Thursday, November 8, 2012

Marzano..."I Can" Student Scale in the Art Room

Today's post will be about how I am incorporating Marzano's idea of having a student scale posted in the classroom to allow students to self-reflect on how well they understand the information you are presenting.

Our Monday staff meeting, which I missed because it was my day off, was discussion about how to integrate this into the classroom.  Today I went down to talk to my principal about what I missed.  I was bombarded with information that I need to do in my room because I'm not quite covering the right way.  I've been using a thumbs up, down, to the side technique to ask students to reflect on understanding, but I need to have a visual posted to properly follow Marzano's ideas.  Plus, 3 points of understanding isn't enough for need to have at least four, but five is best!

So, off to my room I went to try and brainstorm a way to create this visual.  I could go the easy way, which I did at first, and just use the smileys I have on my generic rubric.  However, I'm the art teacher and this is the art room, so I feel these scale visuals need to be artistic!

I don't have Photoshop and I don't have the time at this moment to devote to drawing out my own visuals, so I did the next best search!  I've seen all of these Mona Lisa parodies on Pinterest, so I figured, "Why not do a Mona Lisa Marzano scale???" to accompany my Mona Lisa rule?

Here are my rough drafts!  I want to double check with my administrator that my wording is appropriate towards Marzano's wording, and then I'll print them off and mount them nicely on some appropriate scrap booking paper, and finally laminate them.  All of these Mona Lisa images were found by doing a Google search for "Mona Lisa parody," "laughing Mona Lisa," and "sad Mona Lisa."

After I finish them, I will mount them in the front of the classroom.  The idea is that when I present new information, or even the learning objectives for the day, I can ask the students to give me a show of fingers as to what they think their understanding is.  Using the pictures helps the younger students understand the rubric without too many words.





I think what would be really great, is if I could find or alter other paintings, like Vincent VanGogh's self portraits, so I could have interchangeable scales for the next few years!

The other thing I must work on is how I can post my daily learning objective(s) for each class, every day.  This is something I am struggling with.  With my younger kids, I hesitate to write objectives on the board because I spend more time explaining what the words say than I do helping the kids do art!  I also have a hard time changing objectives between classes because of teachers picking up students late and dropping them off early.  I don't get that transition time to change gears.

It wouldn't be so bad but I don't really have room to properly display the objectives for each class all at once so that it would be easily viable to everyone.  My smartboard isn't positioned well in the room...not everyone can see what it says all the time.  Whenever I use it, the kids at the back tables have to move to the front of the room to see.

I think what I am going to do is create a laminated sheet of some sort that I can attach to my chalkboard at the front of the room that says, "I can..." Then, I can quickly erase and write an objective off the top of my head (if I have to do it on the fly), just in case an administrator comes in.  I really feel like I do a good job verbally telling my younger students what their objectives are for the day...but and our administrators still want it written for them to see, even if they can't read it.

To clarify, I did ask my administrator if one would be enough...she said yes.  I also asked if it would be okay to say (for example, for kindergarten), "I can use a square, triangle, circle and rectangle in my art." Instead of writing out those words, I asked if it was okay to draw them, at least in the beginning of the year when the kids don't know those words.  I was told this would be that's what I'm banking on.  Currently we are doing a Mondrian project to review the primary colors, squares, rectangles, and line.  So, my objective for kindergarten could be, "I can create a Mondrian collage using red, yellow, blue, squares, rectangles, and lines" (with each of those art words drawn or colored out instead of written).  Did I say all that in a way that makes sense?

I feel like I'm on overload right now!  Grades are due by Monday morning...but I have to submit my K-2 grades to their teachers by tomorrow because our report cards aren't built into SchoolTool yet for those grades...this was sprung on us today.  I'm just glad our district gives us a half day with students on the Friday before grades are due!

More to come once I get these Marzano things finalized, printed, and laminated!


  1. How has the Marzano eval been going? I start this fall and would love any advice or copies of rubrics, student learning objects etc. love the Mona scale

  2. Love this! My objectives are 'today I will' 'sui that I can' 'I'll know I'm successful when'. I've found that's really helpful. I've written those three phrases on separate pieces of construction paper (not a full sheet) and taped it to my dry erase board. Next to them I would write each grade level and their objective. It worked pretty good for me.

  3. Love the Marzano poster idea! I have all of my objectives posted on one bulletin board, and I move a star around to the one that they are working on that day. I know you said you didn't have space to post all, but thought maybe that would help you think of something that might work for you. :)

  4. I think it's time I switch my Marzano scale to Mona! Thanks for this clever version!