Writing an SLO (Student Learning Objective) for Art
SLO. SGM. SGO. Whatever your state calls them, they can be more than overwhelming. When our school began the task of writing ours more than a year ago, I was completely frustrated. Although I had taught for more than 18 years, I felt as though I was starting completely over. The language I was hearing seemed foreign. In order to complete my Student Learning Objective (SLO) correctly, I felt as though I needed more training, so I went to as many sessions as I could find and joined our SLO committee this year. This does not make me an expert, by any means. However, I have begun to navigate this uncharted territory and want to pass on my knowledge. This has always been the goal of this blog.
I am from the state of Ohio, so my SLO aligns with our state fine arts standards. The example I will be sharing is mine alone and represents the requirements put forth by my state. Please read your SLO template & checklist carefully to be sure you cover everything that is asked of you! I ask that you only use my SLO as a guideline and not copy it in its entirety. I love helping other art teachers, but this took a lot of work!
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let's dive in. We will look at my first grade SLO section by section.
Baseline and Trend Data
Notes: Your district will put forth guideline for completing your pre-assessments. The information gathered from these assessments will be used to write this section of the SLO. In addition, any information that you have gathered in your years of teaching will be helpful. This is called Perception Data and is very valuable. In order to be considered "trend" data, there has to be 3 years worth of assessment scores. Because many of us are just beginning this process, that data may not be available. Including a chart detailing your students' scores may not be required, but it is very useful. Be sure not to leave any gaps between the percentages (For example, putting 0-30% and then skipping to 40-50% would leave a gap). Be sure to list your students' strengths as well as their weaknesses. I am on our SLO committee and many teachers forgot to add this. Contextual factors (factors that my affect student learning) may be added in this section as well.
Pre-Test Results (Score Ranges) # of students & contextual factors
20 – 30% 6 (2 IEP, 1 504, 2 ADHD)
Student Learning Objective (SLO) Template
This template should be completed while referring to the SLO Template Checklist at the beginning of each section.
Baseline and Trend Data
What information is being used to inform the creation of the SLO and establish the amount of growth that should take place within the time period?
□ Identifies sources of information about students (e.g., test scores from prior years, results of preassessments)
□ Draws upon trend data, if available
□ Summarizes the teacher’s analysis of the baseline data by identifying student strengths and weaknesses
In prior years, assessment of my students included self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, and checklists. However, the assessments have not been consistent enough to determine student learning growth. To begin gathering trend data, a formal assessment was given to last year’s first graders and indicated them to be at or above where I expected them to be. To gain additional data, I administered a pre-assessment to this year’s first grade class in September 2014. The pre-assessment, which consisted of a paper test in which the students were asked to carry out various drawing tasks, was developed by several visual arts specialists. The results are as follows:
Based on this data, and drawing upon my 19 years of teaching, I am able to surmise that my students are on track for their age level. Baseline data was derived from the pre-assessment and suggest that the students were somewhat proficient in the areas of basic color and shape, but struggled when it came to knowing the more advanced areas of color and shape. They also struggled with creating a composition comprised of all the elements and principles of art provided. After further instruction, I fully expect the majority of my students to be in the upper levels.
Which students will be included in this SLO? Include course, grade level, and number of students.
□ Identifies the class or subgroup of students covered by the SLO
□ Describes the student population and considers any contextual factors that may impact student growth
□ If subgroups are excluded, explains which students, why they are excluded and if they are covered in another SLO
This SLO covers students in four sections of first grade visual art. The population is comprised of 72 students, of which 4 have IEPs. Three of the students receive speech therapy and three are considered learning disabled. In addition, one student is autistic. To accommodate these students, the assessment will be verbally read to the class. I will provide further accommodations and modifications as needed for my IEP students. No scribe will be needed as this will be a drawing test. The majority of the students are from a rural area or a very small town and many are from the middle or lower socioeconomic class . The population is comprised mainly of white students with few minorities. Several students are on free or reduced lunch. No subgroups have been excluded from taking this test.
