Stashed Away- Sharing Student Art

Yesterday I talked about Parent Teacher Conferences.  Sometimes I have parents stop in during conferences.  They may have a concern about a grade or simply want to see what their student is working on in art class.  This really puts me on the spot with over 500 students.  Here are two solutions I have found to make sure the art for each student is easy to find and easy to grab if a parent wants to take a look. Again- organization eases stress and saves the day!

1. Portfolios

As the year progresses I try to stuff student art into folders. Sometimes the students help me stuff portfolios, sometimes I do it myself.  Either way, if the student art is already stashed in the portfolio, I can simply go to my drawers labeled by class and pull that student’s portfolio of art.  I will talk more about my portfolio system soon! 🙂

2. Piles

If the artwork is not yet filed into the portfolio I have very strategic piles that I keep within the drawer. I organize the artwork by putting the art with the lower grades on top. Usually the parents who come to talk with you want to talk because they have a concern about a grade on the report card. By putting the lower grades on top, I can easily grab them when parents pop in.

Here is what my spread looked like as I sat and enjoyed some Lemon Ice and poured over hundreds of pieces of art as I graded.  So productive.

Luckily we have a computer based program that can be entered. Student photos show up so we can see the kids and enter their grades right there. This is pretty handy. I usually record on my clipboard during class or after class the day a project is finished, or when I have assessed the particular skill at hand. Then, I transfer the clipboard grades to the computer.

So, I guess that is my simple little system, but it does give me piece of mind. Grading is such a daunting task! I will share more common rubrics our department uses and more on HOW I assess the art soon, until then, celebrate that my thousands of “clicks” are done and I can now share and communicate with parents the progress their students have made in art class!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

More from Jessica