Each ACMS student should be able to create, document, and discuss his or her own artwork. They will have a portfolio of their artwork, a sketchbook to demonstrate artistic growth, and numerous experiences both critiquing artwork, and leading a critique of their own work. All ACMS students should be able to use the visual arts as an effective tool for both communication, and self-expression.
Several tools are used to assess ACMS art students.
At the end of most assignments, students complete a written reflection. This provides them with an opportunity for self-assessment. I give the students written feedback about their artwork and reflections. My feedback addresses both strengths and weaknesses to open a dialogue for student growth.
Students keep a portfolio. They keep all of their finished artwork in this portfolio until the end of the course. At the end of the trimester, students pick certain pieces to photograph and keep in an ongoing art portfolio. This portfolio will remain at ACMS until the students leave for high school.
Students lead critiques of their own artwork. Prior to the critique, students are given an opportunity to look through their portfolios and select one piece of artwork to use for the critique. The student must complete a critique preparation form, which involves a reflection on the chosen artwork and justification for why it was chosen for the critique. The critique begins with the artist telling the class about his or her artwork. Then, other students are given an opportunity to provide feedback.
Why do we use sketchbooks?
The sketchbook has been a successful component of the ACMS visual arts program. The sketchbook provides an opportunity for students to continue their artistic growth outside of the art classroom. It also provides a bridge between home and school. While most of the students’ artwork remains in the classroom, the sketchbook travels between home and school. It allows parents an opportunity to see some of what their child is doing in art class. In addition to weekly-required drawings, we often use the sketchbooks in class as a place to try new things and plan for artwork. I collect sketchbooks periodically so that I can provide students with feedback on their progress.
We will have at least three art shows this year. These shows will take place in November, February, and May. Other display opportunities may be added, as they become available.
What can you do at home?
- Ask to see your child's sketchbook. This is a great way to start a dialogue about what they are doing in art class.
- Ask to see teacher feedback on assignments and the sketchbook.
- Provide your child with drawing pencils. The sketchbook is the only required supply. However, a set of a few different drawing pencils can really help bring your child’s sketches to life. If you have questions about which to buy, I will be happy to give you advice.
Mr. Edmison teaches visual arts, yearbook, and runs the media center at ACMS. He has been a teacher at our school since 2006. The 2009-2010 school year will be his eleventh year in the classroom. He also taught English in South Korea. He has a bachelor’s degree in art, as well as a bachelor’s in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He is currently enrolled in the graduate program in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Mr. Edmison enjoys working on his artwork, hiking, and taking long walks on the beach with his wife and dog.
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