Sunday, January 24, 2016

Report cards

Kindergarten - cut paper project, challenge of using only cut paper and NO drawing

Report card time has me paying special attention to the report card criteria:
  • Overall effort (does the student accept the challenge and use the whole class time to work on their solution?
  • Refines and completes works of art
  • Creates through appropriate use of tools, techniques and studio space
  • Responds and finds meaning when viewing works of art (students were only graded on this if they were individually asked to write or speak about an artist - and results were recorded).

I think these 3 are simple and cover the main components for being successful in a studio art class. The focus and work ethic is also something the classroom teachers depend upon and supports student success.

My impression is that more than 90% of my students are Meeting, or Exceeding the standards. Capitol Hill students are very open and willing learners.

I have a handful of students who work at the lowest level by choice. They want it done and over with.
That disappoints me as they are limiting their own potential to learn and grow. I gave one class a "lecture" on that last week- and as a teacher I know how effective that is! ha ha- probably not
But it helped me clarify my thoughts on how to communicate about this problem:

I told the students my story- I was always good at art, and was an art major in college, but also loved science-biology (still do, geology as well). People asked me if I was going to pursue art and for awhile my response was No - its too easy for me. Too easy had become uninteresting for me and I hoped for a engrossing career.
At some point I had a good teacher who engaged me and taught me the more complex side of art, some complicated processes, or to look for the less obvious solution. I was finally challenged and went on to more training and a life of learning and loving art.
Challenges make the topic interesting.
Two students raised their hands to share - Both talking about taking piano lessons, and how it was easy in the beginning but had gotten more "fun" as the pieces became complex like a puzzle to break down and solve.
Aren't they great!?

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