Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Garden Gnomes, Owls and Minions, Oh My! + Notes That Have Made Teaching Clay Easier For Me!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know, we are finished with clay in the art room. Now is the time we sit and wait for them to dry and then I will take them to the high school to get fired. We don't have a kiln, so the high school ceramic's teacher fires them for us. How nice is that?

For most of my students, this is their first time working with clay. I have to say, I am one proud teacher, they rocked it!

Check, check, check it out!!


6th and 8th grade work in its entirety, phew!!




6th grade students worked on pinch pot fish and owls


7th graders made pinch pot minions




8th graders made a 3 pinch pot Garden Gnome


Things that I am learning about teaching clay and ceramics:

  • If you are teaching more than one grade, teach all your clay projects at one time. Meaning have a week set up where each class does clay. Your room is going to get messy, but it will get messy all at once, not from week to week when you stagger your projects. Trust me, your janitor will thank you for it! * Our janitor is super kind, a parent and he works hard at his job. He hasn't complained once about the messy art room and he is always excited to see the art that the students are making. 
  • Make sure you have something to put the clay on for each student. When I was student teaching, a parent had made each student a clay board for their work. I don't have that at my school but a teacher gifted us a roll of paper that is used at their chicken farm. I rolled the paper all over the desks and kept it till we were done with our projects. My last period class rolled it up and threw it away. This kept our tables clean and clean up was easy to delegate.
  • Write clay vocabulary on the board so you can refer back to it when students have questions. Students are going to forget slip and score, but if it's on the board they know where to look to see what they are supposed to do. If they forgot, you can bet another student will say "it's on the board"
  • Make examples and have pictures up of other examples. If you are lucky enough to have an active board, have images up that they can reference. I passed around my fired ceramic gnome with the glaze so students could feel and see what the end product would look like. For the visual learners, this is key!
  • Have a rubric! ( For some reason I didn't save mine on the computer but I might scan some in for you)

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