Organizing Thoughts and Ideas With Interactive Sketchbooks!
My students need individual sketchbooks to use in art class for the entire semester. These 80 page sketchbooks open flat so students can create interactive pages to build skills, reflect, and experiment with materials and techniques.
At my rural middle school, I'm incredibly fortunate to teach bright and fun-loving students who are eager to experiment with new ideas, materials, and techniques and like to apply their learning in art class to their schoolwork and the real world. My students are getting better at learning to be persistent in their work habits and it is my goal that having individual sketchbooks will help them develop this skill.
My students are generally considerate individuals who rise to meet expectations and treat each other, personal property, and our school with care and respect.
For example, we have the oldest "new" middle school facility in my system (25 years old) and it appears to be one of the newest because mistreatment of property at my school is so rare! I anticipate they will take pride and treat their sketchbooks with care, as well.
The community in which my school is located is still working hard to rebound from an economic decline that occurred several years ago. When encouraged, my students are hard workers, too. Another one of my goals is for students to see the connection between hard work and improved skills by documenting this progress in their sketchbooks.
My students draw every day in my art class. Due to economics, asking my students to buy a sketchbook for class is less than ideal. My current practice is to provide one sheet of copy paper per student that's divided into 8 sections - 4 on front and 4 on back. Students use this page until full, then I provide another. While this is working fairly well as a place for notes and sketches, the individual pages fall far short in providing the many positive learning benefits of the interactive sketchbook. While my students are AWESOME, they are often unorganized and spend much time getting ready to work. The interactive sketchbook is an extremely needed tool that we'll use to organize learning, notes, thoughts, plans, and even some supplies.
By funding my project, each of my students will possess their own individual sketchbook, which we'll build into an INTERACTIVE sketchbook - a place to organize thoughts, encourage idea development, document artistic growth, build skills and experiment, and share with peers and stakeholders.
In addition to building vocabulary, practicing newly learned skills, and compiling a portfolio of work, students can take ownership in their sketchbook and their progress as they record and share their artistic advancement.
My student's work is very process-oriented. Interactive sketchbooks allow for organization of these processes for review, future use, technique reflection and expansion. Additionally, by recording their efforts in their sketchbooks, successes and hard work are evident regardless of final project outcome. As a portfolio, the interactive sketchbook chronicles student progress, but it also allows students to identify more challenging assignments so they can work in a series making future attempts using new skills and ideas for success! Sharing their sketchbooks with peers and others broadens their learning community for extended collaboration and more personal growth!
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