Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Elementary Visual Art SGO's - A Reflection...

Beware the following is kinda wordy...
I will try to break it up with pictures for those of us that need visual breaks!  :)

The above picture is kind of how my brain feels at this point...

I am officially in the home stretch of getting all my SGO Baseline Data onto Excel spreadsheets!  I am finished with 1st and 2nd grade and will hand those in on Friday.  Have 4th and 5th grade left...  I only have to load my data onto the Excel spreadsheets and finished putting together last night while I was waiting for my daughter at dance class.  I will start doing that when I am done with this post (can you say procrastination?).

As stressful as it has been, I do have to say that my eyes have been opened to several things...

1.  I have a much clearer picture of what my students know and don't know about the Elements of Art.  Although I am still searching for a better way to collect my data than having to display multiple choice questions on the Smartboard and read each one and all the multiple choice answers to each and every class I am assessing!  My assessment has to be data driven to show concrete assessment for the Dept. of Ed for the State of NJ and my district.  I chose to do it this way (after talking to and taking the advice of my regular ed colleagues) because I have so many students with IEP's that I needed to cover allowances/modifications for those students that have material read to them and those that get extra time. 

The whole assessment took about 20-30 minutes depending on how we moved through each question.  I would take time and give everyone the time they needed to answer.  A few of my kids were not able to keep up so I copied the Powerpoint and had their para-professional go through it with them at their own pace so they didn't feel pressured to keep up with us.

I still had a handful of students that I re-assessed because I knew they knew more than what the assessment showed.  I took them aside while the kids were working on their projects and had them go over it with again one-on-one.  The majority scored higher.

2.  I don't enjoy giving data driven assessments and my students didn't enjoy having to do them as well.  We have only started our art projects within the past two weeks.  We're now a month into school and usually have at least one/two projects done.  :(

3.  I find that I am REALLY drilling our lesson objectives in each and every class.  My SGO's are based on their knowledge of the Elements of Art.  For my little guys it's shape, line and color, for 4th and 5th, it's all the elements.  I am definitely teaching to my SGO's...  Hence, the reason I chose something we use all the time in all our projects.  I've been making up rhymes to help them remember...  (it's working though)

4.  As much as the whole process from last March to now has been confusing, frustrating and utterly maddening at times I have survived.  I learned a lot...  About a lot of things... Now I can actually work in Powerpoint and create an Excel spreadsheet!  Some of you may laugh but for me it's a major technological break through!  I did not grow up in the era of computers and have been gradually dragged into it kicking and screaming!

I have been stopping to breath a lot and I have been playing a lot of George Winston in both of my art rooms...  Very soothing.

I knew that I could not follow this mantra if I wanted to rescue any of my sanity this school year.  I have been very pro-active getting everything done (God knows how but I have) I think this explains the lack of sleep.

This is hanging by my desk...  One of my older students read it the other day and asked: "Where is the blanket fort?"  I had to break it to him that there really isn't one in the room and he gave me a confused look.  Student: "Then why does it say you will be in it?" (breathing again...)

Now that we have some projects up and going, I can finally post some of the good stuff! Taking photos this week and will be sharing them soon. 

To all my fellow New Jersey teachers...  I feel and share your pain...  We are all in the same confusing, exasperating boat.  Hold on to the life raft, this too shall pass and all will be well.

At least that's what I keep saying to myself when I start to feel like this picture of Lucy... 

Mrs.C  :)


  1. Holy cow. I am very interested in your pre-assessments as we are over here demanding more accountability and respect for the this what the other side of the coin looks like? I really hope you guys get to be messy all next week. Washing paintbrushes is a pain, but not THAT stressful. Hang in there!

    1. Hi Leslie! If you want to know more about my pre-assessments for my base-line data e-mail me at my blog e-mail. Its on my profile page. I'll share how I put it together. it's not perfect and I am sure there are going to be changes in the future but for now it worked. And we are getting very messy! Lot's of color theory and paint mixing going on in most of my classes! Today my hands, arms were covered in blue paint! One of the 4ths came in and asked me what happened to my of the other kids chimed in," She's the art teacher, she's supposed to look like that!" :)

  2. Great reflection! I'm sorry I missed reading this last month when I was on leave!