Interval of Instruction
What is the duration of the course that the SLO will cover? Include beginning and end dates.
□ Matches the length of the course (e.g., quarter, semester, year)
The duration of this SLO is September 2014- April 2015. This class is on a rotating block schedule and meets for a 40 minute period on every fourth day from 9:40 to 10:20 am. Due to being a morning class, delays, cancellations, and assemblies may affect the amount of instruction time for this group.
Standards and Content
What content will the SLO target? To what related standards is the SLO aligned?
□ Specifies how the SLO will address applicable standards from the highest ranking of the following: (1) Common Core State Standards, (2) Ohio Academic Content Standards, or (3) national standards put forth by education organizations
□ Represents the big ideas or domains of the content taught during the interval of instruction
□ Identifies core knowledge and skills students are expected to attain as required by the applicable standards (if the SLO is targeted)
The learning target for this SLO aligns with the Ohio Department of Education visual art standards for first grade. The standards are divided into PERCEIVING/KNOWLEDGE (4PE: Identify and point out visual art and design elements and principles in their own artworks and in those of others using art vocabulary), PRODUCING/PERFORMING (5PR: Use selected art and design elements and principles to explore ideas, feelings, and relationships), and RESPONDING/REFLECTING (7RE: Describe how elements and principles communicate meaning in works of art). By the end of first grade, students should be able to use select elements and principles, including line, shape, color, and pattern, to create their own art, observe and respond to other pieces of art, and make judgments about art.
In order to show stretch, differentiated instruction will be offered for all general art students. Teacher will demonstrate visually as she explains the assignments, offer 1:1 assistance, provide opportunity for group work and peer assessment, visual examples of both professional and student art, and extended time as needed.
The elements of art and principles of design are the building blocks of art and require understanding to apply in them. The skills learned in first grade art are foundational, as they will be built upon as they advance through the elementary art program.
What assessment(s) will be used to measure student growth for this SLO?
□ Identifies assessments that have been reviewed by content experts to effectively measure course content and reliably measure student learning as intended
□ Selects measures with sufficient “stretch” so that all students may demonstrate learning, or identifies supplemental assessments to cover all ability levels in the course
□ Provides a plan for combining assessments if multiple summative assessments are used
□ Follows the guidelines for appropriate assessments
For pre-assessment and post assessment, students will complete a teacher guided activity combining art elements identifying line, shape, and color, and the art principle of pattern. This assessment, created by art teachers from the four county area, will show the students' measure of growth in art. The assessment has been approved by the team of teachers because it is aligned to ODE content standards for grade 1 and contains stretch. Each student will be listed with an individual goal/growth target as determined by the individual pre-assessment score. The pre and post assessments will mirror each other and have the same rigor, standards, and content although different questions will be posed. The post test will be given before the April deadline and administered by the instructor.
Throughout the school year, a rubric created by the same art content specialists will be used as an assessment tool following each completed art project. Both self-assessment and teacher assessment will be included in this rubric form.
Both forms of assessment will be structured as follows and will be combined for a final score of 100 points:
50% Knowledge of key concepts: students will be given a pre and post assessment in which they will be asked to identify lines, shapes, and colors
and use these to create a drawing which explores ideas, feelings, or relationships. The assessments will be performance based in that the
students will be asked to draw their answers. This part of the assessment will be scored using a numbered checklist.
50% Performance (creation of art projects): students will be assessed in the following main categories: following project requirements, incorporating
key concepts in their art, using creativity and originality in their art, using craftsmanship in their art, responding to art (self-evaluation and peer
evaluation), and finishing their art projects in a timely manner. This portion of the assessment is scored using a rubric.
If you have advanced students that will max out in points, you may need to assign a capstone project in order to help them achieve their growth target.
Adding a chart that details your students' pre-assessment scores and their targets is also very helpful in this section.
Considering all available data and content requirements, what growth target(s) can students be expected to reach?
