Sunday, June 30, 2013

Welcome summer!

Phew, the end of the school year felt like it took forever to get here!  I thoroughly enjoyed my first full week of vacation this last week, catching up on gardening and cleaning.  Go figure that I finally have my energy back now that school is out!

My summer is filling up pretty fast and this year I am intentionally not doing anything for school until the middle of July!  Last year I got right to work working on curriculum and such, but I know this year coming up is going to be hectic for me, what with being pregnant and being switched to K-12 art.  It's hard to stay off Pinterest to keep from brainstorming high school art curriculum ideas, but I need to keep myself away from that for a bit.

So far, my hubby and I have accomplished a lot around the house this last week.  I planted some more in my gardens, cleaned up our guest room and finished cleaning out the room that will become the baby's room.  We also cleaned our kitchen and living room top to bottom!  Now it's finally time to relax a bit!

This week my brother and his fiance are coming to visit for the 4th of July.  We'll probably hit up the Renaissance Festival and work on ripping out the walls to replace insulation in the baby's room (and by we, I mean my hubby and brother!).

The middle of July will hold our annual family reunion, which should be fun (it's Gilligan's Island themed this year!) and then the beginning of August will be by baby shower back home in Buffalo, NY.  I'm so excited!

I have one more complete week of relaxation until the summer program starts at my school for four weeks.  I work three hours a day, Monday-Friday doing arts, crafts and cooking with the kids.  I'm also hoping that we'll be able to continue on the mural we started last year!  Until then, hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing summer!

Here's a peek at my growing belly!  You'll also notice from my photos that I chopped off approximately 12" from my hair!  This is the shortest it has EVER been!  I was a bit emotional about it, but it's so darn hot I couldn't stand the long hair anymore!  I'm donating it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, so it's going to a good cause!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

4th Grade LLO Results

For the local portion of my "grade", I used my 4th graders.  Again, as with the 1st grade, I will opt to give individual goals for each student rather than saying "80% will reach...".  It's easy to see that EVERYONE definitely improved but I ended up falling short with the number of students reaching the goal.  In a lot of case, students were only 1-3 points off from reaching my goal!  Oh well.

For this assessment, I had students do a still-life drawing from a white still life.  At the beginning of the year, I gave them two days.  Everyone finished well within that time frame.  At the end of the year, they received 3-4 days.  Even the early finishers needed at least 2 1/2 days to do theirs, so this made me happy that they weren't rushing!

For the final assessment, students could shade their still life with pencil or they could paint it with acrylic, depending on which they preferred.  All year long we did a variety of projects to reinforce using value, such as the value cities, pastel poinsettias, the fall drawings with leaf prints, and the still life practice just before our post-assessment.  We also did a lot of drawing from real life this year to reinforce observational skills.

Here are the results!  Pre-assessments on the left, post-assessments on the right!
(Please pardon the junky photos of the pre-assessments...those were done at the beginning of the year before I got my new camera!)

Drastic improvement, just in this student's willingness to participate!

Great improvement in shading well as this student's self-esteem in art.  It's always amazing once a student can do once they realize their confidence!

My private lesson student.  She lost some of her value in the foreground bottles, but none the less, did an AWESOME job mixing paint on the canvas.

Awesome value improvement.

1st Grade Post-Assessment Results

For this particular group of students, my SLO stated that 80% of students would reach a satisfactory grade on their post-assessment (which was a range of 72%-80%).  Most of the students scored below a 65% at the beginning of the year on their pre-assessment.  Unfortunately, I did not reach my goal with this SLO, despite the fact that each student did in fact improve.

I have definitely learned a bit about writing my SLOs for next year.  One thing I learned is that I think it may be more realistic to set individual goals for each student, and then state that 80% of the students will reach their goal.  I also realized that I need to make sure I take the time to clip together each individual pre- and post-assessment.  I didn't have time to do that before I swapped with the other art teacher, and she did not take the time to go back and look for the pre-assessments to make a comparison to.  Therefore, some of her scores were probably a little lower than what I would have given the students.

