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grading in elementary art (or not!)


From: Jeryl Hollingsworth (holl5_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 21:10:50 PST

I feel guilty to add to this thread with my comments when some of you have
such a tough schedule- but here goes.....The special area teachers at my
school don't do any grading. ever...we don't even see a report card. I teach
20 classes in 4 days-each class comes for 45 minutes. I have 6 classes on
Mon.-Wed. and then only 3 on Thurs so I have 3 planning times- And I have
never worked on Fridays. I am considered full time so I get benefits.
Having said that, I still am very interested in the grading process and
rubrics,etc... I took a one week class this summer in evaluating the arts
(music, art, dance, drama) and it was really beneficial. First of all, when
you are writing a rubric it really makes you focus on what you want the
students to learn and what outcomes you are expecting. Next, I found that
going over a rubric with students before they begin a project really
improves results. Scratch art projects that I had done with 5th grade in the
past were so much better this year after I had developed a rubric for them
to work from. They are still on my web site if you want to check ( the extra
time I have on Thursdays helps me keep up with a web page!). So the
evaluating I do with my students is a real no-pressure kind of situation. I
can use it as tool to help the students improve instead of something that
makes them self conscious about their work. I'm working on developing a
digital portfolio kind of system ( I guess on the line of what it sounds
like Linda uses) so I could have a record of the kids' big projects that
could follow them through elementary school. I always feel bad when the
really memorable work they do walks out the door and you never know if it
goes in the trash or gets framed!