E. Documenting Student Learning


Documentation Format and Requirements     

documentation-format-and-requirements    documentation-format-and-requirements

PowerPoint review of documentation requirements: documenting-student-art-making


The documentation you create should demonstrate the process of learning during each class. Do not photograph faces or use student names in your documentation. We are interested in the evolution of the thinking and artwork of the students. Your primary purpose is to carefully watch and listen to students.  The evidence you collect must be composed thoughtfully, carefully, and professionally.

  • Bring your sketchbook/journal to record comments and dialogue between students.  Consider the significance of these statements and conversations in relationship to the goal of the lesson.  You need to think about what you need to listen for during the lesson.
  • Take multiple photographs/video of the activity you are observing.  You need to document the process of the creation of art.  Avoid taking “snapshots” without a context.  Your goal is to unveil the emergent artistic behavior.
  • The final step in the documentation process is to compose your evidence in a form that allows fellow teachers, students, parents, and administrators to view the process of making art that occurred during the lesson.
  • Consider the relationship between image and text.  Consider how the presentation of this information can help students reflect on their learning.

“Documentation shows children that their work is valued and provides an archive that traces the history of the class and the pleasure in the process of learning experienced by the students and teachers.”




The blog will be created on a  platform of your choice and is due each Wednesday at 10:00 AM. Each blog entry should include:

  1. Project/Unit description/Expedition. Briefly explain the project/unit students are exploring. This summary should give the reader an understanding of the all the learning experiences, outcomes, concepts, skills and content that will be introduced to students over the course of this unit/project. Conclude with: In today’s learning experience students…
  2. Essential Understanding. Describe the Essential Understanding (generalization) that student are working toward during this class session.
  3. Inquiry/Learning target. What is the main objective(s) of the day? This needs to be stated. Describe what students will be discovering during this experience.
  4. Key Concept(s). List and describe the key concepts students will be investigating during the class period.
  5. Skill(s). List and describe the key skills students will be investigating during the class period. (These are not art techniques.)
  6. Art Focus. What is the art focus for the day? Is it exploring three-dimensional design (in clay)? Investigating composition (in painting)? These can include art techniques.
  7. Literacy Focus. What is the literary focus for the day? Are student critiquing? Recording their ideas? Speaking at the documentation station? Explaining their work in a sketchbook?
  8. Documentation. Provide images, video (with explanation) and narrative accounts that demonstrate students are actually involved and learning the information described above during the experience. You need to demonstrate that students are really learning what you say they are learning. Understanding of skills, concepts, involvement with literacy, etc. need to be made concrete.


Description is important to providing a context, but the main point of the blog is to demonstrate what learning/thinking occurred during the art making process.


Consider verbs that demonstrate learning/thinking. In the process of making or creating or exploring or experimenting, the student…





Planned and anticipated, recognized, questioned…

Assessed by…

Judged and…


Experimented and then realized…

Analyzed by…

Combined materials and stated….

Resolved by…

Show the beginning, middle and end of their making.

Consider commenting on affective qualities exhibited during learning/thinking.The student…

Looked puzzled, confident…

Seemed surprised, hesitant, confused…

Expressed frustration, excitement, displeasure, curiosity…

Consider how you might include your own prompts (questions) that encouraged your students to reveal their learning/thinking.

  1. Reflection and Findings. What did students discover while they were involved in this learning experience? This is when you make connections between learning targets and the documentation you’ve provided to the reader.

The reflective response is an essential component of your development as an authentic, reflective art educator. Each teaching journal account should:

–Relate this event to theory, research and readings. What is your interpretation of these events based on current and historical art education research?

–Consider the meaning your teaching experience has for you as an individual. What does this experience mean to you personally?

–Relate your interpretation of the meaning of your teaching as it pertains to your education as a future art teacher. How will you configure or reconfigure your future actions as an art teacher as a result of this experience?

