‘The skin you’re in’ student self-evaluation project with handmade Paper

Now that you have finished your Paper making unit it’s time put that paper to another use!

An aesthetic student self-evaluation

This is our last project of the year.  For some of you, this will be your last year of high school…Regardless, I want you to take a piece of your paper, the paper you made and think of it as your own skin- The skin you’re in.




Curricular ties:

Big Idea:

Students will gain valuable insight into their own learning from various self-assessment strategies

Project idea:

A student self-evaluation through an aesthetic use of words and images rooted in a personal understanding of self and place(school)


But whatcha talking about?


Assessment practices have started to change over the last several years with teachers building a larger repertoire of assessment tools and strategies. There is a greater understanding of the importance of timely assessments for learning as well as regular assessments of learning. One type of assessment that has been shown to raise students’ achievement significantly is student self-assessment (Black & William, 1998; Chappuis & Stiggins, 2002; Rolheiser & Ross, 2001; White & Frederiksen, 1998). Confidence and efficacy play a critical role in accurate and meaningful self-assessment and goal-setting. Rolheiser, Bower, and Stevahn (2000) argue that self-confidence influences “[the] learning goals that students set and the effort they devote to accomplishing those goals. An upward cycle of learning results when students confidently set learning goals that are moderately challenging yet realistic, and then exert the effort, energy, and resources needed to accomplish those goals” (p. 35). By explicitly teaching students how to set appropriate goals as well as how to assess their work realistically and accurately, teachers can help to promote this upward cycle of learning and self-confidence (Ross, 2006).  {Text source http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/studentselfassessment.pdf}


  • Evaluation is an informed professional judgment about the quality of a child’s work at a point in time. This judgment is based on the student’s best, most consistent work or performance, utilizing established criteria. In kindergarten, evaluation is largely a description of what the teacher has observed in the classroom whereas, in Grades 1–8, it is tied to the levels of achievement described in the Ontario Curriculum documents (Ministry of Education, 2006d, p. 15).
  • Reflection is an essential component of effective self-assessment; it occurs “when students think about how their work meets established criteria; they analyze the effectiveness of their efforts, and plan for improvement” (Rolheiser, Bower, & Stevahn, 2000, p. 31).
  • Metacognition is “thinking about thinking” (Rolheiser, Bower, & Stevahn, 2000, p. 32). Developing reflective processes can lead to improved metacognition. Rolheiser and colleagues note that when students develop their capacity to understand their own thinking processes, they are better equipped to employ the necessary cognitive skills to complete a task or achieve a goal. They also note that “students who have acquired metacognitive skills are better able to compensate for both low ability and insufficient information” (p. 34). Developing reflective processes can lead to improved metacognition.
  • Goal-setting is a key component of the self-assessment process, as well as a significant learning skill. In particular, setting goals “helps students who have negative orientations toward learning or who do not have realistic views of their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can help these students by establishing appropriate goals, selecting effective learning strategies to reach those goals, committing effort toward those goals, and celebrating the results of their performances” (Rolheiser, Bower, & Stevahn, 2000, p. 77)   {Text source www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/studentselfassessment.pdf}



(Psst:  pre-read to the end of project criteria for a compleat overview of my expectations!)


Let us Begin,

Let’s write:

I would like 20 minutes of writing, please.  Feel free to talk about your school year or anything in which school was the backdrop to a learning situation.  If your topic is personal and you don’t want me to read it, please put a cover page over it with the words “PRIVATE!” over your work and I promise “I won’t read it”.



Let’s talk

  • What did you do this year that made you feel proud of yourself?
  • What was your biggest mistake?  What happened? How could you have avoided it?
  • When did you realise you had learnt something inadvertently- what did that feel like?

(These are sample question- if no one wants to start talking)



Let’s make Art!

A visual, or a collection of visuals and words, sentences, written fragments that Aestheticise your initial writing.  If you are in Grad 12, please evaluate your whole high-school experience.


Please know- I am really looking for a self-evaluation in an aesthetic way.  Not just a word, not just an image of a smiley face.

Image source news.swalif.com

No, no, I need you to be thoughtful, artful, reflective, sensitive, Painfully honest and visually acute.  Yup, I am asking for you to step way up.  To take this seriously.  Why, because as young adults you should be starting to ask yourself the hard questions that you need to start asking yourselves:

  • What am I doing and Why?  
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What do I want to do?
  • How am I going to get there?

OK, if you don’t ‘get it’ please ask me questions!

Mmmm, this might be helpful to some of you:  What if your Heart and Mind could work together to make an image of you school year here at JO and then push it onto your skin from the inside out?


ok, its time to do some thinking, writing, and drawing.  Oh, this project is for you- I will be giving it a completion mark only. Do your best.

If interested:

Readings about Art and your brain, life, heart.

A further reading to make you think:

In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka




Student work:

Please note that I am not showing the writing unless ok by the individual student.