Useful Examples of Assessment for Improving Learning
Ann Schedivy-Tollefson, Advocacy Chair
As I look around at my elementary art room full of students, my eyes fall upon a student or two who have complete understanding of the project and finish with their work early. Then I look in another direction, and there are students who are really struggling. What do I do? I need to annotate the success levels of those students at both ends of the student learning goals. I encourage the skilled students to offer their assistance in helping those experiencing challenges achieve success. “Show him what you did to make your Statue of Liberty clay sculpture have the right proportions” I might say. “How do the weft strands in this weaving alternate over the warp strands?”
At the elementary level, when I do oral questioning with students as a review, I know the students answering the questions correctly clearly understand. In large groups, I use my seating chart (in a plastic sheet protector) to record who knew what. I mark their seat position with a wet (or dry) erase marker in a color that matches up with a question I am asking. I can use a check mark or a plus if they get it right. This I consider a formative assessment, as I will move my teaching along after they have shown mastery of content. After the students leave the room, I take the time to annotate in the gradebook the level of understanding each student answering has demonstrated. I look at who did not try to answer, or got it wrong, and give them another opportunity at a later time. When classes are large (and young), I realize I have to do something authentic to record their understanding without making a written test—a tip I got from the Art of Ed blog.
High school students have rubrics that we go over to assess their studio projects. We go over this rubric prior to doing the assignment and they are asked to think about whether the levels seem right. They have the opportunity to ask for clarification and we can make reasonable adjustments. After doing their projects, they do a critique based on the same rubric. I like to critique one of my own artworks (based on the rubric if it suits it) so the students can tell that I can still see areas of improvement that I myself desire to achieve. By placing some of the decision-making in the hands of the students, they feel they are valued and that I am trying to be as fair as possible. It is much better to show them on the rubric where their studio work may not “measure up,” than it is to just say what they need to do to improve it. Students are more willing to accept your constructive criticism when you can show them where the standard is. I don’t like a moving target, do you?
Below are some things to keep in mind when doing formative assessments with students (found on the Teaching Channel). There are four attributes in the formative assessment process: clarify intended learning, elicit evidence, interpret evidence and act on evidence. My interpretation of those four attributes looks like this:
Clarify—What do you want the students to learn?
Elicit evidence—What will show they have learned it?
Interpret the evidence—What does this evidence mean?
Act on the evidence—What are you going to do now?
Some teachers give a pre-test on the information they want their students to know by the end of a unit. This would enable them to save time on content that is mastered and move on to those things not well understood. Whatever the grade level you are teaching your art classes, recognize the developmental age of the student and adjust your formative assessment so they fit exactly what you are trying to measure. I encourage you to look upon formative assessments as necessary to drive your instruction.
Board member Ann Schedivy-Tollefson, Advocacy Chair
I returned from the WAEA conference in Milwaukee with a plethora of ideas to implement in my school district. This writing is a reflection of the sessions I attended while there.
One session had the focus “what does literacy look like inside the art room?” In this session, Frank Juarez spoke about how the 365 Artists, 365 Days Project (365artists365days.com) was infused with the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) Model. It gave the students the responsibility to gather information about a contemporary artist (in groups) where each person in the team had a role. They addressed specific focus questions about their artists and reported back using an exit ticket, along with an oral sharing of what the group learned.
“Art in the Age of STEAM” by Deb West demonstrated a variety of lessons where technology, science, engineering and math can be used with visual art to bring about learning that spans curriculum areas.It opens student eyes to see that collaborative learning in all areas makes learning fun and relevant.
I learned from Karl Wallick and Erica Chappelear to use scoring, bending and cutting card stock to explore architectural concepts. This connected well to a paper sculpture lesson I have done with students as young as second grade. In this lesson, we envision the paper sculptures as large-sized structures.
Jill LaGrange shared her public art project that incorporated the community with a nature and fitness trail and art. Another project shared included a free library and intergenerational activities that brought the community together. One item was the buddy bench project. One takeaway I got from Jill’s presentation is that making the “reveal” of a project a celebration gives a lot of attention to the art program. Also, she applied for a WAEA grant for this project and brought in an “artist in residence” to ensure quality of design.
