• Beginning Ceramics Course Syllabus

    Higley High School 2019-2020

    Mrs. Cami McClellan
    (480) 279-7369

    Open Lab Hours:  Tuesday & Thursday 2:15-2:50 PM or by appointment

    Course Syllabus Acknowledgement Forms: 

    Student Acknowledgement Form

    Parent Acknowledgement Form


    Section I: Introduction

    Course Description: Students will explore the nature of clay and glazes, hand building 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

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

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

    Course Fee:

    A course fee for the entire year is $50, or $25 per semester. Please pay this fee in the bookstore as soon as possible.  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:

    • Spiral Bound Sketchbook or Notebook (No sketch pads!! (they fall apart))
    • Project Tracker (this will be given out in class)
    • Eraser, Pen, Regular Pencil (used for writing and using with clay)
    • Plastic Grocery Bags
    • Combination lock
    • Colored Pencils (12-24 pack)

    Other optional items:

    • Apron/Old T-shirt
    • Small, Old hand Towel
    • Hand Lotion

    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 other materials to use in the Ceramics classroom. 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, written examinations/evaluations, objectives, completion of projects and class work 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:

    • 60%       Projects/Quizzes/Critiques
    • 20%       Daily Performance
    • 20%       Final: (10%) Multiple Choice Final Exam, (10%) Final Project

    Projects/Quizzes/Critiques: (60%)

    The Project Tracker will be given for specific project due dates and will be expected to be followed. This is a great way to track the progress of your grade. *No late work will be accepted.

    Projects will be graded and entered into the gradebook four times: Sketches, Greenware, Glazeware & Completion. At each step, you will need to get Mrs. McClellan’s initials on your Project Tracker. Here is the breakdown of each step in the process:

    Sketches: (10 - 25 points/project)   Sketches will be based off of completion, effort and creativity of ideas. Sketches will usually require brainstorming sketches and then five sketches of the final design from the following viewpoints: front, back, right side, left side & top.

    Greenware: (50 points/project)  The first step in the Process of Clay, once a project has been constructed and is ready to dry out for its first firing in the kiln. This stage will be graded using the following: requirements met, craftsmanship, effort/perseverance and clean-up.

    Glazeware: (10 - 20 points/project)  At the third step in the Process of Clay, once a project has been bisque fired, a layer of glaze will be applied to the artwork. This grade will be graded on completion/requirements, creativity and clean-up.

    Completion: (100 points/project)  Once a project has been completed in its entirety, a grade will be given based on the use of elements of art & principles of design, activation of physical space, creativity & originality, effort & perseverance, craftsmanship & skill and technical competence, clean-up and skill with materials.

    Quizzes will be given periodically throughout the semester in testing skills, techniques, vocabulary and other objectives taught in the course. Some will be pass/fail; others will be graded on the point system. 

    Critiques will be conducted throughout the year. These critiques will range from a class discussion, individual self-reflection, peer critiques, art walks and many other formats.

    Daily Performance: (20%)

    Weekly Performance Points: Each day a student will earn ten points performance points by completing the assignments and projects as assigned including cleaning-up. If a student is not working on the assignment(s) given, it is up to the teacher’s discretion how many points will be deducted.

    Classroom Assignments might include a worksheet, essay, handout, sketches or cleaning assignment for that day. 

    Final: (20%) Written/Multiple Choice Final Exam, Semester Final Project

    Multiple Choice Final: (10%) A multiple choice and/or essay exam will be given at the end of each semester to evaluate the progress of each student.

    Final Project: (10%) A final project will be created to complete this grade at the end of the semester. This Final Project will be entered twice into the grade book, once under Project completion, then again under Final (Project). This final project is heavily weighted and should demonstrate knowledge of the skills, terms, techniques and progress each student has made throughout each semester.

    ParentVue/StudentVue: Grades will be updated weekly

    Curriculum: Beginning Ceramics is broken up into two classes, Handbuilders and Throwers. If you choose to throw, you will be committed to throw for the entire year. Throwing is a skill that may come naturally to some, but a struggle for others. Dedication and persistence and hard work are the keys to throwing on the wheel. The remainder of the class will be handbuilding. Demonstrations will be conducted for both handbuilders and throwers and both groups are expected to learn and know the information presented from both groups. You will be given a time to sign up on a first come, first serve basis.

    Section 3: Department Level Policies:

    Attendance Policy:

    Absences in Ceramics: Because projects cannot 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 arrange a time to come in after school with Mrs. McClellan.

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

    1st tardy – warning
    2nd tardy – contact parent(s)
    3rd tardy – ASD
    4th tardy - Referral

    Section 4: Classroom Particulars

    Classroom Expectations/Rules:

    1. Clean-up
    2. Appropriate Language
    3. 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). Put it 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, you will be asked to turn it in. Each class will get three strikes to use your cell phones appropriately. After the third stroke, no cell phones will be allowed to be used in class for one week.

    If you are listening to music in class, please only use one ear bud or turn your music way down to ensure you can hear the teacher in the classroom.   

    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 ASD
                  4th infraction: Referral

    After School Detention (ASD):

    After School Detention (ASD) will be assigned to a student for excessive tardiness, and misbehavior in class. ASD will take place in my classroom right after school from 2:20 – 2:50. If these issues do no improve, further discipline will be made by an administrator. If you are late, you will be marked as a no-show and You will need to serve ASD two times. 

    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. Be sure to sign out on the clipboard at Mrs. McClellan’s desk with your name, where you are going, the date, the time you left and when you return back to class. You may not use the restroom in the first 10 minutes of class or last 10 minutes of class. Be sure to use the restroom in the 200 building, it’s unacceptable to use the restroom in another building.

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