Monday, December 30, 2013

Think Dots As a Formative Assessment

Color Think Dots - used as a formative assessment for third grade

My third grade students were finishing a project at different stages. Since I have only 6 iPads for my students to use, we often work on multiple projects when it involves using them. Third grade students were typing in their Color Letters (Post to come later on this creative project!) as they finished up on the drawing part of the project. I assigned this Think Dots sheet for students to work on as they waited for their turn on one of the iPads or when they finished. This both gave them something to do that reviewed their color knowledge and showed me where we still needed to focus our learning. Since it involved painting and rolling dice - they were into it. 

Each table was given a laminated Think Dots sheet (laminating will save it for use over and over again) and a die. They were showed how to fold a 12x18 paper into 6 sections. They were to roll the die and do what was asked of them on the Think Dots sheet. They could re-roll but eventually all tasks should be completed. Generally in a Think Dots activities, there are varying levels of difficulty or thinking. The task contained lots of choices that let the students show their creativity. 
For example - "Paint a design in a section using Primary colors." This gives students the opportunity to paint anything they wish. 

When students are finished with these, I will be able to look them over and gather data on how many students completed each task correctly. That data will guide my teaching on the next lesson we do. If all students have mastered most tasks then we can move on to a new concept. I may find that many students still need some extra time learning a certain concept. 

You can find my Color Think Dots here if you wish to borrow. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Heard You Can Draw! - Book Review

About a month ago I had the pleasure of sharing a wonderful book with my students. 

 It's a story that reminds us, as artists, to be true to ourselves. Young Sarah was caught by her teacher drawing in class. Her classmates discovered her artistic talent and began to ask her to draw all kinds of things for them. 

My students enjoyed the book. A couple of classes even asked me to read it a second time! After reading the book I asked the students to be book reviewers with me. 

Here's some of the things they had to say:
"I like that it is funny."  "I love the rhyming words."  "I've never seen a book before that lets you draw in the last pages!" (The end of the book contains a small sketchbook for students to draw whatever they want.)

Things that I liked about this book:
One of the first things I noticed was it taught many of my students a new vocabulary word. It was in bold so the students knew they needed to stop and figure out what it meant. 

Another important aspect of the book I enjoyed was the message. It told students to be their own artist. What they want to draw and express is far more important than what others may want. Be true to yourself!

I congratulate M. D. Savran on a wonderful book that every art teacher should share with students!

You can get your copy at Amazon. Visit the I Hear You Can Draw blog for more information about this book, the author, and more.