Monday, February 1, 2010

No More Tests Update

Here is my first update on the No Tests for 10 Weeks Challenge. I wanted to give the students an option for their final project on Art Spiegelman's Maus I and II. Many decided they wanted to do an essay and some decided to do PowerPoints. Here is a picture of what one student came up with that is pretty cool.

Gavin O. 

Gavan decided to create a sculpture influenced by the stories that he read. He typed out a page and a half explaining the art. He created a Mobius Strip out of metal and used barbed wire to create a Star of David and a Swastika. He explained that the Mobius Strip symbolized the perpetual nature of the violence and how it affected the characters in the long run. Both symbols were used inside the sculpture because the two icons will forever be linked by the violence and the barbed wire symbolized the concentration camps. Even the stand had symbolism. He said the stand symbolizes an heirloom. The Holocaust is something that is passed down from generation to generation and should not be forgotten. 
Now tell me that a 50 Question Multiple Choice Test would better assess this student.


  1. Wow! Aren't you amazed by what your kids will do when given the room to really show you what they know. He probably learned more in this project than he would have cramming for 50 tests on the subject. Very neat!

  2. I'm very impressed with this student's level of creativity and thought in this work. I applaud your willingness to give your students the space to respond to what they are learning in creative ways. Did you give students a list of possible projects? Did students come to you with their own ideas for what they wanted to do? Based on the project shown above, do you think more students will move away from essays and powerpoints and be more willing to be creative with your next assessment? Please continue to post the results of your 10 week no test challenge! I'll be reading.

  3. Great post! Projects and tasks can demonstrate understanding of knowledge through application and many other thought processes. Tests are not always the answer. As an Art Teacher I love the symbolic imagery used in the work. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is such a wonderful illustration of demonstrating real understanding and empathy, as opposed to ticking boxes.

  5. I know that students can do amazing things when given the chance, so it's funny to me that I'm still amazed when something like this is turned in. Next up, the students will be reading a text of their choosing and creating an assessment based on 5 things I want them to understand. I'll keep everyone posted.


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