Hi Terry, I have a couple of buckets (5 gal) where kids get their clay daily. If it's empty I'll get some new clay. If it's too hard they need to cheese hole it and dunk it in water and work it up on the plaster table. If it's too squishy they need to work it up on the plaster table. If they don't work they lose their participation points. I have 6 tables and if the tables are left messy, all the kids at that table lose their participation points. They have to put their work away, put tools away and mop the tables every hour. I keep all the tools in a large tub in the back. They don't have to wash them, just put them back--that doesn't seem to bother them, but they all hate to work up clay. I have a recycle bucket on the floor where they put dry clay--or clay so hard that they can't work it. When the bucket gets full I add water and soak it for about 15 minutes, then I drain it an leave it for them to deal with. I used to feel that I had to break it all up first, but now I just soak it. I must a
dmit that this constant recycling of the clay presents problems for the wheel, but after they try once, the moisture level evens out and they can throw. I have large classes (38 sometimes) and one sink. We all have to move to function in a 53 minute period. My participation points ( work every day, clean up, try) end up being 1/2 of their grade, so participating is not optional. My classes are really crowded because many more people want to take pottery than I have room for so I spend some time at the beginning of the year telling them they will love this class and they are really lucky they got in and if there's anyone who doesn't want to be there and work, tell me now and I'll get you moved right away.
>>> Terry Marney <email@example.com> 08/09/08 8:42 AM >>>
Hi all. I've been teaching art at the high school level for a few years now and am looking for ideas for my clay class. It's an introductory level class. I'm looking for suggestions on how to get students to pitch in and be responsible for clay cleanup. We have a recycled clay bin, which nobody ever wants to mix. Nobody ever wants to load the plaster trough with wet recycled clay. Clay tools are haphazardly cleaned and left wherever. How do others make kids accountable for those types of jobs without constantly nagging? I've tried making a poster to keep track of who does what. I've told them that studio maintenance is worth 25% of their grade. They just don't take it seriously and then are shocked when their grades aren't great. Any suggestions? I'd love to look at any rubrics or other ideas!Terry