Friday, December 21, 2012

Egyptian Pyramids

Not to brag or anything...but today happens to be a Day 6 and our school didn't have a snow day...which means I get to stay at home while everyone else goes to school! ;)

I've been taking lots of photos of what's been happening in my art classes so I'll try to stretch everything over the Christmas break.

A handful of my 6th graders have finished their paper pyramid sculptures that they started.  I really only wanted to devote three class periods to this, but they are stretching it out!  I don't know if I just have unrealistic expectations of what they should be able to finish or if this group is just this slow!  We're never going to be able to make it through everything I have planned to do by the end of the year! Do you have groups that take longer to finish than expected?  What do you do about it?  Give them the extra time, have them come in during a free period, mark them off for being late?  They try to tell me that you "can't rush art," which I know, but at the same time, I tell them to think like an artist who has been commissioned to create this art work...if you don't turn it in by the deadline, you'll lose out on the money you're supposed to get!

Here are their pyramids...inside and out!  Somehow, quite a few missed the requirement that they had to draw a diagram of the rooms/passageways on the inside of their pyramid, but they're good none the less!  I'll share more after the break when the other class finally finishes...there are some really great ones in that class!


Here is the rubric I am using to grade these as well. The students must fill out the rubric on their own first, and then answer the questions on the back.  Pyramid rubric is taken for a unit project grade and the questions on the back are taken for a quiz grade.

The way I have my grade book set up right now is that unit projects (like the pyramid) are worth 45%.  Participation in class is worth 25%.  Quizzes/mini projects/worksheets are worth 30%.  I struggled trying to make a decent and fair grading set-up with School Tool this year (I may tweak it and have participation worth 30% and quizzes worth 25%...not sure yet!  Or maybe everything should just be an equal weight..ugh!)  The great thing, though, is that students are learning about Ancient Egypt in Social Studies too, so they SHOULD be able to ace this quiz...especially since their teacher told me they just learned about the Rosetta Stone (which I touched on in their note packet).

It's with hopes that my good art students will shine with their projects.  Anyone who doesn't do well in art can hopefully make up for it with participation and worksheet/quiz grades.  Luckily, I can adjust grades on their report cards if I don't feel they deserve what they got from the average.  Our principal this year made the change on report cards so that special areas count towards final averages for 3rd-6th grade!  (Weighted of course, but I'll take that any day over having to assign a letter grade!)  

I know this could start a huge debate, but I feel like giving a number grade gives my class more importance to the parents.  It shows that the administration feel I'm important as an art teacher and that the kids should understand that art is important.

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