Before school began (Aug. 26 & 27), teachers participated in two professional development days that covered all sorts of back-to-school business. The overarching takeaway for me - and one of my professional goals for the year - is to provide students with timely feedback and to continue to strive to have authentic assessments. I think we saw some of that this week:
The AP and Studio Art II/III students loved getting back into the swing of things with an open ended review watercolor lesson. They lightly created a 2" grid-surface upon which they would organize their non-objective washes. I also requested that they work with only 2 -3 analogous colors (though some successfully made the case for using complementary colors). While this painting should be able to stand on its own, it will ultimately become the background for a contour line exercise (very similar to this lesson by Joy Schultz- with thanks).
I circulate while they are painting and we discuss how it is going but this group of students is very perceptive and helpful towards each other. During our first ever critique on Friday this was especially evident. I wish I had recorded or even photographed the session. Not only were these artists very respectful - they offered great vision and insight and I believe we all came away energized and with excellent suggestions on ways forward with the artwork at hand.
In Digital Photography and Advanced Computer Art I have so much content that I want the students to know ALL AT ONCE! I sometimes trip myself up with prioritizing what is the most important information for them to get started! But I think we worked it out this week. You'll have to let me know what you think....
First the Photography class took a baseline pre-assessment so that I could verify we were all speaking the same language (with regards to digital media files/storage/etc) - and the results were overwhelming good. (Most of these students had the appropriate pre-req.)
The next thing was to verify that these students:
1. Have digital cameras (cameras or phones or ipads), and,
2. They know how to get images from their camera and onto a computer!
The initial photography assignment, designed to see where everyone is photography-wise, is called "My favorite thing." Not only did the students complete the assignment, the bar has been set very high. The photos all have artistic merit, most were able to upload their photos to itslearning AND many of the student were able to complete their first blog post (here's one: Brianna's Blog)! We were even able to spend class on Friday looking at each other's work (as part of a formal critique/discussion)! This kind of peer to peer learning encourages the students to become teachers and is instructive for all.
Click on over to the Photo Page to see some more blog posts!