- What’s going on in this picture?
- What makes you say that?
- What else can we find?
I have relatively small classes (between 5 and 15 students per grade), and I have a translator. So, with discussions, the students are sometimes popcorn-ing out various answers and lots of the time in Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese, so my translator tells me what the students are saying. Often times, new questions arise, so we take the conversation in that direction.
There is no right or wrong answer with art, and there is no need for the students to speak in English, so all of our discussions are equal opportunity investments and learning platforms. We all have opinions and different values, and the students bring all of that into our discussions. The differentiation comes in the form of allowing the students to speak their own language. I give a lot of freedom in my classroom for the students to feel comfortable saying or sharing whatever they want (in terms of our discussions around art and process).
My pre-assessment for our Joan Miró project will be designed around surrealism. This will help me understand if my students have ever seen any surrealist artworks before (Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, etc.). I will have A4 size laminated prints made of various artworks and symbols. I will have the students spend time discussing the works and symbols with each other, placing stickers on which ones they’ve seen before (in books, online, on a shower curtain, etc.) and then vote on which ones they like the best.
Different colored dot stickers will be used for different categories, such as:
- If you have seen one of the artworks before, place a yellow dot on it.
- If you have seen one of the symbols before, place a green dot on it.
- If you have heard of Miró or surrealism before, place a red dot on your shirt.
Once the students have placed their dots, we will divide the students into groups based on where their dots landed and have a brief discussion. This entire activity should take no more than 20 minutes to decipher. This pre-assessment will be left hanging up throughout our entire unit so the students can go back and refer to the new artists they have learned about and self-assess their knowledge of surrealism, comparing it to where they were when the unit began.
1. The students who could define surrealism in our first round of sticker placement and discussion will use the following assessment to discuss various visual aspects related to the surrealist movement.
Carousel Brainstorm: Chart papers containing statements or issues for student consideration are posted around the classroom. Groups of students will brainstorm at one station and then rotate to the next position where they will add additional comments. When the carousel “stops” the original team prepares a summary and then presents their ideas to the larger group. A Carousel Brainstorm is an active, student-centered method to generate data about a group’s collective prior knowledge of a variety of issues associated with a single topic.
2. The students who have some knowledge on surrealism, but need to develop higher order thinking skills, will use the following assessment to discuss various visual aspects related to the surrealist movement. They will share back with the group and demonstrate where their understanding is now that the artmaking has begun.
Think - Ink - Pair - Share: A way to get students to reveal what they know or believe about a topic is to begin by having them commit their thoughts to writing. To assess what the group knows, the students discuss their ideas in pairs, and then share them with the larger group.
3. The students who appear to have limited knowledge of surrealism (3 of these students are struggling with English language acquisition and 2 need to be tested for special needs) will use the following assessment to put into words or visuals their knowledge of various visual aspects related to the surrealist movement.
KWL Charts: K - what does the student know? W - what does the student need and want to know? L - what did the students learn? This is an effective pre-assessment tool and summative evaluation tool. The "L" can also be used the as part of an open-ended question on a test allowing the students to share the depth of knowledge that was gained in the unit of study.
Art Term: Surrealism. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/surrealism
ASCD Learn. Teach. Lead. (December 2013). Differentiation: It Starts with Pre-Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/dec13/vol71/num04/Differentiation@_It_Starts_with_Pre-Assessment.aspx
Crockett, H. (2014). 8 Ways to Collect Data in The Art Room. Retrieved from https://theartofeducation.edu/2013/03/20/8-ways-to-collect-data-in-the-art-room/
Differentiation & LR Information for SAD Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/lrtsas/differentiation/5-preassessment-ideas
Kindergarten Miró Art. (April 17, 2018). Taylor Newman. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6ZvKL8vApg&feature=youtu.be
Joan Miró. (August 4, 2011). TateShots. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kipHAbR0zXU&feature=youtu.be
Joan Miró – Surrealism. (June 28, 2016). Ramon Carrasco’s Art Vlogs. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp63llZer-w&feature=youtu.be