Essential Academic Learning Requirements Project mit student November, 2005 Table of Contents



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Essential Academic Learning Requirements Project


MIT Student

November, 2005

Table of Contents

Classroom and Student Characteristics form

Instructional Plan

Instructional Plan Rationale

Pre-assessment instrument for selected students

Formative assessment instruments for selected students

Summative assessment instruments for selected students

Narrative of impact on individual student learning


Note: Student’s names have been changed, and the appendices (Photographs of student work) have been omitted as they bear the student’s real names. The names of the cooperating teacher and supervising faculty have also been removed.



CLASSROOM AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS
Teacher Candidate: Date: Oct 25, 2005

Cooperating Teacher: School/District: /

Grade: 9-12 Supervisor:

Lesson Title: Drawing Words




  1. Classroom rules and routines that affect the lesson: Everyone is to be respectful of people, property, and ideas; everyone is responsible for keeping the room and materials clean and maintained. Classes being with an opening lecture from the teacher, after which the students will work individually or in groups on their assignments. The remaining 10 minutes of class time are devoted to clean-up and any closing statements from the teacher.




  1. Physical arrangement and grouping patters that affect the lesson: The students are arranged into groups of four or six at tables throughout the room.



  1. Total number of students: 36 4. Females: 21 Males: 15 5. Age range: 14-18





  1. Describe the range of abilities in the classroom: Some students have difficulties with decontextualization and thinking abstractly, while others do not. Some students have limited or no artistic skills while others have a fair range of skills. Some students scored into the 2nd to 5th grade reading level while others are considered post-high school readers. There is very little correlation between the ability level of a student and his/her grade level.




  1. Describe the range of socio-economic backgrounds of the students: The majority of the students (56.1%) are on free or reduced lunch, indicating that the overall majority of the students are of low SES.




  1. Describe the racial/ethnic composition of the classroom, and what is done to make the teaching and learning culturally responsive: Of the 36 students in the classroom, 15 are African American, 9 are Caucasian, 7 are Hispanic, and 5 are Asian/Pacific Islander. The students are arranged into heterogeneous groups with regard to ethnicity, grade level, and artistic ability. The teacher works with each student individually in order to address the particular needs of every student.




  1. How many students are limited English proficient? None




  1. Describe the range of native languages and what, if any, modifications are made for LEP students: English appears to be the first language of every student in the class.


  1. How many special education and gifted/talented students are in the class and what accommodations, if any, are made for them?


Special Education Number of

Category Students Accommodations/IEP Objectives



Inclusion 4 Preview of material; preview of vocabulary; repeating of instruction;

preferential seating.


  1. How many 504 students are there? None What accommodations are made for theses students? None.




  1. Are there additional considerations about the classroom/students for which you need to adapt you teaching (e.g. religious beliefs, family situations, sexual orientation)? None that I am aware of, but given that a student’s religious beliefs, political beliefs, family situations, sexual orientation, etc. are often undisclosed, I attempt to keep my interactions with students and the content of my lectures as non-biased/non-assuming as possible.


INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson One): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will be able to identify the criteria that define illustration; Students will be able to identify the steps of a design process. Students will be able to identify visual descriptions in a written text.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will assess student learning based on their worksheet responses, sketches, and participation in the group activity.

GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will ask students leading questions about illustration and design (i.e. what is an illustration? Where do you see illustration in everyday life? Can an illustration contribute to a text?) Teacher will write answers on board. Students will answer questions about illustration and design. Teacher will give a lecture on the principles of illustration and how illustration relates to text. Teacher will also lecture about the design process of illustrating, from analyzing text, to research, to developing a final work of art. A handout detailing the steps of the design process will accompany the lecture. Teacher will provide examples of illustration with an emphasis on the design process. Students will listen to lecture, asking questions when necessary. Teacher will assign a short reading containing visual descriptions, and ask students to complete a brainstorming worksheet in which they will identify key words, main ideas, and unfamiliar terms from the reading. Students will complete the worksheet, asking questions when necessary. Students may also make sketches of what they read. Teacher will then lead the class in a whole-group reporting of answers.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Copies of chosen text, brainstorm worksheets, handouts, projector/laptop, slides of selected artwork.

INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Two): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will be able to determine how the elements of line, shape and value affect the mood or emotional content of a work of art.

ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will monitor individual student progress. Teacher will lead the class in a group critique of the drawings later in the unit. Teacher will assess students’ drawings based on a rubric.

GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.


LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will show various works of art that use value, line, and shape to create a mood. Students will view each work of art and identify a mood it creates. Teacher will give a lecture demonstration defining the elements of line, shape, and value. Teacher will show how artists have used these elements to convey a mood. Teacher will give a brief demonstration on the use of pastel and/or watercolor. Students will listen to lecture/demonstration, asking questions when necessary. Teacher will then play various samples of music, each meant to evoke a different mood, such as harmony, discord, stillness or activity. Students will make pastel drawings or watercolor paintings reflecting the emotions each piece of music is evoking.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Paper, pastel, watercolor, brushes, pencils, erasers, projector, selected images, CD player, music.


INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Three): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will learn how the elements of color, texture and space affect the mood or atmosphere of a work of art.

ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will monitor individual student progress. Teacher will lead the class in a group critique of the drawings later in the unit. Teacher will assess students’ drawings based on a rubric.

GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.


LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will give a lecture demonstration defining the elements of color, texture and space. Teacher will show how artists have used these elements to convey atmosphere. Students will listen to lecture/demonstration, asking questions when necessary. Teacher will assign students to complete a work of art conveying atmosphere. The work will be based on their choice of the following titles: “Freezing Storm at Sea,” or “Noon in the Tropics.” Teacher will provide individual assistance to students as needed. Students will create a work of art conveying atmosphere, based on their chosen titles.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Paper, pencils, watercolor, brushes, pastels, projector, selected images.



INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Four): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will learn to analyze a text for major descriptors and themes. Students will be able to infer information from a text.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will evaluate individual student achievement based on their responses to the assigned handout as well as their preliminary sketches. Teacher will also determine what each student needs to fulfill the assignment to his/her fullest potential.

GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will read aloud five passages from the book, Invisible Cities, providing brief summaries of each passage after it is read. Teacher will allow time after the reading for students to choose which passage they would most like to illustrate. Students will listen to and follow along with the readings, after which they will choose which of the passages they wish to illustrate. Teacher will assign students into groups of 2 or 3 based on the passages they chose. Teacher will provide each student with a handout of guiding questions with which they can generate ideas for possible illustrations. Teacher will provide individual assistance to students as needed. Students will form groups of 2 or 3 based on the passage they chose. Students will share ideas related to the guiding questions in the handout. Students may complete their handouts individually or in groups.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Copies of selected readings, copies of guiding questions, paper, pencils.



INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Five): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will be able to conduct image research in several formats.

ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will assess student achievement based on their participation in the assignment and on the images they found.
GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students will primarily work individually on this assignment, but are encouraged to assist each other in completing the activity.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will lecture on the use and importance of research in the design process. Teacher will explain and provide examples of primary, secondary and tertiary research. Teacher will explain the research process from brainstorming to image recovery to image selection in various formats, including books, magazines, and the internet. Students will listen to lecture, asking questions when necessary. Teacher will assign students to find three images from the internet and three images from books and/or magazines. Teacher will provide individual assistance to students as needed. Students will research images based on their brainstorming handouts (given during lesson 3). Students are limited to collecting 3 pages worth of images from the internet. However, they may collect as many images from books as they can.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Research materials (books, magazines, newspapers, internet capable computers), completed brainstorming worksheets.



INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12
SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:
UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Six): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will understand the basic principles of composition, including balance, movement and center of interest.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will monitor individual student progress. The products of this lesson will be assessed based on a rubric.


GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.


LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will lecture about the principles of composition, providing a handout as an aid. Students will listen to lecture, asking questions when necessary. Students will create sketches illustrating a selected reading from Invisible Cities, using the visual reference materials they have collected, and considering how they will construct a composition for a final painting. Teacher will provide individual assistance as needed.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Handout, newsprint, pencils, visual reference materials.



INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN
TEACHER CANDIDATE: DATE: Oct. 25, 2005
COOPERATING TEACHER: GRADE: 9-12

SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL:

UNIVERSITY SUPERVISOR:
UNIT/SUBJECT: Visual Arts
LESSON TITLE/FOCUS: Drawing Words (Lesson Seven): The visual interpretation of text.
LEARNING TARGETS: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the elements of art and composition, as well as their understanding of a text, through the completion of a final illustration.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

Teacher will monitor individual student progress. Student work will be assessed based on a rubric.


GROUPING OF STUDENTS FOR INSTRUCTION

Students are arranged in groups of four or six. The arrangement of students into their varying groups was intended for heterogeneity based on race, gender, grade level, classroom behavior, and artistic skills and abilities.


LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Teacher will give a demonstration on canvas preparation and the use of acrylic paint. Students will view demonstration, asking questions when necessary. Students will create a final illustration – either in paint or pastel – of a selected passage of Invisible Cities, using their sketches, visual references, and brainstorming worksheets as resources. Teacher will provide individual assistance as needed.


INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, RESOURCES, AND TECHNOLOGY

Paper, pencils, acrylic paint, pastel, brushes, canvases, visual reference materials.



Instructional Plan Rationale

Learning Targets

The learning targets of this unit are for the student to understand the expressive qualities of the elements of art and to utilize them to create a visual representation, or interpretation, of a written text. These targets relate most specifically to the Arts EALR #1: “The student understands and applies Arts knowledge and skills,” and Arts EALR #2: “The student demonstrates thinking skills using artistic processes.” The unit will build on a previous lesson in which the students are introduced to the elements of art and will practice rendering them separately and collectively. The student will continue their learning of the elements of art as they learn to utilize and combine them to express a mood, emotion, or idea (lessons 2 &3 of the unit). The student will read and analyze a short text and conceptualize how he or she can visually interpret the text (lessons 1 & 4). The student will then learn to gather visual references from various sources (lesson 5). Working from those references, the student will develop a visual representation of a text before refining his or her ideas and technique into a final illustration. The student will reflect on his or her work as well as the work of another student when he/she presents them during a group critique.

The learning targets for each lesson of the unit will be revisited throughout the course of the unit and will culminate in the unit’s final project. The student will be introduced to the process of analyzing a text for the purposes of illustration during lesson 1, a skill he/she will elaborate on in lesson 4, adding to it the learning he/she gained from lessons 2 and 3. They will utilize the skills they develop in the first five lessons when completing the assignments of lessons 6 and 7. The level of mastery that the student demonstrates at the end of the unit will determine the course and nature of future units.

This unit will provide an opportunity for the student to develop his or her artistic voice. The goal of the assignments given during the unit is for student to be able to express his or her own interpretation of a reading or an idea, and to incorporate his or her own experiences, knowledge, and interests (all of which are products of the student’s culture) into that interpretation.

The student will make artwork based on his or her understanding of the text. Through brainstorming worksheets and personal communication with the teacher, the student has an opportunity to express his or her interpretation of a reading, as well as how he or she wants to depict it, regardless of artistic skill. Based on those communications, the teacher can address each student’s challenges with regard to artistic technique. Modifications in instruction are made for students of varying reading abilities, including having the teacher read the text with the students, ask the student leading questions to improve student’s understanding of the reading, and/or engage the student in discussions about a text’s theme or meaning.

Assessment Strategies

The assessment of completed assignments take into account not only the artistic mastery the student demonstrates(e.g. technical skills and creativity), but also the student’s observed level of participation in class (e.g. time on task, participation in discussions/critiques, classroom behavior, number of absences), their response to individual assistance and instruction, as well as their improvement in each of those areas in relation to previous work. Each of these criteria is assessed based on a rubric that is given to students at the beginning of the school year (see Appendix F).

Through a strategy of assessing multiple criteria, an assessment can take into account the teacher’s knowledge of each student and his or her background. The student will receive feedback on his or her work and level of participation throughout the course of instruction, allowing him/her to improve their work before the final assessment.

Learning Experiences

Through my lecture/demonstrations, and through working with students individually, I have stressed the importance of personal expression in any work of art. I have encouraged the students to express their own interests and cultural perspectives in their work and interpretations of the assigned readings. When working with a student individually, I take into account my knowledge of his/her cultural background and experiences, as well as that student’s first language development and reading ability when providing instruction. English proficiency is another factor I take into account when working with students, though English is the first language of the vast majority of my students.

I take into account the possibility that, due to a student’s cultural background, SES, or gender, he or she may have limited background knowledge in the arts, or background knowledge different than my own. By allowing the students to gather visual references from classroom materials and during class time (lesson 5), I have attempted to keep students with limited resources and time outside of class from being at a disadvantage in completing their assignments. The visual references available to the students reflect a wide range of cultural influences.

By working with students individually, adjustments in instruction are made to accommodate a student’s possible learning disability or IEP/504 recommendations. The students are arranged into heterogeneous groups throughout the classroom. The heterogeneity of these groups is based on the teacher’s knowledge of the students’ ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, SES, genders, artistic skills, and reading levels, and behaviors in the classroom. Students are encouraged to engage with one another and discuss ideas during work time. By allowing students to view each other’s work and progress, the arrangement of students can allow for multicultural peer interactions as well as a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.

