Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Palette of Assessment Tools

In 2009, I was invited to present to elementary level art educators at the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts Summit X. The focus of the two-day session was on Assessment and the first strand of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) which focuses on Perception. Ronelle Howell, from Slaton ISD, who will be presenting this year at the Elementary Division Early Childhood Carousel at NAEA's convention in Seattle, and I, shared lessons and assessment strategies that would be seamlessly integrated into the teaching practice. Last year, Nancy Walkup and I furthered this discussion with our presentations for CEDFA's Summit XI that integrated digital portfolios as another assessment tool as we focused on the second strand, Culture and History. One example, Artsonia and its new "Artist Statement" component, added this year, allows teachers to implement reflection as part of the self-evaluation process, and publish the portfolio for family and friends to see. Digital tools like Voice Thread provide opportunities for students to engage others in dialogue over works of art, concepts and stories. This sample Voice Thread gave my students' Language Arts teacher an additional evaluation tool for a Haiku project, while I was also able to assess the learning in the Studio. The digital transformation of their work seemed to validate it for the students. I recommend this in any classroom!

Finally, I am so excited to share that Jessica Balsley from Iowa, and Erin Oldfield from Oklahoma, will be our other featured art educators for the Western Region Elementary Carousels, focusing on Best Practices and Creative Connections, respectively. Both are passionate educators, bringing a wonderful new voice to our Elementary Division! Jessica's blog, the Art of Education, shares another resource on assessment which is a treasure trove of links and material. Meanwhile, Erin teaches at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and maintains a great blog called Laugh Paint Create Her creative approaches to connecting to art at the OKCMoA engage children of all ages. Great educators to follow!