Goal 4: Think systematically about their practice and learn from experience

Exhibit J: Exterior Perspective Drawing

Exhibit K: Perspective Terms

Exhibit L: Perspective Samples PPT

Exhibit M: Differentiated Instruction

Exhibit N: Adapting Classroom Instruction

Exhibit O: Content Literacy

Theorists: Wiggins and McTighe, Gardner, and Woof

Courses: EDUC 525 and EDUC 505


In order to be an effective practitioner a teacher must constantly reflect and self-assess in order to adjust for any changes that need to be made in the classroom. Our students are not machines, which operate on one track and never require maintenance. They are human beings who have very individual needs and are tremendously affected by group dynamics. Therefore, to teach a group of individualists, we must constantly observe, reflect, and redirect as needed in order to assure learning is occurring.

As an art teacher I use a form of formative assessment each day in the classroom. The one main formative assessment I use is observation. Once I have introduced the vocabulary and basic ideas of the medium or artist we are studying, the students are given a series of practice lessons. For instance, in a recent lesson on Perspective Line Drawing I presented to my Art I classes, I began with a discussion of what the students already knew about perspective. I introduced the vocabulary I would be using and discussed the three types of perspective line drawing we would be covering. During this discussion, I was able to get an idea of the students’ background knowledge and where I needed to spend additional time during instruction. As Wiggins and McTighe (2005) emphasize through their method of backward design for understanding, we must first identify the intended learning outcome and work backwards from there to determine our instructional method and assessment strategies. By discussing the main concepts with the students, I reveal what is already understood and where I need to go from there.

Over the next couple of days the students followed along with me on paper during my modeling of one, two and three point perspective. The students were asked to create a series of boxes in each viewpoint of perspective. While the students worked, I casually observed their performance and helped each student individually when problems arose. Using this method of formative assessment, I gain a clear picture of which students are reaching understanding and which students may need additional instruction.

The individual learning styles of the students become clear and I am more able to adjust my instructional methods for each student rather than trying to adjust to fit an entire class of vastly diverse learning styles. These informal assessment strategies are extremely useful to me before presenting the students with their culminating project. The culminating project is the piece of artwork the students create using the acquired knowledge and skills from the lesson. The project is a formal assessment tool and usually summative as well. When I present the project, I distribute the scoring rubric, which I will be using to grade the artwork. We go over this rubric as a group and take time to address any concerns that the students may have about the project. As Wiggins and McTighe explain, “We must be able to state with clarity what the student should understand and be able to do as a result of any plan and irrespective of any constraints we face” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005, pg. 14).

Gardner suggests there are multiple ways we learn and by understanding these multiple intelligences we may find ways of helping our students learn by supporting their strengths and working with their weaknesses (Bransford, pg 82). In order to know our students’ strengths and weaknesses we must get to know them and really listen to what they are saying when they are having trouble understanding. This is part of our reflection and learning to differentiate our lessons based on the needs of our students as discussed in EDUC 505 Instructional Theory. (see Differentiated Instruction)

Learning to adapt and alter our instruction is not the last step. Even when we have altered the way in which we teach a lesson for one group of students, we still need to be mindful of reflection for the next group or individual. What works for one group may not work for another. The group dynamics change and the learning styles are completely different. (see Ref_adaptclassinstruct.doc EDUC 525) The art classroom is a welcoming environment for students with special needs, a place where individuality is celebrated. Classroom integration has made a tremendous difference in how we teach our lesson plans. If I have one or two students with special needs in the same classroom with high achieving students, I will absolutely need to scaffold my instruction. I learned about scaffolding and differentiating lesson plans in EDUC 525 Education the Exceptional Individual. As suggested by Wood, teachers attempt to build on what students know and extend their competencies by providing support structures or scaffolds for the student’s individual performance level (as cited by Bransford, pg 104). Some forms of scaffolding a lesson might be interesting the child in the task, reducing the number of steps required, maintaining the student’s motivation, setting smaller goals, and controlling frustration of the student. (see Content Literacy)


Bransford, J. (2000). How people learn. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century.

New York: Basic Books

Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Upper Saddle River, NJ.:

Pearson Merrill Apprentice Hall