Grading Artwork - oh my!

It's the end of the trimester - that crazy whirlwind of scrambling to finish projects, grade and organize!  Scrambling to the finish line, check! Organizing, check! Grading- I avoid it like the plague... Part of my problem has been that no matter how good my intentions are, I can't seem to find time in the day to grade projects.  There's always paper to cut, supplies to organize, kids coming in for extra work time, displays to put up, a kiln to unload, a kiln to load, art club to prepare for, counters to clean, copies to make... The list goes on.  Then, there's the issue of lugging home all those projects to grade them since I can't find the time to do it at school.  

One of my goals this school year is to be quicker on the turn around with grading projects and another is to create an online gallery of work for my students - so in an attempt to "kill two birds with one stone" I decided to try Artsonia.  Now, on the one hand it may seem that I'm only meeting that second goal, but actually it's been a saving grace for keeping my grades up to date (well, more up to date- it's a journey).  I am no longer lugging huge portfolios home just to turn around and bring them back and forth three times before I finish grading.  I simply bring the overview sheets (my version of a rubric and self monitoring tool rolled into one) and reflections home, pull out the iPad, open the Artsonia app and away I go! Even better- since my students suffer from iPad envy- I have had student volunteers come in during recess to photograph work.  Offer a chance to use one of my two classroom iPads and they are hooked! With a little training, the photos are turning out okay, too! 

To set the stage I have some black fabric taped to a piece of cardboard that I either lay on the table for flat work or prop up for 3-D work. 

Students then make a label to the side (which I crop out in Artsonia) and let them go.  Yes, sometimes the picture isn't perfect, but then I just ask them to take another the next day.  With my 6th graders I ask them to show me the picture first before they walk away- that way I can instantly help them see what is a good photo, and which ones need to be retaken.  I figure by the time they are in 8th grade it will be part of their normal routine.  

Check out my Artsonia gallery and let me know what you think! For only 6 weeks worth of use, I think it's shaping up quite nicely! 

How do you handle grading in your class? 

P.S. - I can't wait till these "face vases" start growing their hair! (We planted grass seed in them) 


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