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Lesson Plans

Re: Sample rubric

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Lorena Nalin (nalin)
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 22:29:24 -0700 (MST)

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San D,

I suppose that this strict form of documentation can appear a bit rigid.
This can be a frustrating process for me as well, as there are few things
that fit neatly into the boxes as the system is designed. But this the
standard to which I must conform to demonstrate that I have accomplished my
objective. I do think that attention to craftmanship and tradition are
important considerations. The class and I discuss this point and that
innovation is allowable with qualifications.

Grading and evaluation are not the same thing. The rubric is not the only
factor in assigning a grade. It is one aspect and it shows the student and
me (up front, no guessing what the teacher expects) what standard of
judgement is use. If a students could explain the reason they chose not to
follow the standard, then that might be an additional factor.

On 9/28, San D wrote,

>geeze, at this point all I can say is "eeeyowser". I truly am rendered
>speechless. I don't even know where to begin...somewhere between
>"sucking the fun out of life" and "learning for learning's
>sake".....yet, I too, grade, evaluate, critique, because I am afterall
>an art teacher. Fortunately for me, my students are on a highschool
>level, and they and I work on portfolios for college, works of art for
>expression and content, and homage to what has gone before through art
>history and referencing.

Since this particular unit is partly based on a traditional art form, we do
consider the use of following the handed down traditions.

>I am reminded of when I student taught on the
>elementary school level. I was teaching a lesson on weaving and asked
>each child to bring in a forked branch,...


> If you ask me, did the boy learn
>about weaving. Well, yes, he did. If you ask me, if his work looked
>like others', Well, no it didn't. If his teacher asked me why I didn't
>insist it was neat and careful, I would like to ask her....How many
>times has she woven, and was her first attempt a positive or negative

The use of a rubric is not really a positive nor negative thing. It allows
the student to self evaluate themselves against some sort of standard. If
the standard of weaving is to interlace fibers, then the rubric holds up.
If the rubric is to produce a warp/weft tightly woven surface, then does it
do that? I feel that I would rather have a student strive to "do it the
right way" in an effort to learn why or when to go against the "right way".
Is it truly innovation when one is simply sloppy or unable to grasp the

> At least that has been my experience for over 20 years of
>teaching on the highschool level. We do evaluate, we do grade, we do
>critique...but it's all of us....students, teachers together, we all go
>forward with the process....but now with a formula that all can fit
>into....I can't even fit into a formula as tight as that.

My question would be how is it communicated to the student that their work
has meet the requirments? Is everything acceptable? How do the art
schools that students apply to communicate their expectations? Not
teaching the high school level, we obviously have different exit goals, but
I feel that there are standards in most things we do and I would like to
have them told to me before I start the task.

Lorena Nalin
Elementary Art Specialist
Tucson, AZ

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