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I gave my students an independent assignment. With this project, they had no limitations. They had to research for ideas, materials and how to. One student went off running with this project. she decided to to a collaborative project, including over 100 people.
She got the inspiration from a song.
Here is her process:
She decided to find out what love is to people of all ages. So, she cut 3″x3″ squares and passed these squares out to people ages 4-100. She asked them all to draw or..illustrate what love was to them. There were no rules to this. She told them they could use photographs, magazines, or whatever they wanted to express what love was to them.
The results were wonderful. In the end, she ended up with an 8’x8′ piece of art that we displayed in the schools cafe’.

Today during our meeting we worked on our final presentation. We spent the first half of the day working on all the details. We have decided on setting up a show case were each member will design our own area of the showcase. We have 5 members. To are art, two music and one social studies teacher. We are setting up tables. We each will have our own table to showcase our inquiry question. We are also planning a collaborated slide show and an area with access to our wiki. Over all, I feel that we are ready. We are planning on getting together either through email or a Skype call.  So, the question I need to ask my myself while putting together my showcase is: What does an independent learner look like. Though my lessons, how did I show that my students demonstrated higher level learning. By having my students research their own projects, I found that they were more engaged in the process. In a way, it motivated them because they were getting to do what they wanted. However, I do find that they liked the guided independent project much better than the full independent project.


MAR 2 2012

All CIG members came together for the optional workday.  We are using this time to complete some of the required readings and blogs. We are also taking the time to read and comment on each other’s blogs as well as other members of Arts Educator 2.0.

I want to touch base on how my students are doing with the independent project. Although I am finding that many of them are not documenting their work, some of the work is amazing.  I have given them some ways to document, but do not want to give too much guidance because I would like them to do this on their own. I want this project to remain “independent”.  I have several students who are really doing great with this. They have gone out, found art they like and researched what materials are needed. One student fell in love with mosaic and how people were painting and adding mosaics to cow skulls. She was so excited about this project. She did not know where to find a cow skull, so she was going to settle for a deer skull, which are easier to come across. During Valentines Day, her boyfriend surprised her with a cow skull. We laughed at the “gift” and how most would not understand.


JAN 13 2012


Our CIG group’s inquiry is focused around the independent learner. When I present my students with a problem-solving lesson, it reflects what my group is working on.  Our CIG has decided to have our students fill out a questionnaire. Each CIG member wrote her own questions. We are focusing on questions that will help us answer weather or not our students are independent learners. From here, we can work to create independent learners. After my findings, I wrote an “Independent Art” lesson.  The lesson allows the students to research and chose a challenging project. I have given them some guidelines. They will need to document their process as part of the project. I have given them several tools to do so. They may keep a running word document that they can print in the end or create a blog. This is their choice.




I have chose to read an article that I found relevant to my teaching, and current needs as a teacher.

The article I read was “How would you grade your students art projects”.

I have a very hard time grading my student’s work. I have come up with several rubrics and have used some pre made ones.  I want to remain fair.

This article touches on ways to better grade artwork.  It suggests that artwork is mostly about appearance, so craftsmanship and overall neatness should mean a lot in your assessment. I have seen this in my student’s artwork several times. I have a student who is a very good artist. Her work amazes me. Although her work is wonderful, there are many times when she will transport her project from school to home and it becomes crinkled.

Another criteria they felt important is effort. I know from experience that I can look at a students work and know weather or not they spent time on it.

The article also suggests posting the criteria for your art projects. Here is a sample of what I want to include as a standard in grading my student’s artwork:





This is just a start and I will want to fully develop a “basic rubric” that can work with any art project.

QUOTE #1 discussion question:

What “problems” do you encounter with your students that could stimulate a shared inquiry as an active quest?

 Problem: Motivating the students through the whole inquiry based lesson.

I started a project with my students prior to this reading. The project is to turn a digital self-image into a pixel image. They were given no restrictions to the end size of their project or what medium they would use.

Each student was asked to research pixel art to help stimulate ideas.  They had to measure and re-scale the digital image to the end size to fit their needs.

I had students get very creative with this. Some used hole punch dots, beads, and yarn. I had a few who used more traditional mediums like paint and colored pencils. One project will end up being 5ft by 6ft.

The problem I am having is keeping the students motivated. They were excited about researching and designing the project but quickly lost interest in completing it. Even though they had the hardest part of the project done, they are having problems completing it.

I find this problem with most projects. I am not sure how to keep them motivated long enough to finish the project with the same intensity they started it.

August 2020

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