At the beginning of the year, I need to know what technical skills they already have, their knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design, how much they know about art history, and their ability to critique art.
Within the first week, I will ask them to complete 3 drawings: a drawing of their hand, a self-portrait and a drawing of the corner of the room. Then, after several weeks of intense drawing instruction, they will complete the same 3 drawings and I will check for improvement.
I have also started developing a written pre-assessment test. This is the first year that I have given one, and I expect that it will be modified A LOT over the next few years. It was very difficult to decide what to include on this pre-assessment without creating a 3-hour exam. Hopefully, this will give me a broad view of what they know, and I can give more specific pre-assessments before beginning each individual standard.
For a link to the pre-assessment, click HERE