This Week in the Classroom: Quality from a Student

Finished only one true project this week in the shop.  Instead of trying to complete projects with the students, I slowed down and tried to focus on the journey, and focus on quality.  What does it look like in my shop, and do I  facilitate it, or do my students discover it for themselves?  What does that excellence look like?  What qualities does it have so I can hopefully repeat it, scale it and explain it? First – basic skills.  I had two demonstrations of excellent basic skills.  This happened early Monday morning, a harbinger of things A square cut … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Quality from a Student

This Week In the Classroom: New Tools and Old Tools In the Shop (It’s Not What You Think)

Just got the best new, free tool in the woodshop today.  It looks like this: It’s a printed out (thank god the paper-waster nazi wasn’t around) version of the ENTIRE trilogy of Mission Furniture and How to Make It published by Project Gutenberg via Popular Mechanics from 1910.  The students flip through it and find examples of furniture they like.  Mission furniture has a good chance of becoming my “house” style.  It’s a book of dreams, I tell you. This is a photo of our lumber processing center mid-process.  We bring in old lumber, this case a pallet, and set … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: New Tools and Old Tools In the Shop (It’s Not What You Think)

This Week In the Classroom: Progress in 2011

What a  student-driven,  project-based learning  can result in: The joints look remarkably tight in this photo, and the stain quite even, but don’t be fooled.  This is about as rough as work gets.  (Not including the Clock, which may be finished and rejected this week…)   It was the first attempt at an entire project like this by the student.  He cut the wood from the original 1×11, sanded the parts to his specifications, measured and attached the handle without major intervention by the teacher.  Pretty darn good for a nine-year old. Here’s the first piece of “indoor quality”, or rather, … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Progress in 2011

This Week In the Classroom: Curriculum Plan for Spring of 2011

Good week for struggles and not-quite-there-yets in the woodshop this week.  Three projects left the floor complete.  The first, chalkboard that has been wind-blown, vandalized and otherwise destroyed three times.  We’ll see if it sticks this time. The other two projects I failed to take a picture of.  On Mon or Tues, I’ll put up a picture of those two projects.   I spent a majority of my time this week networking with the community-at-large and negotiating class objectives with other teachers.  I have a few interesting classes being put together: Two Art Car themed classes. One focuses on building … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Curriculum Plan for Spring of 2011

This Week in the Classroom: The Endtable Project

This fall, I became a full-time woodshop-esque teacher in a private school for students with neurological differences. It’s been a wild ride. My first order of business has been to outfit and carve out a woodshop on the campus. As we don’t have much access to electricity, I’ve been concentrating on hand tool mastery and supplementing projects with my personal shop tools. We also have made a commitment to use recycled materials when possible. Every piece on these tables is recycled: the bases and top supports are pallet lumber, the center posts are salvaged studs or oak used by oil … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Endtable Project