I also attended a workshop about EdTPA, which is the program by which student teachers in college achieve certification to teach. Although my student teacher has spoken to me about this, I thought this session helped me to see its importance and to see if she was getting the right things accomplished.
The product session by NASCO revealed some of the quality products available I had not yet been exposed to. The items described were then raffled off to the attendees; I got an electric pencil sharpener!
By attending Art Club, What’s Up?, I got some good ideas to take back to my school to make club t-shirts, do fundraising, and when to meet efficiently. Also, not all art club advisors are paid, but they should be! I networked with other teachers who have art clubs.
The technical application (and science) in printing onto surfaces that would not otherwise accept an image transfer was presented by Meagan Hahn and Jeanne Bjork. It revealed how an inkjet printer and purell hand sanitizer (alcohol based) can do image transfer onto aprons and more. I learned about digital substrates and took home their published article about this unique printing process.
Make sure you share with your administrators the importance of attending a WAEA conference. There is no other place you can get the high quality and concentrated professional development in two days at an affordable price. One exception may be attending the NAEA conference! Budget for it. I did!
Advocate: Inform Key Players and Establish Value for your Art Program
I am new to this role as Advocacy Chair for WAEA, but I realize I have done many things already to advocate for my students in art. Make sure to click the link near the end of the article for help with understanding advocacy and find out what you can do to gain support for art programs.
How do you advocate for your students? Do you realize that just informing people in any variety of ways helps to gain support for the arts? Have you tried a website, newsletter, newspaper, radio, postcard, TV, letters, billboard, buttons, calendar, fliers, exhibits, and public speaking? Many will aid in making sure the art program stays visible in your school and community.
If you are doing a special event at your school, don’t forget that radio and TV might be looking to do coverage of this type. They might provide journalists and crew to cover it. Our local newspaper is always looking for information to make their newspaper interesting. I submit articles (often with pictures) after/before art events to highlight what went on and to educate the public about the event and give the students public recognition. Sometimes the newspaper takes the photos and I supply the names of students. Tell your administration you want to do this beforehand, so they are involved and can provide other supports you are not aware of. If your school has a PTO (parent/teacher organization), they can help fund art goals with enough advanced planning.
At my school, I make sure the art events are posted on the school calendar as well as on the art department home page. I use fliers in the community to publicize our art shows. Students in the art club are willing to hang these up with permission from the establishment.
When grade level specific art recognition needs to be made or information needs to be put out there for families, I give a short item to the homeroom teacher and ask them to put it in their monthly newsletter.
We have a fine arts banquet each spring that celebrates the efforts of all the arts (students) and gives the faculty a chance to thank parents for their support of their children in their goals. By recognizing people who support the arts in some form, you are subliminally encouraging others to participate in support of the arts.
Our administration likes to share information with the school board about some of the successes in the school system, and I have submitted items to celebrate youth in art. Have you thought about giving postcards or buttons to the school board members or administration? You can encourage them to wear an art advocacy button whenever they attend public art events (or just any time). Many tools for advocacy can be found on the NAEA website. The best place to start may be here: http://www.arteducators.org/advocacy/advocacy-made-simple.
Good luck to you in your school year and keep advocating with a smile. Remember, all students need access to the arts, and some need to thrive in that capacity. You may be the vehicle to help them see their potential and value.
I am thrilled to be the new Advocacy Chair for
the WAEA! I just recently took on the role as Advocacy Chair for WAEA, after
having been the Awards Chair for about four years. I have taught art for 27
years in Cashton, Wisconsin and still live with my farming/hunting husband (of
26 years) in Viroqua.
My desire is that people understand that art
skills are needed in a wide variety of careers. I want every student to feel
success in art and do not want that success to go unnoticed. To accomplish this,
I involve my students in Youth Art Month and in Visual Arts Classic. We display
art year-round, but have a large public art show near the end of the year. My
goal is to celebrate the artist in every
I continue to re-shape my teaching in response to
a changing world. As technology becomes commonplace, the expectation is that all
of us will use it to conduct our daily work and incorporate technology into our
classes. The delivery of my art units has changed with the accessibility of the
Internet. These days, I use my projection screen more than my marker board. I
document student learning using the iPad on a regular basis and used these
visuals on our school's Facebook page—giving more visibility to the art program.