In the end, I'm not worried about how these SLOs will affect my final score for APPR.  Since I had to do 4 SLOs (and other teachers only had to do 1 or 2), mine will all be weighted differently for that portion of my score.  And also... this is just a test year for our district!  I've learned from my mistakes and now I can fix them in order to succeed better next year!

So, without further ado, here are some of the examples of the pre- and post-assessments from 1st grade.  Students had to do a 6-square drawing test.  They had 5 minutes for each square to draw the subject given, show good craftsmanship and a good composition (meaning, have a horizon line, sky colored to the ground, good details, fill the square, etc.).  Students had to draw a rainbow, a fuzzy dog, a flower, a tree, their family and anything.  These were a little hard to grade using a 24-point rubric (4 points per square) so I think if I use this assessment next year, I will make more of a checklist for the drawings (i.e. a check if the dog looks fuzzy, a check if their is a horizon line, a check if the sky is colored all the way down to the ground, etc.).

Pre-assessment on the left, post-assessment on the right.

This student improved DRASTICALLY this year.  This student is very much behind the others maturity wise and also cognitively due to a health issue when younger. It's so great to see them draw people with bodies instead of arms and legs coming out of the head!

Nice improvement with color choice...this student is starting to recognize specific color choices instead of using one color.

Love seeing the sky colored all the way to the horizon line...and also when they stop writing words with arrows above their subjects!

Great improvement!  People are wearing clothes!

Love the details on the tree and rainbow for this one!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kindergarten Post Assessment Results

I am happy to say that I reached my 80% goal in the growth department for my kindergarten SLO!  My goal was stated something like this: "80% of students (39) will reach a score in the satisfactory grade level (72%-80%)."  I did low-ball it for the grade level that they would reach, but that's what we were told to do.  I almost think that next year I'd rather state my SLO's more like this, "80% of students will score 6 points more on their post-assessment."

That being said, I will share that I was successful on my 5th grade SLO at reaching my goal as well.  Only about 65% of my students reached the goal on the 1st grade SLO, and less than that on my 2nd grade SLO.  After discussing it with the art teacher who graded my assessments, we both think it's because the scavenger hunt was just too difficult of a task for their level.  My 1st grade rubric for the 6-square drawing assignment also needs to be revamped into more of a check-list.  It was hard to grade the post-assessments based on what the rubric said because many students had great horizon lines and backgrounds, but weren't as successful with the subject matter.  My rubric dealt more with the subject matter and didn't allow for points to be scored for the craftsmanship in each square, if there was any.  But more on that SLO in a later post.

I posted about my SLO's when I started blogging back in can see my original post here.  I did have to change my grading rubric due to the changes in how our assessments had to be graded at the end of the year.  Since I had to swap assessments with another art teacher, presumably one who does not work in the district and would not be there to observe student's cutting skills, I had to take out any observational categories in the rubric (such as students knowing what hand to hold their scissors in).  Here is my updated rubric that I used for the pre- and post-assessment.

The following are examples of student's pre- and post-assessments.  The pre-s are on the left and the post-s are on the right.

Improvement at being more precise.

Improvement with composition as well as preciseness at cutting on the lines.

Improvement at cutting on the lines more precisely.

Another improvement with speed and also the length of the snips with scissors.

This student had really great control over the scissors at the beginning of the year, but took too long to cut things out!  She always needed an extra day on projects in order to finish them, but she was able to finish her post-assessment in one day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Symmetrical Butterflies

For our last 1st grade project, I wanted to do butterflies (which matched up with what they were learning in class), but I ended up running out of time to do an Eric Carle style painted butterfly with texture, similar to this idea on Pinterest.  I had to drastically shorten this project in order to complete it before the end of the year, so I came up with this instead.

I have a variety of different shaped butterfly patterns so students picked which shape they wanted and traced it on white tag board.  They colored the body on the butterfly and then cut it out.

For the next step, we talked about symmetry on butterflies.  I passed out the mosaic stickers I have (used previously on a 6th grade Mexican Folk Art Mirrors) and had the students create a symmetrical design on the wings using the stickers.  All of this took one class period.

The second class, students had to use crayons to finish coloring their butterfly.  This was definitely a quick project but I'd say a majority of the students really understood about basic symmetry at the end!