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Lesson Plans

Re: Grades

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 16:51:49 EST

Sorry to have hit that nerve! I HATE GRADING KIDS!!!!!!(just to get that out
there!) I only do it cause I have no choice! I have to give letter grades
for achievement, effort and conduct. I tell my kids that if I wanted
something to look perfect, I would take a picture! They are all encouraged
to enjoy the process and experiment! I would never fail a kid for that or
EVER toss work in the trash!!!!! They just don't get the A. But I've
explained to my students that if a work would evolve into something else, go
with it, by all means! But I, as the teacher would use it for extra credit,
and they still have to do one that fits the criteria! Otherwise its not fair
to the kids that followed directions. I've also told kids that if they had
to design a job for a client or boss, and the boss says it has to be 16"x20"
to fit in a certain space, and the theme of the piece has to be movement or
something, you have to deliver what the boss wants, otherwise, what's that mes
sage? Unfortunately, in the "real world" you can only please yourself when
you are doing something for enjoyment. If I didn't have to give the kids
grades, I wouldn't have a criteria to grade by....

If I ask for a project to be done in B/W, and the student gives
me an outstanding piece with color, they don't make the grade...

One of my former students who moved on to another school came to me in
tears of rage. She had started working on an assignment and had
worked for days. As she worked the piece developed a life of its own
and went in a different direction than had been prescribed by the
assignment. She lost track of the original directive. She was so
excited about the work. When she turned it in the teacher held it up
and pointed out each criteria of the assignment that had not been met,
gave her an f, and tossed it into the garbage.

What is the message here to the student and the class? I know this
student. She is a divergent thinker, a dedicated worker, and has a
passion for art. After this treatment she refused to make another
artwork. So what was gained.

Sometimes, when I confer with a student, I have to search for ways the
assignment has been met and guide the artist to make a second piece to
demonstrate the understanding of the concepts that were not attempted.
Grades get in the way of the direction I like to go. The objective is
to explore the concepts and produce quality product. Also allowance
needs to be made for taking risks and deciding that some work goes
into the waste basket.

Sorry for ranting but I have a raw nerve when it comes to this
subject. These are my thoughts at 1:00 am when I am too tired to fall

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