Friday, November 6, 2015


2nd grade sunflower study

Hi - This is not the most popular topic, even with me, but as I wrote we are in the 3rd year of the arts tax and time to start measuring student learning.

I have explained the new grading criteria to many of the classes and even clarified the specifics that "if I taught it, and we practiced a concept or skill, then I will be looking for it on the final project."

The students seem fine with it all, as one girl told me yesterday "Oh our classroom teacher grades us all the time, on our homework and even on our tests."  Kids are great aren't they?

For instance, the 2nd graders are doing a drawing inspired by a sunflower still life by Van Gogh.
They looked at real flowers and realistic drawings of sunflowers. They practiced.
They also were introduced to some new pattern making techniques "zentangles" that might work well for the seeds in the center.

So I told them, when I go to grade their final drawing, I will be looking for:
  • number of sunflowers
  • are the petals more natural 
  • are the centers complex? using one of the zentangle techniques or a complex technique the student invented herself. 
I explained if the sunflower has triangle petals and a checker-board center, then "you are not showing me you learned anything in our 2-3 classes of practicing." "Show me what you learned, show off."  They get it and appear to be enjoying the challenge.

Here are some of their "studies."

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