Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thoughts on reflections

Possible research questions:  There are many possibilities, these are just a few.
·      What is the role of student self-assessments and artwork reflections in the high school art classroom?
·      What is the benefit of student self-assessments and artwork reflections in the high school art classroom?
·      How do you get students to take an active role in assessing their own work?

I had my students in the 3D Design class and the Advanced Art Class both do a self-assessment and written reflection of their artwork.  3D created a relief identity sculpture using their initials, cardboard and paint.  AA created an identity sculpture utilizing the frame of a window.  Both classes utilized assemblage, collage, image transfer and painting techniques.  Reading their responses has produced new questions.
1.     Do I write comments on their actual papers?
2.     If only 10 out of 25 in 3D and 3 out of 14 in AA turned in the assignment to a take class time to make them all sit and write the reflection?
a.     Why did they not turn it in?
b.     Did I not allow sufficient time for them to complete the artwork and write the reflection?
c.      Did some students take the writing assignment home with them to complete it and will bring it back next class?
d.     Did they not understand the directions?
e.     Do they not care?
3.     What is my next step?
4.     Do I continue on the group critique or do I make the students write/rewrite their reflections first?
5.     What about the student who DID do the assignment?   What do they do while the rest of the class is catching up?
6.     How do I encourage those students who have not worked on their project to the point of almost complete, have not attempted the reflection or didn’t bring their artwork into class to work on or turn in?
Sorting out the answers to my questions
·      If more than ½ a class is not at the same point in the learning process then I cannot responsibly move on.  While this may add extra days into the plan, I think it’s necessary in order to get a real sense of completion of this unit.
·      So here’s what I think needs to happen at the next class meeting.
o   1st – Ask students if they have a completed self assessment / reflection to turn in (Maybe they took it home)
o   Go back over the process of the writing assignment.
§  Talk about grammar, answering the actual questions, supporting their opinions
§  Reiterate that students should refer back to the grading rubric that was distributed at the onset of the project when they assess their work AND that if their work does not have an aspect of the project criteria then they should explain WHY it doesn’t.  If they can back up their reasoning for not using a required or suggested media, technique or process then they could have a valid reason for being excused from that particular criterion. 
o   Separate the students (out of their social groups AKA chosen seats)
§  Maybe go to the commons so they can really spread out with their artwork and their paper.
§  Maybe get a computer lab for the smaller class to type their reflections. (bring their artwork with them)
o   Set a time limit for writing to be complete then have the large group critique.
o   Allow time after the critique for the stragglers to complete the task.
o   For those students who are complete
§  1st have them rewrite their response if there are grammar mistakes or missing requirements.
§  Work together to make a display sign to go along with the sculptures in the display case.
§  For the AA students work together to install completed window in the display windows.
There were a few great self-assessments / reflections that were turned in.  I want to scan them so I have them digital in their original form before I write my comments on them.  I think these types of documents could be useful in my research this semester. 
So between now and my next post I’ll get these scanned, write on them, return them to the students and try out my own answers.

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