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Now I send a letter to each students' parents at the beginning of the year
telling them of the four times in the year they will have a formal chance to
see their childs' work: PTA Open House, A Portfolio Night I have in January so
they can see the first semester's progress (and read their child's self
critique of the work to date), the school art show, and then the end of the
year critique. I also include a list of the homework assignments and due dates
for the year and ask them to help their son or daughter "remember."
Near the end of the year, I have the students go through their portfolios and
write a critique including an overall assessment, favorite piece, etc. Then I
staple that to a letter to the parents about the success of the school year,
thanking them for their support, attending events, etc., and ask them to go
through the portfolio with their son or daughter. Then I have a checklist for
them to fill out stating that they have seen specific things (sculptures,
booklets, etc.). I then ask for their critique on the work and comments and
suggestions for the art program. The student receives a homework grade for
returning the sheets within the next week or so.
I get the work out of my room, into the hands of the parents, and rave reviews
to boot. Seeing the work, or lack of it, also helps explain low grades.
Parents know I have a worthwhile curriculm and my ducks in some sort of row.
If you would like a sample of the letter and forms I will send them to anyone