Thursday, January 31, 2013

Standardization: Pros & Cons

Standardization tests are developed by a company or book. They are not always the best assessment, in my opinion. These tests focus on what the students know based on what the teacher covered, which was based on a criteria from the state or some higher decider. I can understand why this testing is so great for most subject areas, but in no way, shape, or form can I understand why it is so highly regarded and referenced. As a visual learner, this test was always the death of me. I dreaded taking my standardized tests in grade school because there was never anything on their related to the arts. My best test of perfomrnace and knowledge is not from a standardized test written by a company of people who do not know me or a book that cannot understand the individuality of all learners. This would all be why art is not included on the standardized tests. However, these tests were still the deciding factor of where I applied to college, where I got into college, and the path my future was going to take after high shcool. The company that wrote these tests or the book that is referenced for writing these tests cannot and should not be deciding my future or fate. I should be doing that. People put such a high presure on the outcomes of these tests that they forget to look at the indicidual taking them. If you went off of my ACT or SAT scores, you would never have thought that I would now be a soon graduating senior at a prestegious university or that I was about to begin my masters program. There is so much that a standardized test misses out on when evealuating a students knowledge or capabilites. Most students do far better in a normal classroom with normal grading systems as a test of their abilities and knoweldge. Unfortuanetly it has yet to be taken seriously that grades are a huge factor to consider as well. Just because I did poorly on my standardized test does not mean that I did poorly in my classes. I always got good grades and in college now I am above average in my GPA. This is also how many students are, but we have yet to understand that it is importnat too.

Unit 1: Chapter 14

Chapter 14:
Using the diagram on p. 505 of Ormrod's text, consider three different types of assessment that you could use in your classroom. Find examples of these assessments through a Google search, identify how you would use them, how they might need to be modified for your students, and what the assessments can tell you - or cannot - about student performance.

1. Paper-pencil assessment would be a great way for me to get my students thinking about the art they are creating and why they are creating it. This form of assessment is something that students would do on their own, as a reflection of their artworks, but it could also be shared out loud with the class. Sometimes is is more beneficial for students to reflect through writing about their art, then it is for them to be able to share is out loud right off the bat. This way they can take the time to really think things through. I want them to learn how to write and proof read their writing so that when it comes time for some of them to have to write an artist statement, they are more familiar with what should be included and what is better left to the imagination. This assessment is going to be a great way for my students to kind of self assess their work progress over the course of the year. Hopefully it will help them to recognize where they began and where they are at the end of the year with how they view and react to their own works of art, and their classmates works.

2. Teacher-developed assessment is good to utilize in my classroom because as the teacher I want to create my own form of assessing the development, knowledge, and skills of my students. This can be a great way for me to specifcally create a method for grading the work my students produce. By developing my own teacher based assessments, especially with such a subjective content area, I have the ability to create rubrics that will properly inform my students of what is expected from each one of them on each project. It is so important for me to really think about what I am going to ask my students to do and then if they complete it, give them the proper grade. I need to set a rubric that is fair and equal to all students, and so that if one student is unable to create a piece of work that shows good quality, then at least their effort on the work should be accounted for.

3. Authentic assessment can lend itself to helping me assess the ability of my students to learn through real-world tasks. For art this could be done through having the students create art that relates to their everyday lives or to the everyday world. I create art that revolves around my life. I feel like being able to do that is my way of communicating who I am as a person, what I feel is important in this world, and the passions I have about my life. I want to help students understand the world and all the differences their are, through using art. The real-world is what they will face on a daily basis. Why not go ahead and help them with the processing of it. Art, again is so visual, and it can be a way for students to communicate sometimes that which is not easily verbalized.

Think of a lesson plan from your licensure area. Knowing that assessment is an integral part of teaching, explain at least four informal and formal assessments that you will use in your lesson plan to provide you with feedback and involve the students in assessing their own learning.
Licensure area: K-12, would like to work with 6-12
Lesson Plan Objectives: Students will design a stylized composition with simplified shapes representing an important incident, interaction, or event derived from their personal life or experience. Students will cut shapes from a variety of fabrics and secure on to 12"x12" material to construct a narrative quilt square exhibiting contrast or a silhouette effect.

