The students I'm privileged to work with come from diverse backgrounds, both ethnically and socioeconomically, including 37% Hispanic, 25% Asian, and 25% White. Almost 30% of our students come from low-income families, and 11% are English Language Learners. These middle school students are ready to be challenged with complex ideas and interesting materials.
Our students have experienced little exposure to art materials or projects that have the potential to stimulate their creative thinking, encourage self-esteem, and build empathy.
Many of these students need to build confidence in life and academic skills so they can gain self-motivation to overcome conflict. Also, our students who have been traditionally marginalized are in need of more opportunity in the arts, including kinesthetic learning that ceramics can provide.
Art is more accessible to students with disabilities, and our school is comprised of a larger average (50% of all students) than that of other schools in the state. This intermediate school has 7th and 8th graders, and I will have at least 350 of the 800 students each year in my art classes, as well as an addition 30 students each week who choose to come for art club.
We are excited to begin our journey into clay making, and having wire shelving and storage bags will help to complete our needs. Clay pieces require a significant amount of time for drying before they are put into the kiln, and with the wire shelving and storage bags, students will having a safe place to store their wet clay, leather hard clay, and greenware.
The plastic bags help keep the clay wet while students are in the process of working on their pieces.
Students are excited to begin their clay-making projects, and these materials will be a part of the safety and organization of their individual pieces.
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