Formative Assessment Quickfire

21st Century Skill: View Failure as an Opportunity to Learn

The Plan:

How will I use my content to teach this 21st century skill?

Learning to draw can be frustrating for students. For this reason, when I begin my “big drawing unit” (BDU) I tell students that there is no such thing as a mistake when it comes to drawing.  I try teach them that what they view as a “mistake” or “failure” is really an opportunity to improve. I let them know that perhaps their artwork will go in a different direction from reacting to a “mistake” and maybe their artwork may not turn out how they had planned but this isn’t a bad thing. I believe that see there artwork as “looking bad” as a failure. I tell  them it’s not good or bad it just different than they had planned. To build off of this, I always tell students not to compare their drawings to anyone else’s as being “better” or “worse.” Again, they are just different.

As part of my BDU, I have students begin each day with a sketch.  In the beginning of the unit (first week) we do blind contour sketches (this means drawing from observation without looking).  I start with this because these drawing come out looking like crazy scribbles that do not look anything like what they are try to draw. And that is the point!  This exercise develop their hand eye coordination.  I use this exercise as way to show students that everyone has room to improve their drawing skills.  I want them to see that everyone is starting from square one.  Students will look at these drawings and think they look horrible. They will say things like, “I can’t do this!” “This looks like crap!” Their responses indicate to me that they see their blind contour drawings as failures. It my job to change their perspective.

How will I incorporate technology?

I believe that I can use technology to help me change their perspective about failure. My plan is to have students come up one by one and put their drawing on the Elmo so they can share their blind contour drawing with the class. They can not opt out of this.  By sharing with the class they will see that all of their drawing are  scribbles that do not really resemble anything.  In this way students will see that they are at the same level of drawing ability and this will hopefully change their perspective about  “mistake” or “failure” is when it comes to drawing. It is also my hope that this will help to build a learning community for students because they will see that they all will have parts of their drawing that are good and areas where they could improve.

How I will incorporate formative assessment?How will this assessment give students an opportunity to learn?

When students share their drawings with the class, I will direct 2 questions to the class while looking at their drawing:” What did they do well? What are some suggestions for improvement?” I will also provide answers to they students. From this students will get instant feedback from me as their art teacher and from their peers. This is feedback they can they can apply to their next drawing exercise.  I will also ask the student artists to answer those two questions. This will give me insight to where they feel they are in their abilities.  I can offer specific instructions to individual students for how to improve their drawing.
I can definitely uses framework with other practice sketches students do.  I think it would be good thing to do twice a week and before big drawing assignments.


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