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Lesson Plans

Re: Grading at the Elementary Level

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Henry Taylor (taylorh)
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:43:51 -0700

>Hi, I also tell my students that their "art grade" is based on their
>in class.

I go on to say that I like mistakes and that in art they are the coolest
things... and that the only thing that's really likely to be a problem is
not taking a few risks to avoid mistakes or errors or just getting it
"wrong." It's an idea that comes from Product Design. You want designers who
aren't afraid of looking foolish and taking risks. IF you CAN take risks
with a smile you can take the necessary ones to work through the problem
areas and do, and GET TO, the polished, finished, product.

Risks bring out the ideosyncratic, individual, side that we find in art.
Avoiding risks leads (I tend to think) towards a lifeless sameness int the
work. Oh, it can appear really tight and even "professional" (scary word)
But you find exactly the same qualities in "activity art" where you start by
tracing your hand of foot and everyone ends up with a clean "hard-edged"
turkey or reindeer -- 30 in a row with little variation (No purple turkeys

Sure I'll do a lesson plan and even a rubric but if a kid insists on going
in the oppposite direction ya gott love'em I mean imagine getting your
favorite 10 world class artists i n your classroom and asking them to hold
to your rubric.

"But I don't WANT to use arbitrary color ." says Raphael
"I'm TIRED of Cubism." says Picasso
"I LIKE it to look flat." Says Andy W.

But a lot of kids appreciate the Rubric and will hold onto it like a life
preserver if they can. Do we really understand art if we can't visceralize
the risky quality of the choices made by the master artist?

AND THEN, tyhere is art outside the models of the Western Tradition. ;-)


I realize it all circulates aroung self-esteem at this age..but
>there are certain kids who look at you sometimes like you are a babysitter,
>not a teacher...and they need to be reminded of approporaite behavior and
>effort. My system is big into putting a comment on every report card so I
>really address each students abilities and effort in that section. So far I
>have only given out a few NI---mostly for behavior issues OR if a kid won't
>simply do ANYTHING and I do have a few of those winners! (But the grade
>NEVER comes as a surprise to them..because we've talked about it.) It makes
>it hard to comment on every kid, but it also lets the students parents who
>are really doing well..know that information as well as the others who are
>being detrimental to class know that info as well. I sometimes give S+ and
>S-...which helps to emphasize their skill level (on the positive side of
>that) and their effort and/or behavior (on the negative side). I've
>had parents comment on the "comments" that they appreciate the information.
>Take care, Stephanie