I train students to use software as an artist and through my webpage I post
homework assignments and resources students need for class. In addition, I
insist my seniors create a digital portfolio of their best works before leaving
While technology has been an asset in my
classroom, I wonder, as students become more adept using social media and become
quicker to respond to input, are they doing it without much thought? When
we work on an artwork we might have an idea of what to do, but sometimes it does
not turn out as we planned. We respond to it in a different way or we take a new
approach. We reflect on what we have done. Do our students take the time to
reflect on their learning? We need to model this kind of reflection. I am
concerned that technology does not always support the reflective nature of the
human soul. Art can teach. Art speaks in ways text cannot. Deeper meanings can
hide in a work of art and thoughtful observation and reflection can reveal it.
The future of art education depends on those who value its power to communicate
and interconnect the rest of our lives.
Tim Znidarsich (center in photograph) and his Middle School students.
Imagine looking over to see what looks like giant shark teeth plowing through snow this January. That's exactly what people will see this winter in Portage, WI thanks to artist, Tim Znidarsich and his students at Bartel's Middle School.
WAEA Member and Bartel's Middle School art teacher Mr. Znidarsich and his students recently completed a community project bringing art into the community via three county snow plows and donated paint from a local hardware store.
“It’s community interaction to get art outside these walls and showcase what we’re doing at the school,” Znidarsich said.
Click on the link below to read the full article on this engaging community art project on the "The Portage Daily Register" website.
Arts Action Alert 10-29-12:
Before you vote, here's what you need to know about the candidates and the arts
From: Arts Wisconsin (email@example.com)
Monday, October 29, 2012 6:01 AM
Before you vote on November 6 (or earlier), here’s what you need to know about the candidates and the arts
As the November 6 elections draw near, Arts Wisconsin, your statewide arts service, advocacy and development organization, is providing information on statewide and national candidates' positions on the arts, arts education and creative economy, as a service to its statewide constituency. This information is provided for educational purposes and without comment.
Congressional Arts Report Card 2012 access here.
Arts and Culture: Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education. We are committed to continuing the policies and programs that have already done so much for our creative arts industry and economy. Investment in the arts strengthens our communities and contributes to our nation's rich cultural heritage. We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for programs providing art and music education in primary and secondary schools. The entire nation prospers when we protect and promote the unique and original artistic and cultural contributions of the women and men who create and preserve our nation's heritage.
There are still a few days left in National Arts and Humanities Month, and in the final week before Election Day, this is a great time to reach out to candidate on all levels. Use Arts Wisconsin's Arts Action Resource Guide to connect with your candidates, and read President Obama's National Arts and Humanities Month proclamation here.
It’s every citizen’s right and duty to vote. Please VOTE on or before Tuesday, November 6!
How to contact your representatives Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly contact information: www.legis.wisconsin.gov Contact info for U.S. Senators and House members: www.contactingthecongress.org/
Wisconsin politics and voting websites
The Wheeler Report: www.thewheelerreport.com www.WisPolitics.com Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Election 2012 Center League of Women Voters of WI
Wisconsin Vote Wisconsin Eye Voter Public Access
Arts Action Alerts are a service of Arts Wisconsin and its Legislative Action Center. Arts Wisconsin provides timely and critical information and actions on local and global arts, community and government issues throughout the year. Please forward this email on to colleagues and peers who should have this information, so they can also stay in touch and involved.
Please support Arts Wisconsin's statewide advocacy, service and development programs and services with a membership contribution, so that we can continue to do our work on your behalf especially important at this critical time and so that everyone, everywhere in Wisconsin can continue to participate in and benefit from the arts, culture, creativity and innovation. Many thanks!
My first subway platform, NY 2012
For this quarterly article we were asked to write about how we maintain our creativity.
When I was in my late teens, I began a practice of occasional interruption that continues to be an important part of my creative process. I started taking time to wander when I needed it. I would get in my car and drive around (at that time, usually downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis), wandering into libraries, bookstores, art museums, coffee houses, even college campuses and airports. I always brought my sketchbook and would fill pages during those outings with lists, poems, rants, idea webs, sketches, and other random fragments from the day.
