What's it like in here?
Grades are necessary, but not always the best thing to focus on, especially in my classes. I always push students to focus on learning first and second, and worry about grades third.
Grading categories can be broken down by the following on a standard A-F scale:
• Projects: 40%
• Websites/Online Portfolios and Homework: 15%
• Classwork/workshops: 15%
• Yearbook (for Digital Media)/Final Project/Final Exam: 30%
The Studio Habits of Mind (SHOM) shown below are the basis for how I build the culture of our studio. Students learn to behave in a manner in which these 8 habits can be easily identified and discussed in their classroom experience. I want students pushing themselves and experimenting just as much as I want them providing feedback to their peers.
Being a trained artist, I use the language of art constantly, and I strive to impart that professional approach to creating. I never stop learning, and having a love of discovery really shows in the studio.
Above all, time in the studio should feel safe and comfortable. Students should feel that their voice matters, so my classes are very democratic in nature. I spend time getting to know my students and showing them I care about them and what they have to say.
Students are assessed using SHOM and rubrics incorporating the 5 Cs (Craftsmanship, Composition, Conventions, Conduct, and Critique) framed by the National Core Visual Arts Standards. Students learn the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, and learn to use that language in self-assessments throughout the term.
Both formative and summative assessments are used in the studio to get the most out of our time, measure our growth (mine included), and build confidence.