□ All students in the class have a growth target in at least one SLO
□ Uses baseline or pretest data to determine appropriate growth
□ Sets developmentally appropriate targets
□ Creates tiered targets when appropriate so that all students may demonstrate growth
□ Sets ambitious yet attainable targets
Considering the variety of abilities within this large population, the growth targets expected will vary considerably. Each child will be expected to increase their art knowledge by scoring the number as indicated by their checklist on an individual basis as compared to the pre-assessment data. Pre-assessment data suggests the following: students at the end of kindergarten and beginning of first grade do not have a strong working knowledge of line, shape, color, and pattern application. Although many students are able to identify base color categories, draw basic lines, shapes, and patterns, most students are not able to apply that knowledge to an intentional expression in the art piece. Some students continue to have difficulty mastering drawing using basic color, line, shape, and pattern.
Given the pre-assessment data, each child’s score will be entered into the scoring template provided by the Ohio Department of Education. With this information, targets will be developed using the methodology below. Targets will suggest a student’s anticipated growth. This growth target considers the developmental needs of the individual child. Not every student will have the same target. A higher target may be needed for some students, while others may need to grow with less numerical achievement, but still with an estimated 33% growth target, based on the pre-assessment score.
See methodology below:
100 (total possible points)-24(actual points scored on pre-assessment)= 76
76 X .33(growth target)= 25 points
25 + 24= 49 points to reach expected growth
49 is the expected growth target
Baseline Scoring Range
(based on 100 point pre assessment created by county art specialists):
Below Average- 0-40
Emerging - 41-60
Above Average- 81-90
Rationale for Growth Target(s)
What is your rationale for setting the target(s) for student growth within the interval of instruction?
□ Demonstrates teacher knowledge of students and content
□ Explains why target is appropriate for the population
□ Addresses observed student needs
□ Uses data to identify student needs and determine appropriate growth targets
□ Explains how targets align with broader school and district goals
□ Sets rigorous expectations for students and teacher(s)
The content of this class is based on essential skills that 1st Grade Art students will need to know before they can move on to an upper level class. The 1st Grade Visual Art curriculum is sequential and builds upon or repeats skills and knowledge in the arts. These skills and experience will aid in other subject areas, such as mathematics by reinforcing concepts learned in that area, such as basic geometry and patterning. Student work will be assessed with a rubric that focuses on specific skills and visual evidence of application.
Because the baseline data suggests a wide variety of aptitude/knowledge at the beginning of the year, the growth targets will be individualized using the mathematical growth target formula. To be considered advanced, students must complete an advanced level project or capstone project, as assigned by the art instructor.
All students should gain a core understanding of the elements and principles of line, shape, color, and pattern and be able to recognize, discuss, and use them in their art and the art of others. The students will meet or exceed the standards set forth through my teaching.
In daily life we constantly use strategies involving lines, shapes, colors and patterns to solve problems. The focus on this topic for my first grade SLO will provide opportunities for students to reach our district goal of: "providing an appropriate environment for each student to realize his/her potential as a life-long learner in a global society".
This SLO aligns with the district plan to teach 21st Century Skills and use assessment data to inform instruction to prepare students for life-long learning and college and career readiness. The result of student growth is aiding the district goal of achieving an excellent score (A) on the school report card.
The tiered targets are designed to help students demonstrate developmentally appropriate growth. The tiered target allows for success of students regardless of special needs or prior experience. Student knowledge will serve as a building block for future learning.
I hope this gives you a starting point in writing your SLO. Again, I am not claiming to be an expert in any way. When we began writing our SLOs, there were no examples to look at. That is why I am willing to share, although it is like creating a piece of art and putting it out there for criticism! It was tons of work to finish this SLO and my intent is not to provide you with something to cut & paste. Instead, I encourage you to use the information provided to make your SLO uniquely yours.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions or challenge me on anything you may see in my SLO. We are all in the same boat- let's work collaboratively to get through this!
Next up: Assessments in Art