Informal assessment:
1. Students will begin by thinking of a personal incident, interaction, or event from their life.
2. I will have each student come up with at least two themes for the quilt square so they have choices.
3. Students will decide on the fabrics they want to use to create their shapes or silhouettes.
4. I will ask each student to let me know when they have come up with their final draft of a design.
Formal Assessments:
1. Students will be expected to use at least four different shapes or silhouettes to describe their design.
2. I will ask each student to write a summary of the design they chose to represent on their quilt square.
3. Students will be graded on their creative choices in fabric material, color, and pattern.
4. I will have time set aside for students to present their quilt square to the class and explain.

Consider norm-referenced assessments and criterion-referenced assessments. Are their advantages or disadvantages for both?

Norm-referenced assessments reveal how well each student's performance compares with the performance of peers - perhaps classmates or perhaps age-mates across the nation. Criteria-referenced assessments are designed to tell us exactly what students have and have not accomplished relative to predetermined standards or criteria. With both of these assessments their are pros and cons. For norm-referenced it can be very beneficial for the teacher to know how students are comprehending your material compared to the ways in which other students are comprehending the same material. Whether this is the teachers responsibility or if this is just the difference in environment and student motivation, can make a big difference. On the other hand, I am not sure I agree with comparing one student's successes or failures to another. Again, environmental situations can play a huge role in how a students is able to learn and pick up on information. It can be a good thing to compare your student's knowledge and performance from one student to another if you are trying to figure out ways of helping those students who may not be getting the information like the rest of the students are. As for criteria-referenced, I like that they are able to tell a teacher exactly what the student knows and does not know, or what the student has or has not been able to accomplish or master. The thing I do not agree with here is that these assessments leave out room for subjective assessment. Art is so subjective and cannot be assessed on a criteria-referenced scale always. Art is best looked at from the stand point of individuality. Every student is going to be on a different page with art because they are all going to process what they know in different ways. It is the way that they view things. Art cannot be assessed with criteria-reference because their is not standardization about it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unit 1: Chapter 13

1. Based on our readings and class discussion, how will you create a learning environment that is conducive to learning?
For my students, I would like to create a learning environment that is quiet, orderly, active, and at times noisy. I would like to create a place for my students to learn how to listen to others, stay organized with their materials, participate in class activities, and at times verbally discuss and present their works of art to the class, why they made the art they did, and what art means to them. All four of these types of classrooms are important for me in the environment I want to present to my class. By arranging my desks or tables in a collaborative and sharing manner, students will feel free to engage in the projects that I have set for them to complete. Working with their classmates will often times present better outcomes of works of art. Planning smooth transitions from one thing to the next will help students stay on task and focused. Having a back-up plan if students finish earlier with a project then expected. Allowing students to verbalize or write down a daily expression so they can get their creativity flowing.
I am a very strict rule follower so I appreciate and understand the need for rules. By presenting them in a non-controlling way, it will help students be productive and responsible, while being held accountable for themselves and their actions in my classroom. I want to make sure that my students feel like they can be expressive and not be judged based on how they see something. It may be different then another student, but that is what art is all about. We all see things differently and we must understand to appreciate that difference because how another sees something can open our eyes to seeing it that way too. An art classroom is all about letting your guard down and exposing yourself to new ideas so that you can learn to accept and appreciate the worlds' differences. If my students do not feel that they can do that then I need to work on the environment setting. As we discussed in class on Tuesday, teachers set the climate and the consistency we maintain is what keeps that climate steady and going. Art is such a subjective and expressive form of learning that I have to be on my game at all times to help my students cope and adapt to the new materials.

Students feel most comfortable in a calm, relaxed environment. It will be helpful for me to have images such as this on the walls of my classroom to not only promote creativity, but engage students in the art process the moment they enter my room.

2. Now consider your CSEL case study. Develop a full continuum of responses for dealing with misbehavior of your case.
With the case study involving middle school seventh grade students, Cherie acting out in front of the whole class is going to be very disruptive to your teaching, the class paying attention, and her own learning. With this case study it will be very important for me to make Cherie aware that I acknowledge her misbehavior and disruptions in the classroom. Often times teachers think it is easier if you ignore the students behavior because then it does not become important and the student will stop since they do not have your attention. The problem I have with that is that most students will not stop and if their is no consequence for what they are doing then they will not have a reason to stop misbehaving. As a teacher I want to make sure that I maintain a productive teacher-student relationship with Cherie. I have to show discipline in a non-threatening way so that she will be more attentive in listening to me. I then need to make sure to create an effective psychological climate by letting Cherie know that what she is doing to her classrooms is not very nice and that if someone was doing those things to her, how would she probably feel. Setting limits with my classroom will automatically tell Cherie what I expect from my students. My rules and procedures must be given in a non-controlling but informative manner that this is how things are going to go in my classroom. By reviewing my rules with Cherie, she will know that I do not tolerate misbehavior in my classroom that is so disruptive and harmful to other students. Most importantly I believe in communicating with each one of my students on a somewhat personal level. I would then pull Cherie aside after class to ask her why she is acting the way she is. More often than not a student's behavior in the classroom is a result from something external of that classroom setting. Again, it is my job as the teacher to set the climate. Cherie is testing the weather in my classroom this day but it cannot continue.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unit 1: Chapter 11

