This week while reading Differentiated Instruction in Art (Heather L. R. Fountain) I found two fantastic ideas for pre-assessments. Pre-assessments help teachers to find out what our students already know and what they like to know. We can also learn about our students interests through these assessments which we can use to help keep students interested and engaged during projects.
The first pre-assessment tool I found is the "In Art I Hope We..." pie chart. Each student will create a pie chart that displays what they are excited to do in art and comparatively how excited they are for each item. You could set out a pre-defined list of categories or simply a few suggested areas of interest or leave it completely up to the students to define. Students should give each section a percentage, in the end it should all add up to 100% (Oh my, math in the art room, crazy!) Some categories could include: Make clay sculptures, draw outside, be in an art show, see art from around the world, learn about artists, draw animals, etc. Each students pie chart should be colored in and each section labeled. When they are finished they could add other interesting facts or things they want the teacher to know about them on the back. This is a great visual way to see the interests of the class and determine what areas of focus should be brought into the art room to grab their attention.
Another pre-assessment idea is the Palette of Choices. For this assessment you'll need a list of ideas, media, artists, projects, and cultures that you would like to teach during the course of the year. Have students look at the options and decide what thing s they would like to do most in art. In each category they should circle three things and place a star next to the one thing they just can't live without. On the back of the page they can list any other ideas they have of things they would like to do in art that year or things they have done in the past that they enjoyed.
The art program in many schools traditionally has been viewed as a particularly favorable setting for educating students with special needs. In art children are able to interact with such materials as paint or clay in direct response to their senses of sight,sound, smell, and touch. The materials of art are sensory, concrete, and manipulable in direct ways that are unique within the school curriculum. All the senses can be brought into interaction, providing opportunities to adapt art-making activities for students who have some sensory or motor impairment. (Source: Children and Their Art, Methods for the Elementary School, Eighth Edition)
Modifications for lesson plans are often needed in cases of students with special needs. The same standards should be taught to each student but the method by which to teach them can change from student to student. Here are some examples of what some of those modifications might look like.
Resource: The Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom by Patti Gould & Joyce Sullivan
1. Warm Demander:
2. Partner in Learning:
3. Proactive Designer
4. Flexible Manager
5. Reflective Practitioner
YOU MUST EMBRACE EVERY ROLE TO BECOME A TRUELY GREAT ART EDUCATOR!