There is something about wandering. It’s transcendent. It allows for discovery, chance, connectivity, and immersion. It’s more than simply a change of scenery or a break from the mundane, it’s an opportunity to be truly receptive to unanswered questions. In “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” Rebecca Solnit wrote, “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”
I wander in texts, dialogues, terrains, and with others. What started as an isolated practice has grown into the fruition of curiosities, discourses, and collaborations; all of which inform my work and renew my curiosities for the unknown.
The next time you visit the WAEA webpage you might notice we’ve expanded. We’re now offering ongoing content in the form of Blogs so you can subscribe and get automatic updates to WAEA news and information you’re interested in. We’ve started with a handful of blogs including: WAEA News, Advocacy, our President’s page, and our Elementary Representative. Museum, Visual Arts Classic (VAC), and more will be rolling out soon.
How do you use these new Blogs? Instructions for how to subscribe are located on the right sidebar of each blog, including a one-click button that will automatically add the blog to your default feedreader. For those of you who aren’t already using feedreaders or RSS aggregators there are many to choose from, depending on whether you’re using a computer, ipad, ipod, or smartphone. There are popular web-based readers such as yahoo and google readers as well as apps such as FeeddlerRSS (ipad), FeedsWire (ipad/iphone), and Newsify (also ipad/iphone, but costs $0.99 for the app).
Do you have to subscribe? Absolutely not. The truth is we’ve always offered ongoing content on our website updating the old with the new. Now with our Blog feature, we’ll still be doing that...but it will happen as ongoing ‘episodes’, offering members the opportunity to scroll down through past content in addition to reading any new content posted.
With all the new technology that’s out there, why Blogs? Blogs may seem like yesterday’s news, however anything that is produced and released as an ongoing narrative or as parts or ‘episodes’ of content qualifies as a Blog. If you use an ipad, ipod, or smartphone chances are you are using apps that aggregate and organize news feeds so you can conveniently take in that new content easily and in one place. Additionally, blogs self organize according to ‘tags,’ ‘titles,’ and ‘dates’ making everyone’s job accessing information, news, and updates easier! ..well, hopefully.
Below is the latest Arts Wisconsin News Flash. Click on the photo to link to the site or read below. Stay informed!
In 2010, one of my digital art students, Dalton Mills, won a national NASA competition for his 3-D animated visualization of what life on the moon would be like. I had only been teaching for a few years and had little experience writing press releases. Fortunately, our district had a resource person who handles press releases so I was able to work with her, Dalton, and our local newspaper to get the word out about his achievement. Afterward, we were invited to attend a local school board meeting to share Dalton’s work and achievement, as well as a few words about the importance of visualization in creating new dialogues toward progress and invention (much the way that Dalton’s animation opened up new understandings about engineering possibilities and sustainability issues for life in space).
It was an impactful moment, not only for Dalton, but for the art departments in our district. Dalton was utilizing technology to visualize concepts related to a myriad of aerospace, architectural, and engineering concerns. Of course, visualizing them isn’t the same as actually creating them but it is the foundational first step forward in actualizing an idea.
We all know how art education impacts students learning and interactivity. We know how important it is as its own discipline and as compliment to the core subjects. We need to continually ask ourselves, “do others know how impactful this is?” It’s our duty to ‘get the word out’ about the importance of art processes and the achievements of our students in these areas. If we don’t advocate to get the word out, no one will. Get into the practice!
-written by Lisa Ulik, WAEA Advocacy Representative, for the fall Art-etimes
Click here to access simple tips on how to write a press release or go to - http://www.wiarted.org/advocacy.html
Have something to share (news stories, achievements)? Why not share it on the WAEA advocacy blog! Email your news to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Click here to see the Chuck Close art education advocacy video.
The Habits of Mind Studio Thinking
UCLA Lab School
Sir Ken Robinson’s writings and speaking
Keep arts in schools
National Art Education Association advocacy
Kennedy Center arts education advocacy toolkit
Arts Education Partnership
NAEA advocacy e-flyer
Advocacy Do's and Don'ts
Americans for the Arts
No Subject Left Behind
National Arts Policy Database
10 Ways Parents Can Get More Art For Their Kids
The Advocacy Toolkit
WAEA in the news