Clay II Syllabus

Houston/Spring2010

Clay II is a Fine Arts course that focuses on “fine-tuning” the skills, techniques and aesthetics of Clay/Ceramics. As with ALL visual art courses, the study of Clay is a discipline that includes creating, understanding its history, as well as critiquing one’s own work, and the works of others.


Essential Question:

How does learning about Ceramic Arts influence your work and change the way in which you view the world?

Content Standards

The following is a list that describes what students should know or be able to do in Clay II by the end of the semester:

Art History
• Understand and develop an appreciation for well-known Clay artists/cultures
• Create a clay piece which demonstrates the influence of another culture or work
• Identify strong characteristics, style or techniques from different cultures.

Technical Skills
• Demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:
• quality craftsmanship and attention to detail
• properties of clay and the need to recycle
• construction techniques of hand building and throwing clay
• technical skills in decorating and glazing clay

Creative Problem-Solving
• Demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:
• knowledge of visual composition and how it relates to 3-D forms
• identifying and using elements and principles of design
• solving problems creatively - the ability to communicate an idea visually: clearly and effectively
• identifying and describing the purpose of different ceramic objects

Reasoning/Thinking Skills
• develop goals for the semester in terms of creative and technical skills
• document and/or record evidence of growth and progress
• become proficient at discussing and explaining your work, using correct vocabulary in oral and written critiques/presentations


Materials / Lab Fee
Pencil: please bring to every class and/or leave one on your shelf
Sketchbook: this will be provided for you by Ms. Houston
Lab fee: $15 to help share the cost of clay, underglazes, and glazes If you cannot afford to pay the lab fee, please speak to me privately.

Visual Arts Grading System

Everything we do in class contributes in some way to your overall grade.

Grades / Evaluation
All assignments/projects are based on meeting the standards or essential learning for the course and are graded on a 4 point scale. 4 is at the top , 1 is at the bottom. Specific criteria and rubrics are given to students for all major assignments, so they are clear how to be successful. When entered into the on-line grade book, the 4 point system is “translated” into the following 100 point scale:

Exceptional, Extraordinary Work (when merited) 4++=100
Exceeds the Standard 4=97
3.5=94
Meets the Standard 3=90
2.5=87
Approaching the Standard 2=83
1.5=79
Does Not Meet the Standard 1=76


This translation scale is borrowed and adapted from Robert Marzano, author of several educational text books.

Assignments passed in one week after the due date will earn 70% of the assignment's grades .
Assignments passed in more than two weeks after the due date will earn 50% of the assignment's grades.

Communication with the teacher is essential.

Your final grade will reflect your demonstration and growth in meeting the Content Standards. Each area may be weighted differently.

Make-up Policy
If you are sick and not in school the day an assignment is due, it is due the first day you return to school. Remember it is your responsibility to make arrangements with me, concerning what you missed when you were not in school. Under extraordinary circumstances, please contact me asap, so that together, we can make a plan to get caught up and turn in or modify missing work.