March is Youth Art Month
YES! It is Youth Art Month time! I know that many of you have been busy preparing your student
art for our annual Youth Art Month Exhibits. Our middle school art teachers just completed
hanging our citywide annual art exhibit in celebration of YAM at our public library. Our
elementary art staff will soon be joining us and displaying art in both our north and south branch
public libraries of La Crosse. During these shows, our district invites each of our school board
members to come view the exhibits and select one piece of art to hang in our school district
boardroom. Late in spring, students and their families are invited to a fine arts recognition
ceremony to meet the board members that chose their work. These artworks get framed and
are displayed for the school district board and attendees to see until the following Youth Art
Month shows. This event has been a wonderful way to showcase and celebrate our youth artists
in our school community.
Let us embrace our regional and state level Youth Art Month Exhibits. I have been enjoying
seeing and hearing from the regional VP’s on their regional exhibits. This has been an amazing
opportunity to oversee over 30 of our region’s teacher YAM submissions. Our regional show is
being installed at the Heider Center for the Arts in West Salem, and will be on display starting
February 2nd. Our exhibit will end with a closing reception for the artists and their families on
February 19th from 6-7:30pm. Shortly after that, this show will be packaged up and be ready for
transit to the State Capital Exhibit on February 21st.
This year’s change to our Youth Art Month submission allowed all WAEA members to submit up
to five student works (two more than last year) with three of those five going on to the State
Capital YAM Show. We anticipate that the State Capital Rotunda will be overflowing with the
magnificent artworks from the art studio classroom from all over the state. It is my hope that
each of you is taking the time to celebrate your students’ artistic accomplishments with them
and their families.
YES! I can’t wait to see our art fill the Capital.
Organizing Assessments with Google Forms
By: Sarah Higley
When I began teaching elementary art two and a half years ago, I was immediately overwhelmed by the responsibility of assessing almost 400 students. The online grade book that my district provides is not user friendly for a teacher that sees every student in the school. Therefore, I set out to find my own way of organizing grades and assessments. The solution I found has served me well for nearly two years, and I hope it might give you some ideas about how you can organize your grades as well.
First of all, this process works much better if you have an iPad that you have access to all the time. The first step is on my regular computer. I create a Google Form for each class that has my report card standards on the top, then an empty space for the project we are working on, followed by a list of all the students in each class with the options of 1, 2, 3, 4, incomplete, and absent below each name. Yes, this step is time intensive, but I figure that the time it saves me throughout the year is worth it.
The Google Form functions like an online survey. I can walk around the room with my iPad and tap on the grade I want to give each student. Then the magic starts! When I press submit, the information I put into the Google Form migrates to a Google Spreadsheet! This is why I love this system so much. I can pull up a spreadsheet for a particular class and see each student’s name with a list of their grades underneath. This is a function that I cannot do with the district grade book.
Depending on how your district does grading, this system may look different for you. I would suggest creating a practice Google Form and just playing around with it to see if you can make this tool work for you in your classroom. Even if my exact system is not right for you, you may be able to incorporate Google Forms to make your assessment organization more efficient. I hope this information was helpful!