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Transforming the ordinary: middle school.

Significant Problem:

Preparing students for exams seems to be the primary focus of many middle school teachers. I wanted to design an art exam that students would look forward to taking, would play upon their strengths, and would be more of an authentic assessment than just a paper and pencil test. The resulting problem was for students to transform an ordinary object into an art piece that would be part of their everyday life.

Essential Concepts:

1. Making art meaningful in student's lives.

2. Using real-life skills.

3. Creative use of materials.

4. Working with a theme.

5. Demonstrating skilled artistry.

Materials:

Light switch plates, acrylic paints, patterned papers, assorted found materials, glue, polyurethane finish.

Guiding Practice:

1. To enable students to develop a theme, I gave a quick lesson on webbing for brainstorming.

2. After selecting a theme, each student had to submit a sketch of the proposed design for a decorative light switch cover, along with a proposed list of materials needed to complete the task.

3. The time for completion was limited to two class periods.

Assessing Learning:

The light switch covers were graded by a rubric, which covered the following criteria: theme, creative use of materials, and artistry.

ClipCard submitted by Elizabeth Menson Sio, an art teacher at Jordan Elbridge Middle School in Jordan, New York.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:an art exam
Author:Sio, Elizabeth Menson
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:220
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