Grading –  Working with Advanced Art Students

Grading – Working with Advanced Art Students

– Welcome back. So we just spent some time talking about how you can think
about classroom management and how you might make some adjustments when working with your advanced learners. And now we’re going to
look at extra credit and talking to parents about grades. So what I want to encourage
you to do is think about developing an extra credit policy. And that might seem kind of weird, but hopefully by the end
of this I’ll convince you that it just might change your life because I feel like it changed mine when I was teaching my advanced students. So it’s really common close to
the end of the marking period for students to be lined up at your desk, asking you for extra credit. They suddenly become aware
of what their grade is and don’t like it, or they feel like
they’re just on the edge. They have an 88 or an 89,
and they really want an A. But the last thing that
you want to be dealing with at that point in time in the
year is more things to grade or even coming up with
extra credit assignments. So that’s where the extra
credit policy comes in. We’ve created a download for you so that you can adopt this and start using it in
your classroom right away. So first, the extra
credit policy is something that I introduce to students
at the beginning of the year, and it’s also mentioned in their syllabus which goes home to
their parent or guardian so that everyone is aware
that it exists right up front. So the extra credit policy
stems from my philosophy that when it comes to extra credit, students should be doing the extra work, not you as the teacher. So whenever they want extra credit, they need to complete this. The first question that they
need to answer is they need to present what they want to do. So what is the work
that they’re going to do to earn extra credit? Then they’re going to explain
why the work is relevant and should be considered as extra credit. So we want to make sure
that they’re doing something that still aligns with what the class is instead of just something
seemingly totally random. Then they’re going to think about how many points they
should be able to earn for the assignment and
explain a little bit why they should be able
to earn that many points. So this also connects back
to students taking ownership. They can start to look at
what is their current grade, how many points are factored
into earning that grade, and how many points do they need to get the grade that they want
to kind of help them decide what and how much extra credit
do they need to be doing? Then the student sets a due date, saying they’re going to
have this done by X date. And we have an agreement
that there are no exceptions or extensions provided when
it comes to extra credit and that if it’s not
submitted by the date above, there is going to be no
chance for extra credit. This is just continuing to reinforce that the student needs to take ownership and responsibility for their work. The last two boxes, the student
explains how they think you as the teacher should
assess the extra credit. This is going back to this
is more work for the student, not more work for you as the teacher. And then they also fill in what materials they
need for the assignment. This part is really important because you need to have a conversation about who is supplying the materials. Are they able to use materials that are coming from the art room and cutting into your art budget, or is it something that they
need to provide the materials? So this can make it easy to have that really quick conversation. Finally, the student signs
it and the teacher signs it. Part of my extra credit policy is students know they cannot
submit an extra credit proposal within the last two weeks
of the marking period. It’s just too late at that point, as we’re trying to wrap up projects, wrap up grades, and get them submitted. But again, it’s important
to let them know that right up front so that
everyone is on the same page. Now, we also know that we tend to get the angry parent
email that wants to know how in the world their child
doesn’t have an A in art. When we get those emails, we tend to feel really
frustrated and sometimes angry. And so what I want you to think about is how you can make a few
adjustments that is, one, going to really cut down on the amount of those
emails that you’re receiving and, two, change how you respond to them. And so that comes to the
second download that we have, which is a grade reflection sheet. I have students do this about halfway through the marking period, but based on how your grading cycles work, you’ll want to reflect on
what works best for you. So the first question, the student writes what their
current grade in art is. This ensures that the
student is actually aware of their grade and that
they’re aware of it before it’s too late to
do anything about it. Then no matter what their grade is, they are going to list three goals to help them raise their grade over the rest of the grading period. Even if a student has 100%,
they should still set goals. So their goals can be
about how do they continue to have a hundred, or how do they continue to
have a high grade in art class? If a student has lower than a 75%, then they have to fill
out the bottom half, and this goes home to be
signed by a parent or guardian. They have to explain why they
have lower than a 75% in art. So a couple of reasons that
this is really powerful, especially when it’s going home. The student now is taking ownership for why they have the
grade that they have, and we also have an improvement
plan already in place by the three goals that
they have at the top. As students are filling this out, this is also a great
time to remind students of the extra credit proposal policy that that may connect
to one of their goals. So now when you get
that angry parent email, you have two really great
things to present to them. One, you can say, do you remember the student’s
grade reflection sheet and that you were made
aware of what their grade is and that we do have an
improvement plan in place? And two, did you know
that students can get an unlimited amount of
extra credit in my class if they just go through
the extra credit proposal? Perhaps you should sit down
with your child tonight and help them reflect on what they may do for an extra credit proposal. That tends to end the conversation. And only your really
committed students are going to follow through on this proposal, and it actually tends to be
really fun and interesting to see what they come up. So hopefully this makes it easier for you to really think about
how are you gonna deal with some of those tough
topics like extra credit and helping parents understand why students have earned the grades that they’ve earned in your art class. In the next video, we are going to talk about some specifics related to AP Art. And even if you don’t teach AP Art, still go ahead and tune in, as we’re going to talk about ways that you can also apply it
to any advanced art class.

Dereck Turner

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