Bulb Archived: Vaughn 2018-2019: Smith and Jones (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


Elvin as Polka Dot Art

1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project?
This project was set with a Diverse Learners High School group from Vaughn/ICRE where their focus is on learning different job skills and post-secondary curriculum. This was a design project where we were learning to change the space and items that you may see everyday into pieces of art. We decided to introduce the artist, Yayoi Kusama, the polkadotris, to the students. We chose this project due to the past project that we tried the year before. It ended up being to great of a project for the students, where we really struggled and we really wanted them to set the tone of the project so we decide to emulate her work in a manner of speaking. 

2. Big Idea:
To use common materials to change and create objects in space. 

3. Inquiry:
Can a simple set of rules guide Special Ed students through an open ended common material; Polka-dot project in order to create an art piece?

4. Grade Level:
12th Super Seniors

5. Academic Subject(s):
Art Design, Post Secondary Education Program PEP

6. Artistic Discipline(s):
Visual Arts Design, Painting, College with textiles and Sculpture

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:
This is the 6th year we have worked together.

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:
(Laura) We introduced the students to the artist Yayoi Kusama. She is known as the Polka-Dot artist. We decided that whatever we were going to do, it had to be easy for the students to understand, easy to carry and install, and easy to take down. It was an open ended, organic project that we worked on with the students. It was using common items that you may see everyday and recreating them into art pieces, using, of course, polka-dots of all sizes and mediums.  We scaffold the project into different tiers as we went long with each art project being a bit more challenging then the last. We were not sure what it would look like in the end but we knew that it would be something that the students would agree upon and enjoy creating.
We started with using magazine images at first and gave them sticker dots that were transparent to attach to the images. We just gave them the rule of trying to follow some kind of pattern, what ever that was for them, to make the image more appealing and colorful to the audience. They really enjoyed this part and had a great time. We ran out of stickers pretty quickly. We then decide to try paint.
Chuck found these tempera sticks that were perfect for the job. The students could use them easily in order to create a circle rather than hope they could use a paint brush and stay within the line. They created large mural types of paintings using their hands to trace onto the paper, placed in a ribbon effect and the students place different, bright colored dots around them. It looked like a river of dots. The students did a couple of these, one with their hands and ones without, in order to prepare them for what we were going to do next.  We had them use a diacut tool; to cut out medium size circles for the next project we were going to complete. We then decided to use the paper circles along with the tempera sticks on old pieces of wood from a previous project. We then had the students place tempera polka-dots on textile fabric, one piece black while the other was yellow.
The students were able to see how the colors changed depending on the color of the fabric. We had the students use the tempera sticks first and then decide where they were going to place the larger paper circles, thinking about placement and colors as they did this in order to fill the entire wood with polka dots. We completed two planks in this design and the other two in just tempera dots that were different, bright colors and the same size. I spoke to the students about making pillows out of the fabric and they liked that idea. I also spoke to them about making clouds and waves, like water out of the other wood pieces and they like that idea too.
They were excited to see how it would all come together. In the end, it was a collage of different mediums that came together in a very organic fashion. We did change it from the original idea which was that we were going to sew the rays of the sun out of the black material but we decided to use it as a back drop, like the night falling  to dusk, while the sun is still in the sky and the clouds, and sea is below. It did really come out great. 

9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or community?
(Laura) I have sent out images to friends in different schools and people at ICRE. They were able to see some of the project as it was happening and they were able to see it transform into what it became in the end.


Teaching Artist Assessment:
How did you assess student arts learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.)

(Chuck) I created a rubric for CAPE (as requested) and Laura used it, which broke down to the most basic instructions into teeny tiny individual nuggets, but my own assessments were part of a ongoing conversation with the students. (a) Do they know what we were working on? (b) Did they understand the project and that we were basing it off of the work of Yayoi Kusama? (c) Did they have an understanding of the standards that we, as a class, have come up with for the look of the project.(d) Could they tell with each individual artistic choice if it was working or not?

Laura also had a rubric that I created that She used with the students where the students critiqued themselves and then she critiqued them. 

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project? (Laura) The students learned how to follow directions, how to create a polka-dot and cut circles out of vinyl, how to work with partners, how to self-assess, how to assist their peers and assess others in a way that was non-confrontational. They were able to work well together and they did a really great job. Of course there were students that took it more seriously then others and they really were into the project while others were who they were and took part when instructed

(Chuck) There was an incremental kind of learning. For some kids it was bigger than others. These students are post post 12th grade and many of them are working part time. I’m hoping that they will remember this experience and will be able to draw upon it.

What did you learn from analyzing the student assessments that informs your Arts teaching practice? (Laura) I learned that my artist sees the students in a more basic manner then I see them. He did a bare bones rubric that really broke it down into the basic functions of the art project. My assessment was more about if they understood the artist, how she changed things into different art pieces, and if they were able to follow the instructions of placing dots into some sort of pattern and if they could overlap or think about color and not place dots of the same color to close to each other in order to keep the brightness of the pieces and think about color arrangement.

(Chuck) I also saw the students as whole people/artists/learners, but I did not and do not know how to put that into a qualitative rubric. I understand that Laura, through experience and expertise can see the students the way that Neo can see the Matrix, or Luke can feel the Force. I’m more like the Jade Fox (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), who could study the diagrams, but could not read the text.

Illinois Arts Learning Standards Addressed:

4th VA:Cr1.1.4 a. Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.

4th VA:Cr1.2.4 A. Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers.  

7th VA:Cr2.1.7 Demonstrate persistence in developing skills with various materials, methods, and approaches in creating works of art or design.

Introductory HS Levels VA:Cr2.1a. Engage in making a work of art or design without having a preconceived plan

Advanced HS Levels VA:Cr1.2.III a. Collaboratively shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art and design.

Advanced HS Levels VA:Cr1.2.III Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices, following or breaking established conventions, to plan the making of multiple works of art and design based on a theme, idea, or concept.

Arneisha designing the yellow fabric
Jesus sealing the wood after dots were applied
Students hard at work on the black fabric

Teacher Assessment:
How did you assess student academic content learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.)
I used both rubrics, one made by Chuck that was for the teacher’s use, and is about following directions and capability and one made by me, the CPS teacher, where the students assess themselves and then I assess them based on the project and understanding of the project itself. 

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?
I believe that the students did learn from this project. They learned about the Artist, Yayoi Kusama, and her love of taking everyday things and making them her own by adding her love of dots to them. They learned about design and placement. They learned about using everyday common things and making them into beautiful pieces of art. They worked together, when that is not always the case and they assisted each other with the placement of color. They communicated effectively and worked as a group and as partners with little instruction. They were also able to grade themselves using the rubric that was created by the CPS teacher and they were also able to accept their grades that was given from the CAPE artist-Chuck’s Rubric on their ability to use the materials and follow directions during the actual art making process. 

Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, SEL, Etc.):
CCRA.SL.1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CC RA. SL. 2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCRA.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
1A.5b. Evaluate how expressing more positive attitudes influences others.
1B.3b. Analyze how making use of school and community supports and opportunities can contribute to school and life success.
1C.5b. Monitor progress toward achieving a goal, and evaluate one’s performance against criteria. 

Chuck giving a demonstration on how to use the tempera sticks on the fabric. Students beginning to apply colors, working together.