some kids grow this year...man!!! Yusef's
horse...you have no idea where he has come from...how much progress he
has made in just one short year. It used to be that he could barely
close a shape at the beginning of 2nd grade. That is so exciting when
that happens, and that is something I will certainly put in his comment,
although not in those exact words. The only way you can get a poor
comment in my room is to do nothing, try nothing new, and never pay
attention! ANd the attention thing in LS is hard to gage too, at least
at first. I have a number of kids who CAN NOT pay attention in 2nd
grade this year. I mean, really, truly can NOT focus. Yeeks. It's
making me crazy..I've tried everything! If it was just a matter of
having one kid or two stand or sit next to me in discussion. We have
all agreed (teachers of these kids) that 14 out of 20 have serious ADD.
Only one is on meds. I need to be two octopi!

Linda Woods

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