More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
Professional Portfolios: Teaching How to Build and Maintain
My students need portfolios that keep their artwork safe, in good condition, and ready for their final presentations. This will impact years of subsequent students.
There is nothing worse than creating a masterpiece and finding it crumpled up in the corner of a flimsy paper folder. My students, and years of students after them, need sturdy portfolios that live in the classroom and safely, securely hold their beautiful artwork.
My Art students are awesome, funny, sharp and inventive.
They make every day exciting and challenging. Our school provides a rigorous education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to traditionally under-served high school students in Orleans Parish. It is among the very few open-admissions science and math high schools in the country. No test scores or prior GPA are required. We actively recruit students whom selective schools might turn away, and we commit to improving their achievement. More fun facts: we have 72% percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and a 93% graduation rate. One downside to our incredible offerings in Math and Science is that our "Art Department" consists solely of me and our resources are limited. I am working hard to build an Art class that is competitive with the more selective and privileged schools right around the corner.
Last year we tried using large sheets of butcher paper folded in half and stapled up the side. Students would lay these "portfolios" on top of one another. These worked for the drawing unit, but once our work got more advanced, incorporating 3D elements and varied media, they began to rip and the work inside was damaged. Students began to store their work elsewhere as it became obvious that these folders weren't keeping it in good condition. I want to build a storage shelving system in my classroom with the stronger, but still affordable, cardboard portfolios. In this system, students can easily slide out their vertically placed portfolio, place their work inside, and slide back in. Placing them vertically will also prevent the stray student from placing a crumpled up smock or sculpture on the stack of laid-flat folders, further crushing the contents. I've seen this system work at more privileged schools and I want my students to get the same quality of storage.
My project is important because when students are able to safely store their work and build a portfolio, it gives them a visceral sense of their growth and enables us to have effective, rich final presentations of their work.
Portfolio maintenance and reflection is an essential skill for all student serious about their passions, and especially for the many students who discover that they want to pursue art in college or other post-secondary pursuits.
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