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How do you know your students are learning? How can you quickly and simply assess student learning? What assessment techniques can make your life easier?
The best kinds of assessments are ones that require no extra work from the art teacher! Adding these “no-prep” assessments to your classroom routine can help your students better understand key concepts you are currently working on in your art room!
You may have heard of exit tickets before. Lots of teachers use them as completely effective assessment strategies. However, as an art teacher, I wanted to find a way to turn the traditional paper exit ticket into a fast and paperless assessment for my artists. This is how the whisper exit ticket got started!
To easily implement, once all the artists have cleaned their workspaces, have students sit at their table with “heads down, thumbs up” to signify that they are ready to go. Select one quiet student to push down thumbs of other quiet artists, and they can go line up at the door. Then you can say something like, “Instead of lining right up at the door today when your thumb goes down, please come over to me at the carpet and whisper the definition for texture in my ear.” Of course, depending on the content you are studying, the prompt can change. You may even want to ask a question that’s more of an opinion or a student check-in. For example, whisper to me, “What part of today was the most challenging for you?”
What’s the first thing your students do when they start a new project? You’ve probably said it a million times. “Write your name and class code on the back of your artwork!” But why stop there? When you are studying a new artist or teaching students about a new technique, have students write the main ideas you want them to remember on the back of their artwork.
Do you find yourself talking a lot with your hands? Take advantage of your desire to move by creating motions that coordinate with key art concepts. In our art room, we call this “Art Sign Language” and often create the motions for new words we are learning together, as a class. To assess students using “Art Sign Language,” you can simply show them the motion and say, “What does this mean?” Or, try reversing that method and say the definition of a concept and ask, “What motion goes with this word?”
Assessing student learning is an ongoing process. Using these simple techniques can help you gain powerful insight, streamline the process, and keep students actively learning. Try one of these tips in your classroom and see how it can impact ongoing student assessment.
What assessments work best in your classroom?
How do you feel your students learn best?
What other ways can you integrate mini-assessments into your daily routines?