The students practice problem-solving and critical thinking skills by participating in group (lesson 1) and individual (lesson 4) brainstorming activities. Opportunities for creative problem-solving are embedded into the design process of the final illustration project (lessons 4-7). The learning experiences of this unit are based on the principles of representing-to-learn, heterogeneous groupwork, and student-led learning.

Family Interactions

A handout describing classroom structure and policies was sent home with students (to be brought back with a parent’s signature) at the beginning of the school year (see Appendix F). Contact information was provided in this handout. Parents were encouraged to provide with their signatures any information they wish to share about their children. If problems arise regarding student disengagement, and if personal conversations with that student fail to improve student motivation, I plan to contact the student’s family members by phone to seek advice and/or information that might support student learning. I will also meet with the families of some of my students during parent/teacher conferences. At these conferences, I will inform the parents as to how the student is working and progressing in class.



Pre-assessment instrument for Cynthia, Veronica, and Lauraliz
The purpose of this project was for the student to become familiar with the basic elements of art. Each student was to write his or her name across a strip of paper which had been folded into eight sections. After observing a lecture/demonstration on the seven Elements of Art, the student was to decorate his/her name, emphasizing a different element in each section of paper. In the last section of the paper, the student was to provide definitions for all seven elements. The total time frame for this assignment, including lecture/demonstration, was three class periods at 80 minutes per period.

Results:

Cynthia demonstrated through this assignment a minimal understanding of the Elements of Art, as the elements emphasized in each section of paper are inconsistent with the elements she designated to each section (via labeling each section of paper with the name of a different element). As well, Cynthia did not appear to understand that each section of paper was to emphasize a different element, as opposed to each letter of her name. Cynthia did, however, respond well to feedback and suggestion through the course of this assignment, modifying parts of her work as her understanding of the elements improved. She did not provide definitions for any of the elements. (See Appendix A)

Veronica demonstrated through this assignment an emerging understanding of the Elements of Art. That understanding, as well as her willingness to experiment with the elements, came through only after intense one-on-one work which involved demonstration and showing of examples of the elements. Although it took time, Veronica responded well to feedback was eventually able to overcome her uncertainties and take initiative with the work. Veronica did not provide definitions for any of the elements. (See Appendix B)
Lauraliz demonstrated a definite understanding of the elements of art through this assignment. Each element was clearly emphasized in each section of the work. It is clear that Lauraliz has had prior experience with making art. In class, she was able to work independently and asked for very little assistance. Indeed, Lauraliz is only minimally responsive to feedback. She is more apt to argue constructive criticism rather than refine her work by it. She provided definitions for all of the elements. (See Appendix C)

Pre-assessment instrument for Nathan
A brainstorming handout (see Appendix E), which was given to all students, is serving as a pre-assessment instrument for Nathan, as he entered the class late into the unit. The handout contains questions related to a passage of reading that the students will have selected to read. In order to answer many of the questions, the student must infer information from the reading that is implicit, create original answers, or write about his or her personal reactions to the reading. The purposes of this handout are to lead the student into generating original ideas related to a reading, and to allow the teacher to measure the student’s ability to conceptualize images based on a written text.

Results:

Considering Nathan’s lack of background knowledge about the unit, he did very well at generating ideas in response to a text (see Appendix D). Nathan chose to brainstorm based on a reading which described a city which is reflected in the waters of a lake. After summarizing the story in his own words, Nathan made artistic decisions about the story beyond what the author had written, such as the size of the city, the emotional tone of the story, and the color scheme which an illustration of this story might have.


Formative assessment instrument for Cynthia, Veronica, and Lauraliz
The purpose of this assignment was to measure the student’s understanding of the expressive qualities of the elements of art, and his/her ability to effectively render them to convey a sense of atmosphere in a work of art. After observing a lecture on the expressive qualities of the elements of art, a participating in a warm-up exercise in which the student draws to music, the student will create a picture based on his or her choice of the following titles: “Freezing Storm at Sea,” or “Noon in the Tropics.” The students were to complete rough sketches of their work before rendering a final. The total time frame for this assignment, including lecture/demonstration and critique, was three class periods at 80 minutes per period.
Results:

Cynthia demonstrated an improvement in her artistic skills through her work, as well as a clearer understanding of the nature of the assignment. She used symbols and color to convey a warm day on the water. She displayed some understanding of the expressive qualities of the elements of art and a willingness to experiment with the media. However, it is clear that Cynthia could greatly benefit from more individualized assistance, including being reminded of key concepts covered in the lectures. (See Appendix A)

