STAR-POST (Art) January 2020 FINAL_STAR Post Art Jan 2020 - Page 6

Hence, differentiation in art means providing for the individual student’s learning needs in class, so they can all make progress in learning. How to Begin Differentiated Instruction in our Art Classroom? In Term 3 of 2019, I had the opportunity to teach a Sec 1, mixed ability class over 8 weeks in one of the FSBB pilot school. Based on my stint, I culled out key fundamentals for one to begin practising differentiated instruction in our art classroom. Starting with the basics “SOAR” Study to know our students, so we can better support them Organise the art classroom and allow for flexible learning groups Advocate Assessment for learning Responding by differentiating (content, process, product) 1. Study to know our students, so we can better support them “The biggest mistake in teaching is to treat all children as if there were variants of the same individual and thus feel justified in teaching them all the same subjects in the same way.” - H. Gardner 6 The first step is getting to know all the students in your class. This means looking at and studying their data, understanding their family background, who they are, what they already know and understand, and where their artistic level of understanding is like. Which levels are they at based on the Art Learning Outcomes as spelt out in the revised Primary Art Syllabus? In the art classroom, who already has very strong aptitude and positive attitude towards the subject? Who does not and what are the root causes for that? Who are the students who have good prior understanding of the fundamentals of art knowledge and skills? Who has little exposure and lack of skills or even interest in the subject? What could have resulted in that? What other interests would these students have so that these could tapped on or leveraged upon as themes for the students to inquire further? The range of differences within the class can be huge. Knowing the students take time especially when art teachers only see the students once a week. Hence, in the 2018 revised Lower Sec Syllabus, teachers were highly recommended to spend the time in Term 1 of Secondary 1 to get to know the students well. Differentiation requires recognising the variety of individual learning needs within a class, planning to meet those needs, providing of appropriate instructional guidance and evaluating the effectiveness and progress of students’ learning. Teachers could leverage on technology (eg. Kahoot, Padlet, SLS, See-Saw and etc.) to gather students’ data. The following suggestions may be useful to support you in eliciting students’ current understanding, knowledge, skills and interests: • Teacher observations • Student profiling and inventories • Questionnaires and surveys • Focus group discussions with students or/and parents • Teacher designed diagnostic tasks and tests • KWL (What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I Learnt) • Brainstorming • Studying samples of students’ past works (art portfolio or visual journal if applicable) • Questionnaires and surveys • Students’ self-assessment and reflection based on art task(s) Besides these, one quick and useful tip is to work closely with the students’ form teacher and perhaps other subject teachers too. They would be able to provide us with more information about each student. 2. Organising the Art Classroom and Allow for Flexible Learning Groups Well planned organisation of your art classroom is vital to complement differentiated teaching and learning by providing choices or tiered assignments to facilitate students’ learning. Such organisation will facilitate the use of flexible grouping. The practice of using different kinds of grouping could be based on common themes, readiness/prior knowledge, or students’ progress at different times throughout the year. Like in any effective An example to illustrate how I do grouping for the class based on students’ readiness 7