I started using progress grades about 7 years ago and they have been a
life-saver. It is a wonderful assessment tool for those kids who tend to
waste time OR conversely, try so hard but are not technically great. It levels
the playing field between those kids who are hot-shot artists and finish
early and these who kill themselves trying but take longer or are not
"artistic". I tell my classes that everyone has the possibility to earn an A this
Only requirement? Students need to manage their class time appropriately.
If the pencil is not "engaged on their paper" and they are socializing
instead, I watch to see how long it takes to get back on task. They know that
every minute wasted is reflected in their participation grade. I do the same
for ceramics. "Engaged" is the key to the grade. BTW, the teacher needs to
evaluate if the conversations are art motivated or just "gossip".
My online grade book is divided into 3 areas. 1) Craftsmanship 40% 2)
Participation 40% 3) Supplements 20% for quizzes, sketchbook, research and
homework assignments. The reason I keep Craftsmanship and Participation
equal percentages, is because a student must be engaged in production in
order to show their technical skill. This balance has been considered fair
by my students and their parents.