Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let's Get Testing!

Not my best angle, but you know, who is Keith Loutit?

Okay. You're back at school and now that the holidays are officially over, your administration is gearing up for that official, how-much-funding-will-we-retain, AYP, testing!

We could all have an in-depth discussion about how we feel about testing, the merits, the drawbacks, the impacts, and the results. . .But the reality is that you, the Art teacher, will in some manner aid/abet/administer/supervise/organize/distribute state mandated tests of some sort this Spring.

And those tests have almost nothing to do with Art.

But, you are expected to aid the "bubble" students (those who are thisclose to passing scores on mock tests) during your every day Art class to succeed on a mandated math and language arts test.

This is reality.

My school has regulated collaboration meetings weekly. Teachers in similar subject areas gather together to discuss how they are implementing lessons and how they can collaborate to strengthen the curriculum. We are all required to collaborate. Since neither the Business Education teacher nor myself has another co-collaborator, we gather weekly and, uh, collaborate. Fortunately, he is incredibly bright and efficient and we do a great job of showing off how interdisciplinary our subjects are.

Today, we were asked to outline how we intend to meet the needs of "bubble" students daily between now and the test date. We weren't exactly expecting this question, but we handled it pretty well. We decided to develop a poster system in our classroom that uses common words from questions/word problems on the test.

These words include (but are not limited to): examine, evaluate, analyze, comprehend, compare, contrast, infer, determine, review etc. etc.

We intend to incorporate these vocabulary words into classroom discussions so as to increase student understanding of their meanings. The literacy coordinator was present at our meeting and she really warmed to the idea. She especially liked it when I explained how I often ask students to "read" and artwork to interpret meaning and to infer information. I'm constantly dumbfounded at how people simply don't realize how inter-disciplinary Art is.

Once I get a cute little poster designed, I'll post it here to share with you!

In the meantime, I came across these (incredible, amazing, darling, well-executed, helpful) great posters by the author of 3rd Grade's a Hoot. While her students are much younger than mine, I think these vocabulary reminders about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division would be a great addition to any classroom, including Art. I mean, really, aren't you always using these words?!

She sells large copies of the posters on her website! So, you really must go check them out.


If you like the posters from 3rd Grade's a Hoot, I really, really, really encourage you to visit her great blog. I'd also remind you to pin for pinterest from her blog (not mine) because it will be more helpful to people if, when they click on her pinned art, they go directly to her site!

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