It is spring time and in our school that means testing season. This year with the new computer version of SBA it means over 18 days with different schedules spread over 5 weeks where I will miss seeing entire grade levels for days on end. Since my classes are mixed grades, that means I will be seeing some kids every period, but not all of them! No standard teaching lessons can compete with that insanity. Even my modified themed style choice projects won’t manage with that type of inconsistency. So I am doing the “Studio Choice Challenge.” Which is a still a modified version of full choice, but more flexibility that my usual themes.
I did this type of thing last year, with my advanced classes, after I a NAEA session on gamefication. It is based on levels, challenges and earning a certain number of points. You can read some of those posts here, here, here and here.
I updated some of my forms for tracking the projects and switched up some of the projects so that kids that did it last year wouldn’t feel bored. I did make a detailed slide show with examples of each project so they would have someplace to start. The projects range from exploring materials (mix a 12 color wheel using only primary colors) to more complex artworks (paint a pointillism style landscape or seascape.) I will have a daily demo that will show them a skill, technique or other concepts related to various projects on the list.
So far the kids are SUPER excited and I hope the freedom will help to take the pressure off from the high stress testing atmosphere that they will be exposed to over the next 5 weeks.