This was originally posted on 9/30/14
In the Art Department many of us have students maintain sketchbooks for homework assignments. Over the years I have questioned, changed and adapted the assignments, amount of homework and sketchbook process.
I found these guidelines for Healthy Homework Guidelines very helpful:
1. HOMEWORK SHOULD ADVANCE A SPIRIT OF LEARNING
Educators at all grade levels should assign homework only when:
Educators at all grade levels, but particularly in elementary and middle grades, should limit take-home assignments to:
Educators at all grade levels should avoid assigning or requiring homework:
These were posted after many posts by Patrick Larkin on homework. I really valued the discussions and learned a tremendous amount from parents who offered lots of feedback on content and amount of homework.
This year when designing homework I asked myself the following:
How can I make the homework interesting, valuable, engaging and allow for creativity and pleasure? How can I structure the assignments so they are not interrupting family and personal time? How can the homework advance a students curiosity? How can I make homework fun?
Yes, homework should be enjoyable! I tell the students that this is about having time for themselves to learn, and enjoy the art making process. It should not be taxing or exhausting, it should be FUN.
Keeping these objectives in mind I posted the following assignments for my class here: Drawing and Painting Quarter 1 Sketchbook Assignments
The assignments are designed to offer a structure but also allow for flexibility. Students can always turn in an alternate assignment.
I also posted this rubric for grading the homework.
Today the students had the following assignment due:
You Pick the Topic….
Select from the list of possible topics in the list below. Sketch and find a few possible solutions before selecting an idea. You may use any materials
Here are some of the sketchbooks critiqued in class today....
I am evaluating the homework and adapting and making changes regularly. I value the students input and ask them for feedback each week. Homework is a work in progress and one way to gather evidence of learning from students. Today students demonstrated the value of homework in art class.
Christina Chang teaches art and design to students in grades 9-12.