These responses will be the final part of your lesson plans. You will need to “add” them to the lesson plan after you’ve completed teaching your lesson. Keep them in a file on your computer. You will need to refer to them for your Teacher Work Sample.


Polaris blog sites for 2017 semester include:

K: Julie’s Class

1: Denise’s Class

2-3: Brittany’s and Tamara’s Classes

4-5: Alicia’s and Tom’s Classes


Polaris School blog sites for 2016 semester include:

K: Denise’s Class – http://kindertimetravel.weebly.com/

1: Julie’s Class – https://artspeaksletslisten.wordpress.com/

2-3: Brittany’s Class – http://joelandlaurenpolaris.weebly.com/

2-3: Tamara’s Class – http://2ndand3rdpolarisart2016.weebly.com/

4-5: Alicia’s Class – http://expeditionaryartpolaris.weebly.com

4-5: Tom’s Class – http://polarisart2016.weebly.com


Polaris School blog sites for 2015 semester include:

K: Julie’s Class – http://kreativekindergarten2015.weebly.com

1: Denise’s Class – http://kand1Culture.weebly.com

2-3: Brittany’s Class – http://polarisarted.weebly.com

2-3: Tamara’s Class – http://2and3ExploreWithMe.weebly.com

4-5: Alicia’s Class – http://Meghanandrachelexpeditionaryartunit.wordpress.com

4-5: Tom’s Class – http://creativethinkinglab.weebly.com


Lab School blog sites for 2014 semester include:

“Teaching in Review” Fall 2014: Lab School Fall 2014 (PowerPoint)

K-1: Julie’s Class – http://k1Julie2k14.wordpress.com

K-1: Denise’s Class – http://knjteachart.weebly.com

2-3: Brittany’s Class – http://superartroom23.weebly.com

2-3: Tamara’s Class – http://twothreeartwithme.wordpress.com

4-5: Alicia’s Class – http://artedufall.weebly.com

4-5: Tom’s Class – http://selfdiscoveryart.wordpress.com


Lab School blog sites for 2013 semester include:

K-1: Julie’s Class – http://k1discoversarted.wordpress.com/

K-1: Denise’s Class – http://kelseyabbyart.wordpress.com

2-3: Brittany’s Class – http://csuteachesart.wordpress.com

2-3: Tamara’s Class – http://chart23.wordpress.com/

4-5: Alicia’s Class – http://steampunked.weebly.com/day-5.html

4-5: Tom’s Class – http://steampunked.weebly.com/


Lab School blog sites for 2012 semester include:

Julie’s Class: http://k1creativeconnections.wordpress.com/

Denise’s Class: http://kindergartenart326.wordpress.com/

Brittany’s Class: http://2nd3rdart.wordpress.com/

Tamara’s Class: http://polarisart2and3.wordpress.com/

Tom’s Class: http://fourfiveartalive.wordpress.com/

Alicia’s Class: http://bbjart.wordpress.com/


Lab School blog sites for 2011 semester include:

Julie’s Class: http://creativekindergarten.wordpress.com/

Denise’s Class: http://flywilzeikuseduc466art326.wordpress.com/

Brittany’s Class: http://art326mollyandkara.wordpress.com/

Tamara’s Class: http://tamarascrew.wordpress.com/

Karen’s Class: http://45imaginaryanimals.wordpress.com/

Tom’s Class: http://artofstories.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/once-upon-a-time/


Lab School blog sites for 2010 semester include:

Julie’s Class: http://jayeandjenna.wordpress.com/

Brittany’s Class: http://thovak.wordpress.com/nice-to-meet-you/

Susan’s Class: http://coryannalabschool.wordpress.com

Karen’s Class: http://pedagogicalspace.wordpress.com/

Tamara’s Class: http://kkmtamara.wordpress.com/

Tom’s Class:  http://csuarteducation.wordpress.com/

Jennifer’s Class:  http://labschool56starlabranson.wordpress.com/