One thing that is stressed in my classroom is the process over the product. I want students to feel free to explore, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. In the Barnett Duck Art Studio, failure is an option. Because from failure, we learn.
What is important to me is helping my students to begin to think like artists and to understand and exhibit artistic behaviors that an artist would. This shift in focus will help with student artistic growth. These behaviors are processes than can be transferred to other aspects of their learning as well.
Another aspect I focus on in my classroom is making assessments/grades meaningful. I am not a fan of the arbitrary grade. I want my students to know where they are in their artistic growth and how they can improve and move forward. In a class discussion, the students were asked what an 87 on a project meant. They floundered with an answer. I looked at them and said, "exactly...it doesn't really tell you much about where you are in your artistic process, what you learned, what did well, etc."
So, to address both of these important aspects, I have created a rubric that is based on the artistic behaviors we focus on, and has levels of mastery--emerging (75), progressing (85), meeting (95), and exceeding (100). Each student is different and will exhibit different behaviors at different times. This rubric will also allow for more personal feedback and personal instruction for each student. It is fair and informative.
Looking closely, you will see there are 9 behaviors and I ask them to write about 6. So, this means, in the grade book, you will see all 9 behaviors, but your student will only get grades for a minimum of 6 (more if I see something in the student they haven't blogged about). If they don't exhibit a behavior, I will just leave that assignment blank; it will not affect their overall grade. However, if a student is not working at all and is not displaying any behaviors, that student would get zeros in as many as 6 of the behaviors.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the rubric, my assessment system, or how your student is moving along on their artistic journey.