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Blogs & Online Sources: student growth

2019 MAEIA Institute

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

The Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project offers the MAEIA Institute, a concise professional learning offering which trains administrators-arts educator pairs how to support and measure growth in the arts disciplines.

The Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project offers the MAEIA Institute, a concise professional learning offering which trains administrators-arts educator pairs how to support and measure growth in the arts disciplines.

Click here for more information: MAEIAInstitute2019_flyer-final

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Rebecca Arndt: Why I Teach

Rebecca Arndt    Leave a Comment   

Today, MAEIA launches the Michigan Collaborative Scoring System field test (MI-CSS powered by Oscar Classroom ™) for 2019. The following article was written by MAEIA Leadership Fellow, Rebecca Arndt, based on her participation in the...

Today, MAEIA launches the Michigan Collaborative Scoring System field test (MI-CSS powered by Oscar Classroom ™) for 2019. The following article was written by MAEIA Leadership Fellow, Rebecca Arndt, based on her participation in the MAEIA CSS pilot in 2017-2018. 

It’s a cold and windy day in the downriver area. I am sitting at my computer and working on all the things that teachers work on during the day, I find myself asking why? 

Why is it such a  struggle to pick good music for my students? 

Why can’t this child just follow directions? 

Why is it so hard to reach all my students?

Why do I need to give another test? 

Or better yet, how do I give assessments that will give me accurate and authentic information for each of my students? 

How can these assessments drive my teaching? 

I may not be able to answer all these questions everyday but I can answer how I can use authentic testing and scoring to drive my teaching. 

Being part of the MAIEA 2017-18 Collaborative Scoring System team has truly helped me understand my students and has given me authentic feedback to what they are understanding and implementing. I am using three different MAEIA assessments with grades five, two, and one. 

I just gave my fifth graders a listening and create assessment. The students needed to write and answer five questions then they were asked to create a piece of artwork or write a poem or short story to depict what the composer was trying to convey.

WOW what an amazing moment for me as I was grading their written answers to the listening. Many of these students are below grade level and struggle with writing. I was so very proud of these answers. I could honestly tell that they were listening, using the tools in the classroom to explain their reasoning. This is one of the many “aha” moments that I had while being part of this team. 

Although I am part of the CSS team, there are still days that I have found myself teaching to the next test (the ones I have to use for report card purposes) and not teaching for those “aha” moments. But it is those “aha” moments are the reason I and many others got into teaching. 

As I navigate through our curriculum each year and highlight in my calendar when I need to give each assessment and what are the outcome goals for those assessments, I need to remind myself I am in the arts. The arts are a performance-based curriculum. 

I believe that if we use the mindset of “Think, Create, Perform”, we will be able to better understand what are students are truly learning and our assessments can be truly authentic and meaningful.  Using authentic testing and scoring will give me a better understanding of where our students are and it will create more and more “aha” moments versus let’s take the next test. Testing is important but so it the journey of learning. 

Rebecca Arndt is a music educator and a MAEIA Leadership Fellow. A downloadable version of this post is available here: Rebecca Arndt: Why I Teach.

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Cecilia Gollan: How MAEIA has Made Me a Better Teacher (Part 1)

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

If you were to stand outside my classroom or talk to kids that take my classes, you would get the impression that I know what I am doing. Kids would make comments about how they...

If you were to stand outside my classroom or talk to kids that take my classes, you would get the impression that I know what I am doing. Kids would make comments about how they like my class and want to take more art. Well, that is all true. Personally, however, I feel that I am not a master teacher and can always do better.

An Invitation to Elevate
Back in 2011, there was this survey about arts education came out and I told my principal I was filling it out. Little did I know, I would become a part of this project called MAEIA.  I am not sure how it came about, but I applied to become a part a meeting with other art teachers from across the state.

I remember sitting in my first meeting as a blueprint writer. I was in awe and a little intimidated by the brain power in the room. I had heard of some of these names, but had never met them.  It was pretty amazing. As the day went on, our task unfolded. We were going to create a gold standard plan for four arts disciplines in Michigan.  All I could think about was how exciting this MAEIA thing was going to be for the arts programs in our state and I was going to be a part of it.

Program Benefits
I started as a blueprint writer. During this process, I learned how to better express myself in order to have a greater impact on arts classrooms, including my own. I researched to see what was happening in our state and across the country to support our recommendations.

