Mrs. MacDonald teaches art classes to students in grades Pre-K, 4th, and 5th, as well as grades 6-8 students. All grades K-8 students at Porter participate in art for 60 days in a trimester.
There are additional classes offered as an elective class to middle school students. First trimester elective consisted of a grades 6 and 7 “Art X” (art extension) class. Second trimester elective consists of a Life Drawing class combining grades 6-8 students. Third trimester is TBD!
Teaching Philosophy: All students have an innate desire to be creative. The visual arts is unique in that each student formulates an opinion about his or her own work by making choices that match their personal aesthetic. In addition, students thrive when they are encouraged to explore art materials and become comfortable with many art techniques. Most of the time, I introduce and facilitate the process, stepping back to allow students the freedom to make artistic choices. The visual arts classroom teaches students that they can explore their ideas in a safe environment while being encouraged to take creative risks. Students know they have space in the art room to work out their ideas.
Grading: Each student receives a weekly grade for his/her work and work ethic during that class period. This is in the form of self-reflection. This is entered once a week and is 30% of their grade. The remaining 70% of their grades are for art projects completed.
Mrs. MacDonald is the sponsor of the Porter chapter of the National Junior Art Honor Society. The Society creates murals, begins publishing the Porter Press this year, the first school newspaper, as well as organizes fundraisers and school spirit-related events. Mrs. MacDonald also works with Christina Burdzy-Herrick as an advisor to the Student Mentor Program. Mrs. MacDonald has taught at Porter for 16 years, starting her career as a non-objective painter. She graduated with honors from The Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in 1993, and holds a Masters in Education, Multiple Intelligences from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford. In addition, Mrs. MacDonald is also a Pastor at the River of Life Christian Fellowship in Tolland, has two grown children and a new daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, sings and plays guitar, and has been working hard to learn to play piano!
Student Behavior Expectations:
All students in Visual Art Class are expected to practice the Porter P.A.W.S. Pledge:
“We Practice Respect
We Act Responsibly
We Work Together
We Are Proud Panthers!”