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Saturday, June 4, 2011

That Kid Never Follows the Rubrics!

I read a post this morning on having students create personal success plans.. and it got me pondering how I could incorporate something like this into my art class.

Creating a Personal Success Plan - A Sensible Alternative to Standardized Tests

There is a struggle that occurs in art classes when there is a student who wants to do a project her own way. The art teacher has created a lesson plan with a strict grading rubric and along comes the flighty art student who doesn't want to follow the rules but wants to express herself.

The teacher is bent because the student isn't following the plan. The student is bent because, after all, this is art class and you should be allowed to do whatever you want in art class. So what does the art teacher do?

This is where I think a personal success plan could come in handy. The student could create a plan on day one. This would start a dialog and hopefully uncover the student's interests and possible directions. The plans could be revisited serval time during the year to help continue the discussion.

Then, at the beginning of a new project, the plan could be used to discuss the direction the student wants to take while still keeping her work inside (or at least near) the framework of the rubrics.



  1. I teach at a middle school level and don't encounter such a student often, but in my years of teaching, I have. I have come to the conclusion that just because this is art class, doesn't always mean they can do whatever they want. We are, after all, trying to teach something and usually the lesson is built around those things. I've come to start telling the student that they can do what they want to at home....anytime they want to. They can't dispute that and they don't. ;-)

  2. The question is Elenka: what is art really about? As an artist, one could teach a child everything there was to know, but in the process are they really truly expressing themselves?


  3. Yes, they can express themselves in the parameters of the lesson. We do have to grade them and we do use rubrics and self assessments for all subjects in this school, so they are somewhat 'stuck' in terms of that. They can truly express themselves, using all their skills, anytime they want to outside of class...they don't need me for that. You have to start somewhere when you are 12 years old.


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