"Questions to Consider"
 Chapter 11: Consider the theories of motivation we discussed in class. Which theories of motivation are most helpful and instructive for you? How can they enhance motivation and affect your students?

Trait theories will be helpful and instructive for me to better understand my students and their needs in my classroom. With art, it will be important to get to know my student's characteristics and personality traits because when trying to motivate them in creating works of art, if they do not seem to favor a technique or an art style, then they will not be as enthusiastic about using it. I do not want them to feel that they need to avoid their art experience because of the situation they are in. I want them to feel comfortable to freely express themselves in they way that they will best work. 

Another would be social cognitive theories because students will develop over time a motivation towards things that they feel give them the best consequences in return. In my classroom, if I can show one student that their work and behavior towards that work is a good experience for them, then other students will follow that behavior to motivation of receiving the same acknowledgment. With art it is all about expression and doing something that is the way only that student would do it. If students can become comfortable with how they choose to create art then they will become comfortable with talking about it to their peers and receiving helpful criticism for improving on their skills.
 Cognitive theories affect learners' perceptions of themselves and of the topics they are learning in the environment they are learning them in. This is a great theory for an art classroom as it is imperative for my students to trust in their abilities and be confident in the art work they create. When students perceive that they are doing a project well, then their motivation will increase to continue and they will be able to to further expand their abilities with various mediums. By allowing my students to have a control and choice in their project, I am giving them the ability to to self-determine the outcome of their art work. Thus students will grain more and learn more from their own motivation sand their peers so they can best be able to measure their own successes and failures in their works.

These theories can aid me in understanding and facilitating a helpful environment where my students feel comfortable to come to me with help on their projects, can go to their peers for help on projects, and can be confident in themselves to be able to trust in the work they are creating. Art is a beautiful thing where people find a place to freely open up and express their true nature, what they care most about in this world, or raise concern about issues they face. While all of this is made possible as a universal language that everyone can come together and connect about, it is a very strange thing for others. I want my students to understand art and just another tool for learning to appreciate the world and understand it. If students are not motivate and uncomfortable with the content of my class then nothing will get done and I will not get to see them let loose and have fun. By understanding these theories and applying them to my students and their work, I can help guide them in finding what will help them achieve most. 

Unit 1: PLE Questions

First PLE Post Reflection:

1. What are your personal objectives for the class?
Becoming an art teacher has been a very long process for me. Getting into the program at UT has been a tough road, but I am finally getting to the point where I feel like this is really what I am meant to do with my life. My personal objectives for this class consist if gaining a better understanding of myself in the educational system. I want to gain knowledge about the ways in which I learn best, why my motivations are what they are, why I best focus in one setting versus another, how my teachers used tools and techniques to gain my interest, etc. By gaining this knowledge I hope to then be able to soon understand my own students needs in the classroom. I want to grasp the concepts of this course so that I can recognize when a student is behaving the way they are, so I can see when a student is struggling, why and how I can help them, and I want to be able to help them realize and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses inside and outside the classroom environment of learning.

2. What do you want to explore deeper?
I would like to explore the challenges I may face in the classroom. I find it very interesting that, as teachers in a varying of areas, we are all striving to get to know and understand our students so that we may best teach them. In this educational course, as well as in many of my other courses, I am surrounded by those who are in the art education program and those who are in another area of the educational program. While it will be good for me to hear how my peers in other programs will handle situations in their classrooms, I am interested in hearing what and how those in my area of teaching will conduct their classrooms. Educational psychology is applied to all areas of teaching, however, I believe that it is needed to be applied in a different way when working with math students versus working with art students. There are similarities, but I want to know how best to understand my students in the environment of my art education classroom. It will be new territory and maybe frightening to some students who feel as though they are not artistic and my hope is to better understand why, all the possibilities of how they may feel and act, so that I can accommodate to their needs for learning and succeeding in the art environment.