Veronica demonstrated an improvement in her artistic skill and her willingness to experiment with the media. She chose a harmonious color scheme and line quality that fit well with the atmosphere she intended to convey. Veronica is starting to show less dependence on individual assistance. Veronica could benefit from more practice with the media, particularly with techniques for blending color. She could also benefit from being introduced to the principles of drawing-what-one-sees, instead of rendering symbols in a work of art. (See Appendix B)

Lauraliz demonstrated a clear understanding of the expressive qualities of the elements of art through this assignment. She chose to render a scene of a freezing tropical storm. She used color and line effectively to create a feeling of cold and a sense of discord. Lauraliz could benefit from being introduced to the principles of drawing-what-one-sees. She could also benefit from learning the principles of composition. (See Appendix C)

Formative assessment instrument for Nathan
Working from the afore-assigned brainstorming handout, and any visual research that he or she might have done, the student was to make sketches for an illustration based on a reading of his or her choosing. The purpose of this assignment is to allow the student to refine his or her ideas and/or technical skills, in response to feedback from the teacher, before converting their work into a final illustration. This assignment also allows the teacher to assess the student’s ability to render a visual image and enables the teacher to provide feedback accordingly.

Due to Nathan’s late arrival to the class, this assignment is serving as his formative assessment.


Results:

There was a distinct progression in Nathan’s work over the course of this assignment (see Appendix D). He demonstrated an ability to refine his work in response to constructive feedback, and independently practice artistic principles (such as one-point perspective) which have been introduced to him. The improvement of Nathan’s artistic skills is evident through his successive sketches.



Summative assessment instrument for Cynthia, Veronica, Lauraliz, and Nathan

The objective of this assignment is to measure how the student utilized the elements of art to create a visual representation, or interpretation, of a written text. The student was to read five pre-selected passages from Italo Calvino’s book, Invisible Cities. Each of these passages describes a different fictional city. The student was to select a passage from which to create an illustration. After a brainstorming exercise from which the students could generate ideas, the student was to render sketches for an illustration that reflected the narrative of the passage he/she chose. The student was to work from photographic references when developing his/her illustration. The student was to then render a final illustration in pastel, working from the sketches and photographic references. The total time frame for this assignment, including lecture demonstrations, was thirteen class periods at 80 minutes per period.

Results:

Cynthia chose to illustrate a reading describing a city suspended between two mountains. She demonstrated an improvement in her artistic skills through her work, as well as a clear understanding of the nature of the assignment. She began by analyzing the reading, underlining key elements and descriptors, as well as unfamiliar terms. She incorporated those key elements into her preliminary sketches and sought the definitions of unfamiliar terms. Cynthia did not seek visual references to aid her design process. Though her final illustration is incomplete, Cynthia demonstrated an effective use of high-key colors and repetitive lines to reflect the sense of harmony she was intending to convey in the illustration. Cynthia was also able to evaluate her own work in a post-lesson reflection. (See Appendix A)


Veronica demonstrated an immense improvement in her artistic skills and her willingness to experiment with the media. She chose to illustrate a passage of reading describing a city reflected in a lake. She conceptualized a unique composition that included a self-portrait. Veronica sought visual references to aid her design process and incorporated them into her sketches. She learned the principles of one-point perspective and used them effectively in her illustration. Though her illustration is slightly incomplete, Veronica has shown through her final work an emerging mastery of pastel media and her ability to render objects realistically. Veronica was also able to articulately evaluate her own work in a post-lesson reflection. (See Appendix B)

Lauraliz decided to illustrate a passage of reading describing a city populated by monsters. She chose to render the city from a distance, framed by a surrounding landscape. Lauraliz was able to conceptualize the environment the fictional city might exist in, as well as a distinctive look for that city. Through her sketches, Lauraliz had decided to model her city after medieval architecture. She used visual references to assist in rendering some elements of her illustration. Her last preliminary sketches demonstrated an effective composition and use of space, including a distinctive fore, middle, and background. Though Lauraliz’s final illustration is following that same composition, it is incomplete. She evaluated her work in a post-lesson reflection, but did not hand it in. (See Appendix C)

Though he demonstrated a progression in his learning though the sketching stage of this assignment (see formative assessment for Nathan), Nathan did not finish his final illustration due to excessive absences.

