Friday, October 19, 2012

Art in the Upper Grades

In grades 3-5, students take their creative abilities to the next level, learning through inquiry-based art units that are conceptually related to the content being learned in their general classroom.  These 6-week units incorporate not only art making, but art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and visual culture.  Similar to the younger grades, students are required to make their own artistic choices related to the content of their work and the materials that they choose.  Through this, students are able to create art that is meaningful and relevant to them. 

Assessment is used diversely both formatively and summatively in order to provide meaningful, informative feedback for both teacher and student.  Simply a letter or number grade can be quite uninforming, sometimes insulting, and reduces intrinsic motivation and desire to grow as an artist.  Instead, formative and summative reflections are an imperative part of the artistic process.  Reflections occur using written statements, 1 on 1 conferencing, and polls that are used to check for understanding as well as interest. Each project within a unit is assessed summatively using standards- based criteria.  Forms of summative assessment used  include descriptive feedback, conferencing, checklists, and rubrics.  These forms provide detailed feedback for the upper elementary student to reflect and grow as an artist.   

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