Assessments in a Minute
By Dustin Anderson
Elementary Art Representative
Arriving to school early to unload the kiln, cut paper, attend a staff meeting, organize daily materials, and empty the drying rack are just a few of the time consuming preparatory activities an elementary art teacher endures everyday. Before you know it a single file line of eager kiddos are filing through your door. They expect to have their full art time filled with learning and hands-on fun. Without a breath you realize that another grade of students is lined up and the revolving door in the art room begins. Without any preparatory time between classes to get supplies ready or even take a bathroom break, sometimes our days turn into late nights.
So where do we find time to properly assess what our students have learned in art? Rubrics are a great tool to evaluate a student’s artwork, but what about the wealth of knowledge we teach them everyday before the paint starts flying and the clay blobs get smashed to the floor? In this day and age we have been forced to come up with creative ways to assess our students that will not take away from their hands on work time. Here are just a few examples of easy “minute” assessments that you might find useful in your classrooms.
Exit Tickets: Exit tickets are quick, easy, and provide instant feedback. You can create your own exit ticket by creating a template with a simple question on it that your students must fill out in the last couple of minutes before exiting the room. The question should be broad: What did you learn in art today? Did you hear anything that surprised you today? What was your favorite part of the art project we finished today? Students can quickly write down a sentence or two and place their exit ticket into a labeled pocket with their classroom teacher’s name on it before they proceed to line up at the door.
What Stuck With You? Board: End each class by giving your students a quick minute to turn and talk. Call on several students to come up to a bulletin board and write one thing that stuck with them on their post-it note. Have the selected students read to the class what they wrote on their note. Before you know it, you will have a full board of important information that your students have learned from your great lessons.
Show Me 1,2,3: Have the students show you using their fingers how well they understand the information that you wanted them to learn in your lesson. Showing 1 finger means they “got it.” Showing 2 fingers means they “almost have it.” Showing 3 fingers means they are “trying to get it.” This is a great way for you, as a teacher, to judge how well your lesson was received.
Bullseye!: Create a laminated target for each class. Before class ends, ask students to take a post-it note and place it on one of the three circles of the target. Each circle is labeled with a question pertaining to your goal for the lesson. This is a great way to judge knowledge in a minute that can be looked at when you have a bit of free time.
There are many great assessment tools that can easily be adapted to your art room that will not require you to infringe on your students hands-on time. It's time for you to get creative and share some of your own minute assessments.