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  • Meredith Blackerby

Assessment in a Choice Classroom

I often head colleagues, peers, and fellow art teachers say things like "Art is subjective, it shouldn't be graded!" or "How can I do projects, teach the standards, and complete assessments in such a small amount of time??".

Assessments in the art room are difficult no matter how you have it set up and that is no different for a choice-art classroom. I strive to give my students as much time for creating as possible which leaves very little time for anything else.

But teaching to the standards and hitting those learning goals is still a very prevalent part of any classroom (even art!).

So how do you teach to the standards, complete assessments AND give work time to all of your students??

It is a challenge, but it is not impossible! This year I tried out a new method for quick, painless (almost) assessments that do not change my schedule all that much. This idea came from an incredibly talented art teacher in a different school district and I have to say, this idea is BRILLIANT. Yay for sharing ideas!!!

Instead of trying to do assessments on paper or on computers, we use these tools for a quick check-in during our meeting times. When the student is done showing me the plans for their project (which we do once every three weeks) I can whip out this handy-dandy assessment tray!

I have all different types of pieces cut out and laminated. I can ask the students to show primary and secondary colors, put them into the color wheel, separate them into warm and cool colors, etc. I also have pieces for shapes, lines, foreground/middle-ground/background and anything else that you might want to quiz your students on!

This type of assessment is relatively fast and makes it possible to check in on each student's progress without making a big deal about "testing". I try to stay away from words like test, quiz, and assessment as much as possible because of the negative reaction it tends to cause. I say things like "I'm just checking in!" or "I just want to do a little color review so I know how well I have been teaching!".

Stay-tuned for my NEW teachers pay teachers account where you can find these resources as well as many others for your art room!

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