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    Higley High School 2021-2022 Beginning Ceramics Course Syllabus

    Mrs. Cami McClellan
    (480) 279-7369
    Room 212
    Teacher Page


    Section I: Introduction

    Course Description: Students will explore the nature of clay and glazes, handbuilding methods, throwing on the potter’s wheel, decorative process, and glaze application.

    Course Objectives: Students will be…

    CREATING – Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work

    PRESENTING – Realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation

    RESPONDING – Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning

    CONNECTING – Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context

    District Curriculum: We will cover the following topics and techniques throughout the year

    • Ceramic Process
    • Pinch Method
    • Coil Method
    • Slab Method
    • Throwing
    • Surface Enrichment
    • Art Criticism
    • Art History

    AZ State Standards: The Arizona State Standards will be used in planning and preparing lesson plans and assessments throughout the semester.

    Course Fee:

    A course fee for the entire year is $50, or $25 per semester. Please pay this fee online through Parent VUE or in the bookstore as soon as possible.  Clay and tools will not be distributed to students that do not pay their course fee. This money is used to purchase Ceramic supplies and tools for the class. Without your fees being paid, we will not be able to purchase supplies for this course.

    Course Materials:

    All students are required to provide the following for the course:

    • Combination lock
    • Spiral Bound Sketchbook or Notebook (No sketch pads!! (they fall apart))
    • #2 Pencil (used as a tool in clay)
    • Colored Pencils (12pack)
    • Plastic pencil box
    • Plastic Grocery Bags

    Other optional items:

    • Small Spray bottle (Sample size)
    • Apron/Old T-shirt
    • Small, Old hand Towel or Large Sponge
    • Hand Lotion
    • Hand soap
    • Small paintbrush

    Donations: If you would like to make a donation to the Ceramics Program through Tax Credit, click here for the link. Please remember to write in that you would like your tax credit money to go toward the HHS Ceramics program. This money can be used to help purchase supplies, equipment, and fund field trips and other materials to use in the Ceramics classroom and for extracurricular activities.
    Donors Choose: You can check this website frequently to see if Mrs. McClellan has a new project that you can help fund.

    For any other donations, feel free to contact Mrs. McClellan. Thank you for your support of the Arts.


    Section 2: Grades

    Grading Policy:

    Students will be evaluated by their participation, class work, objectives, completion of projects and written examinations/evaluations, throughout the year. Grades will only be rounded up if the percentage is equal to or greater than .59 for semester grades only.

    Grades scale:
                   100-90% - A        89-80% - B          79-70% - C          69-60% - D          59-0% - F

    Grades will be weighted as follows:
                   80%       Assessments & Daily Performance
                   20%       Final Exam and Final Project (Portfolio)

    Assessments & Daily Performance Grades

    Project Benchmarks
    Most projects will be graded and entered in the gradebook four times as follows:

    • Sketches (20 points)
    • Greenware (50 points)
    • Glazeware (10 points)
    • Completion (100 points)

    Performance Points
    These points will be given through online class assignments including participation in online discussions, critiques, clean up, quizzes, research projects etc.


    Section 3: Department Level Policies

    Attendance Policy

    Absences in Ceramics: Because projects cannot easily be taken home, please make it a priority to be in class every day to work on your artwork.

    Make-up work: If you need more time to work on a project, please talk with Mrs. McClellan to make arrangements.

    Tardy: Be on time to class. Consequences for tardiness:

    1st tardy – warning
    2nd tardy – contact parent(s)
    3rd tardy – Cleaning assignment and/or After School Detention
    4th tardy - Referral


    Section 4: Classroom Particulars

    Classroom Expectations/Rules:

    1. Clean-up
    2. Use Appropriate Language
    3. Show Respect (of others & the materials/equipment in class)
    4. Work hard, every day

    Cell Phones: Cell phones are not to be seen in class during instruction time (along with ear buds or headphones). Put your phone in your backpack or pocket and keep it there. The only reason you should have your cell phone out, is if you have received permission from the teacher for research during work time. If you cell phone is being used for non-educational purposes related to the assignment, you will turn over your phone to the teacher.

    You can listen to music in class during YOUR work time with ONE ear bud only so you can still hear instructions from the teacher. If instruction does occur during work time, be sure to mute your music so you can hear the instruction given. Students are held accountable for the instructions given in class.

    Class Dismissal: Class is not dismissed until the Ceramics Lab has been cleaned, chairs are pushed in or stacked, and the teacher has dismissed you.

    **All students are expected to abide by all school rules and policies found in the
    Student Code of Conduct.**

    This includes:

    NO food, drink, or gum allowed in the classroom

    Discipline: All of the policies and procedures will be followed; misbehavior, disrespect, foul or inappropriate language/conversation will not be tolerated in the classroom. The Ceramics lab will be a safe environment for the benefit of learning.

    If the policies and procedures are not followed in the Ceramics lab the following actions will be taken:

                   1st infraction: Warning/Conversation with Teacher (often with assigned cleaning job)
                   2nd infraction: Contact Parent
                   3rd infraction: Extra cleaning job assigned or After School Detention
                   4th infraction: Referral

    Restroom Use:  The best time to ask is during a break in the instruction period or during your personal work time. Do not interrupt the learning environment to ask to use the restroom; the answer will always be, no. You may not use the restroom in the first 10 minutes of class or last 10 minutes of class.

    Nurse visits: If you are not feeling well, you may ask to see the nurse.

    • During passing periods, students are to go directly to their classrooms and ask for a pass to the nurse from their teacher. Only EMERGENCIES can go directly to the nurse without a pass such as: vomiting, injury, health condition such as diabetic and feminine needs.
    • No student should be sent to the health office during the first ten minutes of class. Unless there is an emergency.
    • Students violating dress code are to go to the health office immediately.
    • Health Office is a place to sleep. Beds are for ill students that are going home.
    • Students MUST sign in when visiting the health office at all times No Exceptions.
    • There are no medications in the health office given to students (Tylenol only) without a call to parents and none given in the first and last hour of the school day. The health office does not give allergy or stomach medication.


    Section 5: Safety

    My number one priority is to ensure you are safe in the classroom. There are sharp objects, heavy equipment, and health hazards in our class.

    Crystalline silica can scar your lung tissue and cause irreversible loss of breathing capacity. Clay & glazes contain silica. When silica becomes air born (a powder in the air) it can easily be inhaled. Silica is the finest, least visible particle that can stay in the air for hours and is the most dangerous because they are easily inhaled because the air looks clear when it is not.  

    Prevent dust from forming in the class by:

    • Use a damp sponge to clean up
    • Don’t sweep clay onto the floor; if it drops, pick it up
    • Don’t shake, bang, or tap clay materials or tools, including your hands
    • Don’t let the clay dry out (until it is artwork ready to be fired)
    • If whatever you are doing makes dust, do not do it
    • Think before you act

    Clay can also be an incubation for mold growth, so keep your hands clean when you are touching the clay and follow instructions given by the teacher. Pay attention to instructions on how to use equipment properly.

    What to do to be safe:

    • ALWAYS clean up with water (use a damp sponge)
    • Avoid excessive dust exposure
    • Do not eat or drink in the ceramic lab (your workspace).
    • Do not smoke (or vape) in the ceramics class (Not that this is allowed…)
    • Wash your hands after working

    **This syllabus is subject to change per teacher’s request.


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