Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Patterned Portfolios and Teaching Art Room Procedures

The first project of every school year is creating a portfolio to hold future two dimensional projects.  I usually allow students to draw whatever they want on the cover as long as their name is easy to see, but this year I spent more time discussing classroom procedures than usual. Our school-wide expectations are broadcasted as a jingle every morning and afternoon. "Give it your best. Achieve your Goals. Be respectful. That's the GAB way!"  On the first day of school, I took the time to ask my students what they think "giving it their best" looks like in our classroom. I wrote their answers such as, "coming to class on time, " and "handing in quality work." Being respectful in Art, means cleaning up messes, not touching other people's work, and leaving cell phones in the phone basket.

These behavioral patterns are tied to visual patterns in art, in that repetition and predictability are key.  I modeled how careful repetition of a single mark such as rows of tiny lines or large and small spirals can create visual unity. Meeting classroom expectations can create unity within our classroom. Students filled a page of various patterns from their own imagination before picking their favorite to use on their portfolio.  The portfolios consist of two large sheets of paper, taped together to create a folder, which is then laminated. The student's name is front and center, but the space outside the name is to serve as a reminder that I expect consistent, positive behavior in my classroom.

A close up of the border of one student's portfolio. She created line drawings of flowers using a purple marker, and added value with colored pencil.

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