How to Grade Artwork, Track Daily Progress, and Boost Motivation in your Art Class with Padlet

How to Grade Artwork and Record Daily Progress in Art with Padlet

This post will talk about how to grade student artwork more efficiently using Padlet, the power of tracking student progress daily in art, and how using Padlet can help boost productivity and motivation in the art room.

Do you ever wish you could track and record how much progress your students are actually making each and every day? 

Padlet is a digital web app that can help you do just that!!! I have found this tool BEYOND HELPFUL and TIMESAVING in the art room for SOOOOOO MANY REASONS. 

Having students post their artwork digitally each day is not only a great motivator and organization tool for them, but it can also save you hours of time grading, and provide you with tools to help keep your students on track and creating awesome work every single day.

Recording Daily Progress In Art Helps Keep Students Focused and Motivated

We live in a world of distraction.  Keeping students focused and productive in the art class each day can be a huge challenge.  Even the most motivated and well-meaning students can easily fall victim to the 2 million things fighting for their attention all the time.
We all face that same battle. Even as I write this post, my phone is vibrating, and despite the pop-up blocker on my computer, a weird box keeps appearing trying to make me purchase something.

Even with our best efforts to eliminate or control distractions in class, they inevitably find a way to beat the system.

When students know they have a few days before their art project will be graded, it is so much easier for them to innocently slack off and convince themselves they will work a little faster tomorrow or put in more time later.  We all know how this story goes. 

 

However, when they know their progress is being recorded DAILY, it is a little less tempting to fall prey to everything competing for their attention.    

 

Students Work Harder When They Feel Seen

Simply being acknowledged every day makes students feel as though their time is appreciated and encourages them to consistently give their best effort. During the class period, it can be difficult to connect with every single student each day. With Padlet, even if their sketches, drawings, or artwork didn’t get recognized during the class period, you can still comment, like, or let them know they are appreciated and their efforts are valued quickly and easily from any device, anytime, anywhere.


I made it a habit to scroll through Padlet whenever I feel tempted to pull out my phone to check my social media. So while I’m waiting for my kids to finish practice, have a few minutes at the end of the day, or whenever I feel like I have time, I click the Padlet app on my phone. It takes seconds to hit the like button or even add a quick comment just like you would on Facebook or Instagram. Students always appreciate finding unexpected comments and I always feel fulfilled, productive, and proud.


Seeing Progress Is Motivation

Think about how it feels when your jeans fit a little better after being mindful about eating for a few days. Everyone feels better when they feel like they are making progress on whatever it is they are doing. When students see their daily efforts compound, it naturally motivates them to continue. 

 

No More “I’m Trying, But I’m Not Good at Art” 

Art teachers all dread this excuse and many of us struggle with how to grade student artwork fairly. I will discuss weighting, rubrics, and grading policies in another post but, tracking progress and acknowledging student’s efforts daily has so many benefits no matter how much weight you place on daily progress and participation when determining final project grades.

 

Even if you do not grade progress at all, simply knowing their work is being recorded each day and that you are monitoring it, is a big motivator, and that excuse goes out the window.

 

The kids that think they aren’t very talented or good at drawing work harder simply to show they are at least trying. Inevitably through practice and effort, they end up strengthening their drawing skills, building confidence, and surprising themselves with their new artistic abilities. Ultimately this helps their project grades.

 

Having a visual record of what everyone does each day is also excellent to share with parents at conferences or to have just in case there are any questions regarding student grades in art. It makes communicating much easier and parents also appreciate seeing their child’s work.

 

Using Padlet to Streamline Grading and Critique in Art

I’ve used a lot of different systems, but Padlet has been my absolute favorite for recording daily progress in the art room. It has simplified, streamlined, and organized my process for grading art and giving meaningful feedback on student artwork.

 

If you are unfamiliar with this tool, it is a digital interactive display board where students can easily post photos of their art project and daily work from their computer, iPad, cell phone, or Chromebook.  Think of it like a bulletin board or display case. See the image below and definietly watch the video on how to use Padlet for art above. It is so much easier to understand when you see how it is used.

 

At the end of each period, students display their art projects and progress on the class Padlet. Students can like and comment on each other’s work and you can filter and monitor everything with different settings. This is so motivating for them and the organization is great for class critiques.

 

You can easily give feedback, critique, and interact via message, video, audio message, and more.  If you are not a tech-savvy person and just felt your blood pressure rise, DO NOT GET SCARED.  It really is soooo easy and not techy at all. 

 

How to Set Up a Padlet

I make one board for each class and create a column for each student.  At the end of every class period, students take a photo of their work, post their progress from that day to their column on our class Padlet. Seeing the progress unfold daily is so rewarding and is also a great teaching tool.

 

How to grade artwork using Padlet in the High School Art Class
Padlet Keeps Student Artwork Organized

One of my FAVORITE things about using Padelt is that I can see all of my student’s artwork and daily progress organized alphabetically and in neat columns. I don’t have to waste time sorting and organizing or navigating between a million different screens. I love that I can do all of this right on my phone.

 

So you might be thinking “Can’t I do this right in Google Classroom”? Not Exactly.

 

Google Classroom is wonderful, but using it for grading art takes SO MUCH LONGER and you can not see everyone’s artwork organized in columns all on one screen. The view is what makes Padlet so useful for art teachers.

 

When grading art in Google Classroom you have to open each student’s work in its own window and wait for them to load individually. This is time-consuming and confusing. It is so nice to see multiple projects and everyone’s daily progress on one screen and in neat columns.

 

Using Padlet with Google Classroom 

I still LOVE and use Google Classroom for posting assignments, slideshows, rubrics, reference photos, video demonstrations, etc.   I simply post a link to the Padlet as an attachment to each assignment and students know that they post their progress to that link each day.

 

Using Padlet helps me prioritize my time in class.  I know which students I need to work with first before they even enter the room.   I can even leave fast feedback before or after class through voice messages or even video.

 

THE BEST PART IS THAT IT HAS CUT MY TIME SPENT GRADING STUDENT ARTWORK IN HALF.   

How Do I Get Padlet?

Simply go to www.Padlet.com and create an account. There are two versions of Padlet.  The free version gives you three free Padlets and the paid version allows you to make an unlimited amount of Padlets. 

 

I started with the free version and then switched over to the paid version.  I personally thought the amount of time it saved me was so worth it.  Next year my school will pay for it because……. well I asked…. Lol  

 

A lot of schools already have a subscription or would be willing to pay for the monthly fee if you ask them.  Definitely check with your school and see if they have an account. If they don’t you can ask your PTSO if they would pay for it.

 

If you can’t get your school or PTSO to purchase the Padlet, you can simply use the free version. You would just include multiple classes on one Padlet. 

How Do I Create A Class and Get Started?

In the video at the top of the page, I explain everything you need to set up a class, grade student art projects, and keep student artwork organized. You will see how time-saving this tool can be If you have any questions or want to share anything about your experience using Padlet please post them in the comments below. I would love to hear about your experience and help in any way I can.

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