Next, a program review tool was created to help districts and schools take a deeper look at their arts programs. I tested this on my own visual arts teachers. The results were similar to what I expected. I was able to share my results with my superintendent and he then was able to look deeper at our programing.

Around the same time an assessment specifications document was created which looked at state curriculum and national standards to suggest ways to assess students. This process helped me to look at what I was doing in my own classroom and reevaluate my assessment processes.

As these documents were written I don’t think is was until we started writing the high school assessments that I was able to reflect on my teaching and see the benefits of this project. The process of connecting the standards with a way to assess students that let me see my practices needed a 2.0 version.

At that point, I had been teaching middle school for 19 years. I had always strived to change things up and be innovative in my classroom.  It is amazing what diving into state and national standards does for your classroom practices.  As I worked through the writing of first high school, and then K-8 assessments, I also switched from teaching middle school to high school. I was a veteran teacher, but really felt like it was my first year. As I made this switch and needed to familiarize myself with the state standards I was relieved that I had these assessments as my finger tips.

The best part of this project and MAEIA assessments is that they are adaptable to our current practices and projects. I found that it was easy to slip in an assessment when I could search for one that was related to what was already planned.

Fast forward to October 2017, I am still a part of MAEIA. I am a Leadership Fellow- sharing these resources with teachers, administrators, districts, and cultural organizations who want to advance creativity in education. I am also a Team Lead for the Collaborative Scoring System pilot. Along the journey of MAEIA there has been many parts to make it what it is today. I have been fortunate to have been involved in many of them.

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Thinking about Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness?

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

It is that time of year again! With the beginning of the school year, comes the development of Individual Development Plans for teachers. Last year, we recorded multiple webinars related to Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness. Topics...

It is that time of year again! With the beginning of the school year, comes the development of Individual Development Plans for teachers.

Last year, we recorded multiple webinars related to Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness. Topics covered included: How to create a sample of students for data collection, how to collect data, writing SLOs, documenting instruction, and how to prepare to present data in a final meeting with an administrator.

You can find those webinar presentations here. Look for the Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness series preceded by numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 for the order in which they were offered.

Best of luck on a smooth entry to the 2017-18 academic year!

 

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Chunk and Bundle: The Bundled Assessment Approach for Demonstrating Teacher Effectiveness by Carrie Jeruzal

Carrie Jeruzal    Leave a Comment   

Navigating the world of assessment can be daunting, especially assessment in the arts.  Arts assessments come in a variety of forms, all dependent upon a variety of factors:  resources available, specific arts discipline, grade level,...

Navigating the world of assessment can be daunting, especially assessment in the arts.  Arts assessments come in a variety of forms, all dependent upon a variety of factors:  resources available, specific arts discipline, grade level, etc.  While information and research regarding assessment in the arts begins to mount, and the importance and pressure of reporting data from assessments becomes critical for demonstrating teacher effectiveness, I would like to offer up a “take a deep breath,” “let’s get organized and take it one step at a time,” practical approach to Visual Arts Assessment in the secondary classroom.  Chunk it and Bundle it.

I teach K-12 Art in a small rural public school that serves just under 300 students in the entire district.  I teach 2 hours of High School Art, 2 hours of Junior High Art, and 2 hours of Elementary Art each day.  Just writing that makes me tired!  Providing data on all these students at all of these different grade levels is too much and would literally become a full-time job on its own.  So to keep data management realistic, I have selected a small portion of my population from which to pull my data.  Since my High School students have a summative exam already worked into their semester schedule, the practical choice for me was to start with a selection of 16-25 high school students from which to pull data.

That’s right, instead of trying to pull data from all 200+ of my students, I focus in on a manageable set.

The data that I collect from these students is a bundle of 4 chunks:

  • MAEIA High School Level 1 Visual Art Performance Assessment Data
  • Digital Portfolio Performance Data using Google Classroom
  • Pre and Post Knowledge Data using Google Forms and Flubaroo add-on
  • Pre and Post Perception Data using Google Forms and Flubaroo add-on

 

This style of data collection requires forethought and organization at the very beginning of the school year.  I often incorporate my assessment plans right into my curriculum maps and I store the data digitally.  I also use an Student Learning Objective (SLO) document to serve as a kind of roadmap for my bundled approach.  Although this type of document may not be necessary in every district, I do find getting organized in the very beginning very helpful.

Also I feel using a bundled approach gives my students many options and chances for demonstrating their growth as opposed to relying upon a single assessment that may not be holistic.  It’s comforting to know that my students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their growth by using 4 different assessment methods.

