Hello and Happy New Semester!
I hope that all of you had a wonderful and relaxing break. As we begin what looks to be a snowing new semester, I just wanted to welcome all of my students and their families to the Wonderful World of Wildcat Art! Some of you may have been enrolled with me in class before, but I thought I would highlight some class goals and share some links.
One goal is to showcase student work to provide them with career, portfolio and scholarship opportunities. To help with this I established Shutterfly sites for the following classes, and I wanted to make sure you had the links:
Advanced Studio (Young at Art: https://youngatart1.shutterfly.com)
Commercial Art (Wildcat Creations Studio: https://wildcatcreationstudio.shutterfly.com)
Digital Photography (SnapCats: https://snapcats.shutterfly.com)
Yearbook/Desktop Publishing (will not have a website at this time...we have to keep book top secret until it’s printed;-)
These sites are managed by the student artist, designers and photographers. Students will create, upload and organize their own work to their team page. The sites are private and member based. New students will be added as the semester begins. Students can show family members their page, or I can be emailed to add family members. Many students have used their online portfolio to showcase their work to potential schools and employers. Whether students plan to pursue a career in the arts or not, this is a workplace skill that can help with any field.
Another goal, is for students to learn several important career readiness skills (communicate ideas visually, working in teams, marketing their work, and working with clients). These are important skills to have both in school and in any workplace. Students learn to communicate visually in fine arts classes such as Advanced Studio I and 2 as they create, research and study works of art. Students in this class work in art-co op studio groups within the class. In their studio groups, they formatively assess each others work through mid-progress critiques to help each other better meet class targets. Also, each group learns to market themselves as artists by building webpages for their art co op group to showcase their work.
They learn the art of visual communication as they work as designers in the Wildcat Creation Studio Macintosh lab. Here students will use the Apple hardware and Adobe software as professional designers do. Students learn workplace readiness skills by working in design teams to solve design problems for real world companies and clients. They will use the design process used by professional designers. This 5 step process done on using Planning Guides in Google Drive gives numerous opportunities for group, self and teacher formative assessment (not for a grade) before students are summatively assessed (for a grade). This is also a way to ensure when students are working with real world clients or on real world projects (like the yearbook) errors are avoided before publication. Classes that work in the Wildcat Creation Studio include Commercial Art I, Commercial Art II, and Desktop Publishing I, II, III.
Digital Photography will also work in the Wildcat Creations Studio, but also find themselves taking photos in a variety of locations. This group is know as the SnapCats to the public. They will be working with local clients and on commercial photography. They too will work in teams, use similar design steps and Planning Guides for their photo shoots. These guides will help them be prepared for their photography assignments, communicate with clients, and ultimately be successful after having multiple formative assessments to help meet class targets.
My overarching goal in all my classes is for students to successful in class. If my students are not successful, I feel I have failed as a teacher. I believe there are a several factors that help ensure success, and one of them is to make sure students understand the class targets and where they are at in meeting them through formative assessments. To help with that, each day when students enter the room they will see both the Unit and Daily Targets on the Smartboard. Students also fill out Target Completion Sheets as an exit ticket on Google Drive the last few minutes of class.
This has been a great daily formative assessment tool for both students and myself to see where they are at in the learning process. It also helps us decide what we need to do if they need help meeting a target.
Another factor is communication, and to help with that I have “Gone Green with Google” and everything done in class can be assessed through Google Drive over any internet connection. In the class folder on Google Drive, students and their families can find Daily Targets, Target Completion Sheets, Planning Guides, Rubrics, Curriculum Maps and all student work. This means that at any time students can see what was done in class that day, or access any files needed at home. Peer, teacher and self-assessments needing to be referenced for revisions can be accessed at home. I always available via email or phone. Please contact me at anytime with questions about my classes, other classes for future enrollment, colleges, portfolios, scholarships or careers.
As the semester progresses, and registration begins please reference our department website (https://www.unit5.org/Page/2021) as well. There are several informational brochures and videos for each class to give visual examples of class projects. Again, if you have question don’t hesitate to ask.