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Re: Grading for Elementary Art

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Heyjude5270_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 12:42:28 PST


I teach in a private school, however the curriculum follows state and
national standards for DBAE in its objectives and outcomes. For the younger
students, (K-4) I have been grading primarily on their effort, craftsmanship,
creativity and ability to follow directions. These grades receive
Outstanding, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.I have not used rubrics for these
 younger students, but refer back to lesson plans for particular projects
when evaluating their work. For older students, (grades 5-8),traditional
letter grades are given. I do use rubrics for these upper grades that I make
up myself. In general, all rubrics will contain objectives of timely
completion of project, craftsmanship, evidence of meeting particular criteria
for a project and use of principles of design. Additional criteria might be
added, depending on the project. At first I included an area of
creativity/originality, but I got nothing but grief from parents for this. My
questions to all you experienced teachers out there are:
1. Do you give grades of 'C' and lower when you feel it is warranted and how
do you handle parents who then come to you with : "You can't grade my child
like this. He/she just isn't talented in art. It's not fair!" ?(Note: No one
who put in effort received grades of 'C; or lower. These were the students
who were constantly not working.)
2.How do you handle evaluating aesthetics and creativity? My feeling is that
if a student listens and then applies those things learned to his/her work,
the outcome will be satisfactory or better. I feel there is no difference in
an art teacher evaluating a work's creativity and aesthetic value than an
English teacher doing the same thing when grading a short story or essay.

This is a very wealthy school and many, many of the parents believe that
their children are just genetically predisposed to receive nothing but A's.
They will not believe that their kids can keep it together in the traditional
classroom, but cannot behave and apply themselves in the art classroom. I
also feel the behavior problems I am seeing stem from and are reinforced by
parents who don't value the fine arts as subject matter in school. These
attitudes are really bringing me down and making me wonder if I'm in the
right field.

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