Thursday, August 29, 2013

Close Read

I used the Close Read format extensively last year. I really like it and enjoyed the Context aspect of it. Before that I had used a more traditional and complex critiquing format (similar to Art Talk).

I've decided to combine the two.

What I like:

  • Close Read works great for beginning students. It is simplified and it helps them break down the critiquing structure into bits that are easy to do. Gives them the confidence to find "clues" and make inferences. I tell them it's like being a detective.
  • Context step helps them make sure they do research on artist, background and make connections. Love it!
  • Not too intimidating for 1st year art students in HS. They tend to freak out if we ask for formal analysis as they do not yet have enough experience using elements and principles to create. That comes with time, to have the vocabulary and experience making decisions.

What I don't like:

  • The judgment is way too vague, only referring to whether one likes the piece or not. An artistic judgment should include thoughtful responses and analysis of artist's intentions and decisions. Especially to use CR for student work, they need to think about their strengths and weaknesses regarding those decisions in order to make improvements.
  • I've added prompts to make a more thoughtful judgment.
  • Missing a formal analytical step crucial to more advanced students. This step should address the formal qualities of an artwork, decisions artist made about composition, elements, principles, etc. 
  • I would add a step for advanced students.
So, with a little tweaking, I am continuing with CR.  The cool thing is, it's ALL THE RAGE in CPS. Mentioned in connection to CCSS and CPS preferred way for us to do units. CPS Art programs are strongly encouraging us to use CR. So when I include it in my unit/lesson plans, it hits those points and makes evaluators happy. Will help with my own REACH evaluation. 

I made a powerpoint to teach beginning students about CR. Once they get the hang of it, we use this method all year long. I've shared it with Every Art Every Child on Google docs. I don't know how to put a powerpoint on this blog. But maybe EAEC can do that?  Matt? 

Let me know what you guys do for critiques. I'd love to see other methods. Always learning...


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