Friday, October 23, 2020

Mid Term Art Critique during Remote Learning

We are halfway through this semester of remote learning, and I wanted my students to have a chance to share the art they've been making with each other. I also wanted to host an engaging, thought-provoking critique for students to receive meaningful feedback, but every time I tried to envision doing that on Zoom, all I could picture was awkward silence and black rectangles with their names staring back at me. 

So, I created a virtual gallery in Google Slides and gave students editing rights so they could display one piece that they created during the first nine weeks. I also gave them some questions to answer: the first section of questions related to the entire exhibit, the second directed them to give feedback to three of their peers (these were assigned) and the third set of questions prompted them to reflect on their own work for the quarter.

The "Mid-Term Gallery Review" was due today and most students have completed it by this point. So far, I am very pleased with the results. The virtually gallery looks great and I have been able to collect a lot of feedback for each student. 

Everything that I used for this assignment is included below: the gallery template, the written instructions that students received and the questions they answered on a Google Doc. 

To create the virtual gallery, I borrowed this template from Adam Cross and adapted it to create this: 

(To borrow this, click here to make your own copy)

Here are the directions that I gave students: 

I.CR.1 / P.CR.1 / A.CR.1Use critical analysis to generate responses to a variety of prompts.

Objectives for this assignment:

1. You will enjoy the work of your peers by perusing a virtual gallery :)
2. You will analyze different aspects of the works by completing a gallery review.
3. You will offer valuable feedback to three of your peers (anonymously)
4. You will reflect on the work you have completed this quarter and devise a strategy for next quarter.


1. Open this google slide. (Don't forget to give them editing rights)

2. You will be assigned a number in class. That number is located in the google slide twice: once on a gallery wall with two other artworks and once on its own slide where you will add a title, your name, the media you used and a brief description of the work. If you miss the class, or if you forget your number, please email me; I will email you back to give you your assigned number.

3. Delete your number from the two places that it appears on the Google Slide and insert a high quality photograph of the best artwork that you've created this quarter.

4. Give everyone a little time to insert their images before you complete the attached Google Doc. You may want to complete the Self-Reflection first while you are waiting for everyone to add their artwork.

5. I will assign 3 people to each of you. You will complete a peer review (in the Google document) for each of those 3 people. I will share the feedback you wrote for them, but they will not know who wrote it. I will give you the names of your 3 people in class. If you miss it, or forget who they are, please email me and I will reply with those names. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Remote Learning: Art Class

I am currently in my ninth week of remote learning, and I have never worked so hard in my life! I also decided to complete all four components of National Board Certification this year... so that definitely factors into the workload. 

I am ALL about sharing content to help other teachers out during this time. It occurred to me that I haven't posted on my blog in a long time, and this is the perfect place to share some of the things I've been doing. 

First, let me give you some background information. My high school is fully remote right now and will be until at least January. I'm on a block schedule with four class periods- three classes and one planning period. When we are in person, those classes are 90 minutes, but the synchronous Zoom meetings are cut down to 60 minutes. We take attendance, and 70% - 80% of my students are attending, which is fairly comparable to when we are at school in person. 

I've gotten into a groove with how I run my Zoom meetings, and I would LOVE to hear your own success stories in the comments- I'm always willing to shake things up a bit and try new things. Basically, here are a few "procedures" that have been working for me. I grade student work throughout the day and try to make sure that everything has been graded before my first class meets each day. While I'm grading, any time I have specific feedback that needs to be shared with a student, I make a note in my notebook. Sometimes, I include the feedback in Speedgrader (in Canvas), but if it's something that I want to have a conversation with a student about, I make a note. 

At the beginning of each Zoom meeting, I deliver direct instruction and outline what the students will be doing for independent practice. This part of the Zoom meeting is recorded for students to view later if they missed something or were absent. 

Then, I put all of the students in individual break-out rooms. To do this, I click on break-out rooms, assign automatically, and I make more rooms than there are students... just in case some students join late. First, I visit each of the students that I made a note to give feedback to. We go over the feedback and I move on to the next student. Every time I speak to a student individually, I record their current grade on a printed spreadsheet so I can see how it goes up or down over time, and I can see how often I meet with them. After I meet with students that need individual feedback, I meet with students that I haven't met with in a day or two. Generally, I'm able to meet with each student individually every 1-3 class periods. Here's a sample of what my spreadsheet looks like. 

If I have a row with several empty spaces, that is usually due to absences, and I know to contact home or to let our admin / guidance counselors know. 

In our district, all of our middle and high school teachers are using Canvas as our learning management system. As I go along, I am sharing my modules into Canvas Commons so that other art teachers can use them. Here's an example of one of my modules and how to find it:

If you aren't using Canvas, but you are looking for tutorial videos, check out my YouTube Channel. I currently have demos on shading, linear perspective and a few other things. My tutorial on drawing boxes in one-point perspective is shown below.

If there's anything else I can share, send me an email and I'll do what I can! I would also love to hear about any tricks or tips you have about teaching remotely during this pandemic!