Narrative of Impact on Individual Student Learning
Name of Student: Cynthia
Background:

Cynthia is an 18-year-old African American senior who is on an IEP for reading and math. She had a reading level of 4.9 and a writing level of 6.2. Her IEP accommodations include the repeating and explaining of instruction, and the previewing of the language and vocabulary of each unit. According to one teacher, Cynthia is doing very well in her senior year, and has shown a tremendous improvement in her behavior and her academic performance since being a freshman. She now looks toward her life after graduation with high goals and a clear focus. Another teacher referred to her as a model of the resilient child, explaining that Cynthia’s home life was extremely unstable and that her mother was “negligent at best.” When I began working with Cynthia, she was extremely stand-offish in her demeanor. Despite the assistance Cynthia often requires when reading or writing, her insightfulness and maturity are obvious when she participates in classroom discussions. Cynthia has had no former experience with high school level art.

Observations:

From the results of her pre-unit assignment (see Appendix A), it is evident that Cynthia’s artistic skills are limited. It was also apparent that she had an unclear understanding of the instructions for the assignment. I wondered at the time how much of the quality of her work was a result of her lack of artistic skill and how much was her response to her environment. At the time, Cynthia sat with a group of girls who were all very vocal about their inability to make art. Could these girls, including Cynthia, be preventing each other from attempting to perform well? Later, when I arranged the students into groups, I was mindful to place each of these girls in the company of at least one individual who demonstrated either artistic skill or a willingness to experiment.

Cynthia’s emerging artistic skill became evident in the completion of her second major assignment (unit lesson 3, see Appendix A). She demonstrated some understanding of the expressive qualities of the elements of art, in response to my lectures on the subject, and demonstrated a willingness to experiment with the media. Although Cynthia is showing improvement, it is clear that she could greatly benefit from more individualized assistance.

During the “Drawing Words” unit, Cynthia chose one of five passage of text to illustrate. It described a city which hung from a spider web-like net that was suspended between two mountains. She had begun by highlighting all of the main elements of the story as well as any unfamiliar words (a process which I had modeled for the students at the beginning of the unit). She was incorporating the elements of the reading (those she understood) into the sketch of a city sitting atop a giant spider web – complete with giant spiders. I explained to her that when the author described the city as the “spider-web city,” he was making a metaphor. Once she understood this, she modified her sketch by omitting the spiders.

Cynthia continued to refine her illustration after subsequent readings of the text (e.g. rearranging the buildings of the city so that they hung from the “spider-web” net, instead of sitting on it). The next step for Cynthia is to apply pastel to her final drawing. She was resistant to that suggestion, aware that her drawing had too much fine detail, which (based on her experience with pastel during lesson 3) would be destroyed by the media. I showed her ways in which she could preserve the detail of her drawing when applying pastel. She was attentive to the demonstration I gave her, and later began applying the techniques to her own work (see Appendix A).

Conclusions:

Despite her limited experience in art, Cynthia is showing steady progression toward the learning targets of the unit. She has demonstrated a clear improvement in her artistic skills, and continues to refine her work based on feedback and on an increasing understanding of the assigned text. Cynthia is now much more open to feedback now than she was at the beginning of the unit. Whereas early on, Cynthia seemed mistrusting of me, she is now responding to my critiques of her work, and often seeks my assistance.



Narrative of Impact on Student Learning
Name of Student: Veronica
Background:

Veronica is an African American freshman with a reading score of 7.5. According to all of her other teachers, Veronica is going very well academically. She has been described as a conscientious student, even a bit of a perfectionist. She is outgoing and takes charge in small group situations. Veronica sets high goals for herself and sets methodical plans to achieve them. As a 9th grader, she had had no prior experience in high-school level art, and according to her, no art experience whatsoever. At the beginning of the school year, she was talkative and inattentive during lectures, but would ask for assistance often during work time. Veronica appears to place a lot of doubt in her artistic abilities.

Observations:

Veronica refused to start the first assignment of the semester. Every time I asked her to do so, she simply stated that she couldn’t; that if she tried, she would just do it wrong. It was only after constantly reassuring Veronica of the low-stakes nature of the assignment, as well as demonstrating several approaches to beginning the assignment, that Veronica began to put pencil to paper. She would not attempt anything new without my assistance. Veronica would get easily frustrated and responded to her frustration by throwing down her pencil and stating, “I can’t do it.” However, when she understood a concept, or when something she tried worked the way she wanted it to, she would get very excited and motivated to continue. I wondered at the time how much of her self-doubt and resistance to try was a result of her lack of artistic experience and how much was her response to her environment. At the time, Veronica sat with a group of girls who were all very vocal about their inability to make art. Could these girls, including Veronica , be preventing each other from attempting to perform well? Later, when I arranged the students into groups, I was mindful to place each of these girls in the company of at least one individual who demonstrated either artistic skill or a willingness to experiment. By the end of the allotted time for the assignment, Veronica’s work was incomplete, but she had demonstrated an emerging understanding of the elements of art as well as an emerging willingness to try new things independently. (See Appendix B).

