Thunder Valley Art Syllabus

Art students at Thunder Valley will gain an awareness of the Elements of Art and employ the Principles of Design to develop their own unique style through creating both two and three-dimensional materials and media. Students will have the opportunity to write about and discuss their own works and the works of others. A big emphasis is placed on Studio Citizenship–practices that ensure a safe and successful art experience for all students, of all abilities and interest levels.


Students will be able to:

  • Create artworks using a variety of media and techniques.
  • Learn the importance of planning and sketching as part of the creative process.
  • Analyze and reflect on their artwork and other students’ artwork through written and oral critique.
  • Expand their use of content specific vocabulary in explaining and justifying artistic choices.
  • Begin a digital collection of their artwork with their iPad that demonstrates increasing skill and ability.
  • Create and maintain a sketchbook in which to keep class notes, sketches, observational items and vocabulary.
  • Ask questions, inquire, and think creatively without judgement.

Just as you have high expectations for me as your teacher, I have high expectations for you as my student. I expect you to come to class every day prepared with a pencil, eraser, and charged iPad. While you are here, please be responsible with supplies and always be on task to do your best work. If you cannot complete a project or assignment on time, it is your responsibility to speak with me about an extension. Unexcused or missing work will result in an incomplete or failing grade.


The middle school art room, art materials and tools are shared by approximately 180 students every day day, every week, during each quarter. In addition to the school wide classroom expectations and discipline policy, this set of common sense studio guidelines ensures a safe and successful art experience for all students. If you’ve had an art class with me in the past, you are expected to demonstrate these four expectations for new students.


Due to the nature of an art studio, there are tools and materials that may cause injury. DO NOT run, wrestle, jump/slide over tables, throw materials, paint/draw on anything other than canvas/paper/cardboard etc. Eating is not allowed in the art studio, but you may have water.


Respect is earned through giving respect. Respect other students’ belongings, artwork and opinions.


Be honest and accountable for your actions, and treat all tools and materials as if they were your own. Leave your table and surrounding floor neat for students after you. Malicious or intentional damages will be the responsibility of the student/student’s family.


If you have any questions about missing work, assignments, or how to use certain tools or materials, please ask! This extends to problems in and out of school. Please consider me a resource if you need to talk to an adult, have a problem with another student, or need to get something off your chest.


Effective artists and designers constantly practice drawing skills in journals or sketchbooks. As part of the middle school art program, students will keep a sketchbook to plan works of art and record notes. Sketchbooks willl be created in the art room, and kept in the lockers beneath the tables.


All major assignments, tests, and quizzes will be completed through Schoology. This cuts down on paper use and ensures that all materials are available to you at all times. All projects are broken down in to sequential steps, and should be completed in order. A screenshot is below:


Students will be able to turn in major assignments through Schoology, using their iPad Mini to take a photograph and submit. Projects will be marked as missing until then. If you are having problems with your iPad and are unable to complete work, please let me know as soon as possible to make other arrangements.


Students will have 2 days for each day absent to make up work.  Work may be made up during recess and/or lunch, during free time in class, or after school (please see me if you need time to work after school).


Students will be docked 10% for late work.  We will be implementing a zero day periodically.  It will be listed on the students and teacher calendars and at that point any missing learning activities will be marked as zeros and unable to make up. Work will also be a zero  if it is not made up by the end of the unit if that is before zero day. This will encourage students to take responsibility of their time and work.


Art projects and sketch assignments are graded using grading rubrics that are self-graded by the student before being reviewed by me. Rubrics will focus on concepts that you will be able to master during our 9 week quarter. These include your understanding ofart skills & vocabulary, craftsmanship, problem solving, originality/creativity, and self-reflection. Levels of mastery for each project are aligned with CDE Grade Level Expectations in Visual Arts (see attachments for your grade leve). In addition I will be evaluating your use of class time to develop your skills and ability complete your projects and assignments. I believe this to be very important in your artistic development. Grades will be posted via infinite campus.

We use the district-wide grading system:

30% Learning Activities (everyday assignments)
70% Assessments


Student work represents an advanced level of sophistication and understanding.
90-100% (A)
Student work represents above grade level of understanding.
80-89% (B)
Student work represents grade level understanding.
70-79% (C)
Student work shows movement towards proficiency.
60-69% (D)
Student work represents difficulty understanding and applying grade level
content, or incomplete work.
0-59% (U)