CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mid-Year Reflecting

Grade 6 at work on a collaborative mural project

     This week marks the beginning of the second half of the school year. A new quarter is one-week in, and a new batch of 5th graders are getting familiar with studio routines. 
     I am a week late in posting "grades." I actually don't give grades in art anymore, my students have made it clear to me that grades are not useful for them. Instead, I write a short narrative to sum up each students' work, approach, successes, innovations, and challenges in art. Our report cards are not set up for this, my sometimes lengthy additions throw off the formatting. But just as I ask my students to write a little about their experience as an artist is the studio after each term, I do the same on their behalf.
Print-maker in foreground, drawing group in the background
      Today I am reporting on the 6th graders who just completed their quarter in art. Below are the words of one student who I will not see back in the artroom until grade 8, because next year's 7th graders must choose between French and Art. French-learners sacrifice a year in the studio so they can be prepared to take French 2 in high school, or because they love learning French, or both. It can be a cruel choice to make. 
Paper Marbling is a temporary center students look forward to

Q; What did you like about art this quarter?
A: " I didn't like art this quarter, I LOVED art this quarter. I really enjoyed art because it felt like a 'safe place.' It was always calm, and just an enjoyable place to work. Also I liked art because there was no 'right' or 'wrong' way, you could just do 'your way.'"
      This year is the first in our implementation of Vermont's mandated "Personalized Learning Plans." Statements like "J's" above let me know that in the art studio, learning is always personal.