Veronica continued to show some improvement in her artistic skills and in her confidence by the end of the next major assignment (unit lesson 3, see Appendix B). She still asked for assistance constantly, but her mantra had evolved from “I can’t do it” to “does this look right?” Veronica was also becoming overwhelmed less often.

For her final illustration project, Veronica (after much personal deliberation) chose to depict a passage of text that described a city that was reflected in a lake. She came up with idea that she described to my quite articulately, that of buildings being reflected in the lake, as seen from the point of view of someone standing on the balcony of one of those buildings. Despite the clarity of her vision, Veronica would not begin without my assistance. I began by teaching her the principles of one-point perspective drawing, which she understood after a bit of demonstration. Veronica then began looking through visual references for architecture that would suit her vision. She decided to work from traditional Chinese architecture for the design of her buildings, choosing pictures of such buildings from books and conforming the architecture to the layout of her drawing. (See Appendix B).

Veronica would work independently until becoming stuck on a technical dilemma. She was able to identify where an element of her drawing did not look quite right, but was unable to figure out how to fix it. Veronica’s level of motivation seemed to oscillate between excitement and frustration followed by complete shut-down. Several times, she declared, “I give up,” until I would point out what went wrong in the drawing and how to fix it. Over time, Veronica would ask for assistance less and less frequently.

Conclusions:

By the end of the “Drawing Words” unit, Veronica showed improvement in her technical skills as an artist, particularly in the areas of one-point perspective rendering and the application of pastel. Veronica also learned how to gather references from various sources, refine sketches based on feedback, and compile various sketches to render a final illustration. Veronica showed an improvement in her willingness to work independently, but is still unsure of herself when it comes to trying new things.



Narrative of Impact on Student Learning
Name of Student: Lauraliz
Background:

Lauraliz is a fourteen-year-old Caucasian freshman. The range of her academic performance in classes outside of Art is wide. In some classes, she is getting A’s and B’s while in others, she is streaking by with D’s. In most of her classes she is a quiet participant. She began her first days of high school level Beginning Art doing extremely well.

Observations:

Lauraliz has always been quiet and attentive during lectures, and has always attempted to put into practice the principles of art and design that were covered in those lectures. Lauraliz’s skills and experience in Art were obvious from the beginning of the year. From a class of forty students, Lauraliz was the first to finish the introductory project of the semester (see Appendix C). As well, her work revealed a plain understanding of the elements of art. She worked independently, calling on my attention not to seek assistance, but to show me what she had accomplished. Lauralis showed great pride in her work. She almost seemed to thrive on the idea of being a star pupil among her peers. It seemed to me that Lauraliz was used to receiving praise for her artwork, but not constructive criticism. Whenever I offered suggestions for improving her work, she was more apt to argue those suggestions than to learn by them.

Lauraliz’s ability to incorporate new learning into her existing style was apparent in her next major assignment for the unit (see Appendix C). She used the elements of color and line effectively to create a feeling of cold and a sense of discord in her rendering of a freezing tropical storm. I felt Lauraliz could benefit from being introduced to the principles of drawing-what-one-sees. She could also benefit from learning the principles of composition.

Over the course of the unit, Lauraliz worked without asking for assistance. At one point I noticed that she was late in beginning her final project. She had done a few detailed rough sketches, but no research for visual references. I suggested that she save rendering detail for her final drawing. I also noticed that much of what Lauraliz drew was somewhat cartoon-like. I advised her to use visual references as a guide to making her drawings look more realistic. She argued this piece of advice, stating that she was capable of drawing things “straight out of her head.” I told her the idea that good artist draw “straight out of their heads” is a myth; that no amount of memory or imagination can match the realism one can render from drawing what one sees. She acknowledged my advice, but did not make an effort to find any visual references. Only after I found photographs that closely resembled what she was trying to draw did Lauraliz show interest using references. There was a noticeably greater sense of realism in what Lauraliz had drawn when she worked from the photographs, but when it came to rendering other portions of her final illustration, she again refused the aid of photo-references, insisting that she could draw perfectly well from memory.

I was puzzled at Lauraliz’s resistance to my guidance, especially in relation to how mindful she had been to incorporate onto her work the artistic principles I had introduced earlier in the unit. It was also becoming clear that Lauraliz no longer made effective use of class time, choosing in stead to idly socialize, and on occasion be a source of disruption. Her style of dress also began to change. By the end of the unit, Lauraliz’s final work (see Appendix C) was incomplete. The portions of the final illustration she had completed were far less detailed, even rendered carelessly, in relation to her earlier work.

