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grading elementary art-is it required for you?


Date: Tue Sep 14 2004 - 14:54:13 PDT

  I need some input from my cyber friends. I know some of you may find
this hard to believe, but in 17 years of teaching elementary art (same
school) I have never been required (or even asked for input) to do
grades. The students all got an e,s,or n in art, music and P.E.
Classroom teachers gave this grade at their discretion. It looks like
our district is moving towards a more direct grading input system from
the related arts teachers. Our school's related arts team will be
meeting on Monday to begin discussions of what we would like to see
happen. I'm not thrilled about doing grades for 550+ students but I am
hopeful that our input will count for something. SO.... I'm putting out
a call for help. What does your school do? Are you happy with it-what
would you like to see change? Do you give effort grades or behavior? Do
you use numbers or letters, is it the same for all grades?
    I know I'm opening a can of worms-should art be graded, can art be
graded...etc.. But unfortunately, that is not the question here- as
you all know, once the district higher ups decide something, you might
as well try to do it and at least have some say in the whole process.
   To prepare myself for this eventuality, I have taken several excellent
courses offered by our state on assessment in the arts and become a
firm believer in students doing self evaluations. I have rubrics
developed for many of my lessons and really have seen improvement in
students' work when they know what they will be grading themselves on.
Of course, until this point, those rubrics were just numbers that they
used-the effectiveness came in reading over what was expected before
they actually put pen to paper (or glue to paper,etc..)
          So anyway, thanks for any words of wisdom you may have.
                       Jeryl in SC