Throughout this school year (after it has had its turn adorning our hallways), student artwork has been gathering in portfolios. Each student has a portfolio created from poster board bearing his/her name, large enough for those nice big papers we like to work on. During the week leading up to Winter Break, I got the chance to conference with individual students when time and independent work allowed for it. We viewed the pieces in their portfolio, discussed which of their artworks they were the most proud of and why, and worked to recall the artistic process of that piece. Although there was some amount of “because I like it” in response to the question of why, I was amazed by how many students were able to verbalize their reasoning with only a small amount of prompting.
I hope to provide further support to students for talking about their artwork with confidence and taking pride in their artistic accomplishments. For the next cycle, I will be sure to allot more time for the process of choosing portfolio pieces. I was not able to meet with all of the students in the stretch I planned, and will be meeting with more in the coming weeks. I would like for students to have the chance to show off their work and have a conversation about it with the attendees of conferences. The artwork selected through this process will remain at DAA in each student’s portfolio while the rest go home to be enjoyed there!
This procedure will be repeated later on in the school year, with the additional element of written reflections where appropriate. Near the end of the school year, students will decide on one final piece from the small pool of previously selected artwork. That piece will remain in their portfolio to be carried on to the next grade level, until they have a body of work exhibiting years of artistic progress by the time they graduate!