Conclusions:

Lauraliz is a ninth grade girl trying to find her niche. The social transformations she appears to be going through may be interfering with her attention her school work and to her artwork. While Lauraliz demonstrated responsiveness to the knowledge she garnered through lectures, she was resistant to individual guidance. She demonstrated through this unit a developing ability to conceptualize ideas based on a reading, as well as a mindfulness of how the elements of art can convey emotion. However, Lauraliz’s progress has slowed of late, and her work seems even to have regressed in sophistication. I am hopeful and confident that this is a temporary phase for Lauraliz, and that she will begin to show more improvement in the near future.



Narrative of Impact on Student Learning
Name of Student: Nathan

Background:

Nathan is a nineteen-year-old African American senior who recently transferred from out of state. He entered the class at the beginning of lesson 4 of the “Drawing Words” unit. He has a severe amount of absences in his first period Art class. When I asked him about this, his claim was that his absences were due to missing the bus. The transcripts from Nathan’s former school have yet to arrive, so information on his academic history is limited. In class, Nathan is soft-spoken and polite. Two of his teachers told me that he is failing their classes, adding that he often sits and does nothing, and is sometimes prone to sleeping. His senior advisory teacher told me that he started the year doing poorly, though he showed some improvement after the first semester’s parent/teacher conference. I had an opportunity to meet and speak with Nathan’s parents during that conference, and they seemed very supportive and concerned for his academic success. To my knowledge, Nathan has no prior experience with high-school level art.


Observations:

Nathan would sit near the door of the classroom and never ask for assistance. The first assignment he handed in for the class not a piece of artwork, but rather a brainstorming worksheet with which the students could begin fleshing out preliminary ideas for an illustration. He chose to brainstorm on a passage of text describing a city which is reflected in a lake (see Appendix D). Having no prior art experience and none of the background information for the unit (such as color theory, or the analytical process of reading-to-illustrate), Nathan was very insightful in his responses to the questions on the worksheet. He was able to identify main elements of the selected reading, imagine elements of the story which the author did not write about, and decide what the emotional overtone of the story might be.

From these preliminary ideas, Nathan began sketching for an illustration of the reading he selected (see Appendix D). Although it was evident that Nathan had very limited drawing skills, he was able to reflect many of the ideas from his brainstorm worksheet into his first drawings. He chose to focus his attention on symbolizing some of the deeper meaning from the text, rather than rendering literal images from the descriptions in the reading. He divided the page in half by drawing a jagged line vertically down the paper. On one side of the paper he drew smiling faces against a sunny sky; on the other, angry faces against a stormy sky. I suggested to Nathan that he could add an element of literalism to his drawing, while keeping the same theme, by formatting the drawing to divide horizontally instead of vertically. In his next sketches, Nathan followed my suggestions, and added another element of literalism by adding buildings into the scene.

On one occasion I noticed Nathan sitting idle with his sketches in front of him. When I asked him why he wasn’t drawing, he told me that he was re-evaluating the direction his design was taking. He wanted is drawings to look more sophisticated, more realistic. He told me he knew he could do it, he just didn’t know how. I gave Nathan a lecture/demonstration on one- and two-point perspective, to offer a way in which he could render a cityscape with more realism. Nathan’s subsequent sketches (see Appendix D) reflected a clear understanding of the technical principles I had introduced to him.


As the end of the unit drew near, Nathan had only just begun compiling his sketches into a final drawing, and was busy adding fine detail into one of his sketches. I sat with Nathan and advised him to save the details for his final. I then proceeded to give Nathan a quick lecture on the expressive qualities of color, and how he could use those qualities to reflect the dichotomy of moods that he wanted to portray in his illustration – principles I had introduced to the class before his arrival. He was responsive to what I had to say, but due to his absences, did not have an opportunity to demonstrate his learning before the end of the unit.
Conclusions:

Considering that he joined the class late in the unit, Nathan made up for some of his lost time though his ability to reflect upon a reading and to conceptualize an image based on what he had read. Nathan was responsive to feedback, and demonstrated a clear improvement in his technical skills. He also revealed a desire to improve his work while many of his peers were rushing through the assignment with minimal effort. Nathan showed noticeable progression in his time spent in class. Unfortunately, that progression did not yield a final product because of Nathan’s chronic absenteeism.




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