Ceramics –Course Syllabus

    Instructor: Liz Cooper

    Email: elizabeth.cooper@washoeschools.net


    Ceramics 1/2: Students will create artwork focusing on various hand-building techniques. Various glazing and finishing techniques will be explored throughout the course. All projects will incorporate decoration, glazing, and the aesthetics of the elements and principles of design. Students will be required to sketch ideas, research inspiration, and to engage in class critiques and discussions.  Original ideas only in this classroom.  Plagiarism and intellectual property will be discussed and students will be continually reminded to create their own ideas, not to recreate artwork that already exists in the world.  Students will participate in critiques of their own work and the work of others based on the elements and principles as well as the evaluation of the craftsmanship of the work. Art history and research of various ceramic artists and/or periods of time will be part of the course curriculum along with contemporary artists and processes.


    Ceramics 3/4, 5/6, 7/8: These classes are for intermediate and advanced students who want to learn advanced ceramics techniques. Ceramics 3/4 is for students who excelled in Ceramics 1/2 with a strong desire to further develop skill and technique. Advanced projects will be assigned. Individual improvement and the ability to work independently will be emphasized. Sketching, designing, and revising plans before building will be required. Students will use hand-building techniques and the potter’s wheel to complete both the instructor’s assignments and the student’s own ideas. Advanced students will be required to create a body of work that represents their personal aesthetic and skill.  Students will participate in the Scholastic Art Awards as well as be presented with various other opportunities for local and community displays of their artwork. *Advanced students are asked to bring an old t-shirt and/or sweats to wear over their clothing for the pottery wheel unless they prefer to wear only an apron to protect their clothing.



    Please Come Prepared: All students will need to bring a pencil and planner to class each day as well as a willingness to participate, engage with the content, and learn. No passes will be given to students without a planner.  Late students will require a swipe pass to enter the classroom.

    Lab Fee: There is a mandatory $40 lab fee for this class.  The money is used to purchase all the materials students will use in this class. *Fee waivers available with the bookkeeper.

    Assignments & Grades: Each student will be required to complete the assignments to the best of his or her ability. The students will be given specific grading criteria and rubrics for each assignment including writing reflections for each assignment.

    Classroom Process Points: Each student will daily rate their participation and class process level from a 0-10 scale depending on how much they worked in class daily.  Students are expected to accurately represent their points.  Coming in to class on time, getting to work and focusing for the entire class would be 10 points.  Arriving late, spending excessive time on phones, distracting others, not cleaning up, causing disruptions or not working will all decrease your points.


    Grading Structure:

    Classroom Process Points: 30%

    Projects/Assessments: 50%

    Final Exam: 20%


    Cell Phone Policy: In our modern world, as human beings, we all need to understand when and where cell phone use is and is not appropriate.  If you choose to spend your entire class staring at your phone, you must learn the consequences of this action.  In my classroom, you are welcome to have your electronic device available to listen to music during worktime as long as one headphone is left out so that I can communicate with you.  Please respect the classroom and when direct instruction is happening or we are having class critiques, refrain from using your cell phones so that you may be fully engaged in the content.


    Social Media: We do have an Instagram account for this class, @panthersceramics I will frequently take photos of your work in progress and completed to display on social media.  If you would like to see what we are creating in class, I encourage you to follow. This not a requirement, just a platform to display student artwork to the community.


    Classroom Procedures/Expectations: Personal discipline and ATTENDANCE is vital to the success of the ceramics room.  Class begins with ten minutes of silent work time on a daily basis. Students should maintain self-control, be ready to learn, be respectful to others, and care for materials. Empathy towards others is a cornerstone of the classroom and students will be held to a high expectation of mutual respect towards their classmates. This is and will continue to be a safe place. (See class contract and the school wide progressive discipline plan for additional details)


    Behavior: Students are expected to behave as mature human beings in the Ceramics classroom.  Violations of the school behavior policies and/or classroom contract will result in home contact and processes towards minor and major behavior referrals.


    Absences: It is the responsibility of the student to make up all classwork missed due to being absent. Attendance is vital to your success and growth in this classroom. It is also the student’s responsibility to obtain any notes, handouts, directions, or other information from the teacher, and request extra time if necessary. Students will receive zero process points for absent days and must make up the points during GRIT class. Students are wholly responsible for taking ownership and making up any missed class time due to absences.


    Late Work: Late work will be accepted until the end of each 9 week period. Late work will automatically lose 25% of the possible points. Students who are failing and need to bring their grade up can work with the teacher to make up late assignments after the deadline, but will only be able to earn up to 60% credit and only through the current semester.


    *If a student needs extra help or time to work on a project and/or to make up absent days process points outside of the regular class time, the student needs to schedule time to come in during GRIT on Wednesday or Friday.   





    Please take this syllabus home with you to share with your guardian, have it signed, and bring it back. The top portion of this form is for you to keep.


    Student:______________________________________________  Period:__________ Date:______________



    Guardian:______________________________________________   Date:______________