MAEIA Performance Task

This year my High School year long curriculum consists of three-dimensional art and design.  The MAEIA assessment that I selected was the V.T409 3-D Wire Sculpture.  After administering the task to my students, I collected performance assessment data by way of digital photos submitted to students’ Google Classroom Accounts.  I also collected numeric data (point scores or grades), based on the rubric included in the MAEIA assessment.  This process lasted approximately 5 class hours.  

Digital Portfolio

The second chunk of data that I collect is actually collected by my students.  Students post all of their work into a digital file organized and housed in their Google Classroom accounts.  When reporting my data I often have students select, print and document their own pre-proficient work and also proficient work.  This method allows students to visually self-assess their own learning and report that learning in a visual manner.  I use the 5 C’s strategy (Content, Craftsmanship, Creativity, Communication, Composition) to guide students through this evaluation process midway through the year and then again at the end of the year.  

20 Questions Pre and Post

This set of data regards Knowledge Data.  Think of a traditional multiple choice exam.  I select 20 questions mainly focused on knowledge of key terms, concepts and image recognition.  It is given within the first two weeks of school and then again during the final exam.  I use Google Forms to administer the test and the Flubaroo add-on to grade the assessment and then chart and report the data.  This chunk of data is collected fast; It only takes the students 15-20 minutes to complete.  Technology is a huge timesaver and the forms can be reused again when I re-teach the same curriculum.   

Perception of Growth Survey

The final set of data I collect and report is Pre- and Post-Perception Data.  

This answers the questions:

  • Does the student know and realize when he or she is meeting a standard?
  • Is he or she trying to meet a standard?
  • How does the learner perceive his or her own growth?  

This is where a student offers up a short narrative of his or her perceived growth.  

There is power not only in the numbers and visuals of student growth data, but also in the student’s own story.  Confidence, knowledge, experience, goals and learning in the arts are addressed in the student’s own voice.

Bundle up all these chunks of data in a cohesive digital dossier and present them to your administrator during your final evaluation to demonstrate your effectiveness in not one, but in four different ways.  This kind of data bundling presents visual, numerical and reflective narrative that all highlight the growth and learning of your students through cohesive methods.

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From the MAEIA community: Nicki Flinn

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

My career in Dance Education started in the K-12 sector and advanced to higher education as I guide students into the field of Dance Education at Hope College. My experience with MAEIA over the last...

My career in Dance Education started in the K-12 sector and advanced to higher education as I guide students into the field of Dance Education at Hope College. My experience with MAEIA over the last four years, truly changed my understanding and attitude towards assessment.

What has been your experience with assessment?
When I was teaching in K-12, finding meaningful and purposeful ways to measure student growth in the dance classroom was difficult. I was consistently grappling with how to improve my teaching and assessment methods.

Am I providing adequate ways for students to demonstrate proficiency, confidence, and dance literacy?

The expectation of dance assessment was to to show evidence of what my students were learning through participation in kinesthetic and creative performance-based experiences, but finding resources and tools to do this well presented a challenge.

Assessing students seemed to be a chore versus a celebration of teaching and learning.

What would you like educators to know about the MAEIA model assessments?

The experience of working with MAEIA- developing and using the resources personally, then observing students in the assessment process first hand, changed my understanding and awareness of the importance and impact of quality assessment. It has improved my teaching, providing more authentic ways to assess my students, and thus a more accurate measurement of growth.

MAEIA assessments function differently than traditional assessments. The shift towards performance assessment that demonstrates authentic measurement of student learning transforms traditional assessment. Performance assessment enables students to use complex, higher-order thinking skills versus a focus on isolated facts and memorization requiring little demonstration or application. Opportunities for students to problem-solve, create, design, and collaborate has become a more widely used method to assess student competency.

Today’s schools place emphasis on the implementation of quality assessment to demonstrate both student growth, as well as, teacher effectiveness. Reaching and measuring the growth of a classroom of diverse learners requires careful planning and execution.

Through the MAEIA assessments, students are involved and demonstrate their ability to perform, create, respond and connect, which reflect national, state, and performance standards. The Dance assessments, specifically, include domains of physical, cognitive, social and affective learning, offering a breadth of experiences that develop the whole person.

If you are ready to upgrade your teaching and your students’ learning, do it with MAEIA model assessments. They have the potential to bring new life to the challenges and rewards of quality assessment.

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