Studio to School

Student Learning – Reflection Number Seven

The following is a synopsis of how we regard Student Learning at Ashland Middle School. In the future, we will have our rubrics data with more detailed evidence from each teacher’s Student Learning Goals.  At this juncture, our instructors have not compiled all their data since it is before the due date given by AMS.
How do you define success with regards to student learning?
Student growth in specific areas of learning (what AMS calls Supportive Learnings).  In the Art class these are such things as elements of art, principles of art, color theory, critique language, and basic drawing technique.  In Band and Orchestra these are such things as note range/pitch, rhythm, fluency and posture/position, right and left hand and arm techniques, and watching/following the director.  In video productions the teacher targets other art skills such as image and sound quality, editing and effects, and multimedia skills.  Students move from not yet proficient, to proficient, and ultimately to mastery in these different areas, and teachers use clear and explicit language to define each level of learning.  
What evidence do you have that we are having success with student learning?
Stronger than ever art programs at Ashland Middle School
Core teachers wanting more art integration in their classrooms and curriculum
Quality of art and music products that are visible throughout the school
Have you tracked or measured student learning this year?  Do you use rubrics or other tools to track learning?
Yes, all of the art teachers have two Student Learning Goals that track specific, measurable growth.  Many of these goals are based on rubrics that the art teachers (in concert with state standards) have authored.  
Have you seen or heard of and collected any evidence of student learning?  Can you share a summary or example of evidence of student learning?
I could share a summary of the specific evidence (data collected and analyzed by teachers in response to their Student Learning Goals) but not until the middle of June when all the goals are due and the data is compiled.  
What have you learned about tracking student learning this year?  Did you discover anything unexpected?  Anything particularly challenging?
I think if tracking student learning is a priority (as evidenced by these questions) we need to come up with a unified plan with all the art program teachers at the beginning of next year.  Some of the teachers only have students for one trimester, therefor it is imperative that we have a strong understanding of the needs/goals for the year, and then start measuring/collecting the information as soon as the first trimester starts.  It’s amazing how quickly the first twelve weeks goes, and once those students are gone, and on into other classes, it’s hard to go back and dig up data.  
How will you use what you learned to inform your efforts next year?
I think it would be helpful to create a school-wide Essential Learning art rubric, that is fairly general but that could be applied in all of the art classes and in any other core class that is utilizing arts integration.  It would be neat to gather information in a form that is similar enough that we could really look at the impact school-wide.  Right now, each teacher is looking at different skills, specific to their content and curriculum, and it is difficult to compile results because of this.  
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