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Re: Keeping a "work journal"


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 14 2001 - 15:24:44 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
 Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
In a message dated 07/13/2001 8:51:44 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
I was considering having the kids bring a large loose leaf binder for a
sketchbook--then they could punch holes in drawing paper to fill it
up--plus add any specialty paper--tissue, acetate, construction paper,
quadrile ruled paper etc.-- they might like. They could also keep a
scanned or digital printout of every assignment along with their grade
rubrics as we go along so that it would represent not just a sketchtbook
for ideas and plans, but also a portfolio of their progress. What do you
think of this??? Sid

Buying a good sketchbook is very expensive and this way they could do
Thanks for the idea, Ken Schwab ...San Jose CA ---

Although I seem to be in the minority of art teachers who don't DO
sketchbooks, my advanced year art 8th grade classes keep work journals.
These are art least those with 9x12" perimeters...they do
throughout the year as well as handouts used for the project, worksheets,
thumbnail sketches, reflections & assessments, and anything else pertaining
to each project. I keep all work in a file cabinet during the year and about
4x a year we sort these piles and they add them to their "binder" which
uses a binding machine using plastic binding strips to bind their

The really nice thing about using a binding machine is once you make the
initial investment for the machine, all you need to get from then on are the
binding strips which are scant pennies per child. Your cost each year
basically goes away after one year so it's CHEAP!

The students are taught early on how to "bind" so it's not a biggie for
me....or sometimes they just make their pile of stuff and slip into the
binder and my student aide binds them later. The only thing I need to do is
help them sort through the piles vebally and tell them the sequence in which
to put everything.

The covers are made as a diff. project (which I can discuss later if someone
wants to know) and laminated to add strength. I take 35mm pics of many
examples and these are put on 9x12" const. paper and added into the piles. I
also add in an empty title page in each of the binders for later.

Near the end of the year kids fill out this title page listing their name
and other interesting things about themselves like age, favorite
things.....and lots of space for autographs so everyone in the class can
sign each book. The students will later remember who was in their class. The
back page of the binder lists other things about the class like assessing
their favorite project of the year and other general writing prompts about
what went on during the year.

Occasionally a few projects don't make it home but you better believe this
binded artwork is treasured by the kids as it looks REALLY professional.