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 Butterfly Bench & Butterfly Growers

I missed Monday and Tuesday this week – my wife was in the hospital with a parasite.  Luckily, the parasite left on his own and we’ve named him Jack.  Jack is our second son, born on Sun 13 at 5:30am.  A whopping 8 lbs.  A beautiful boy. But this blog is about woodshop & teaching.  Looking over the 3 and a half days this week, the students accomplished many things. First, they braved the cold – it’s 40 deg here in Houston and while it didn’t put me out much, my student’s had a difficult time with the weather.  Especially … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: The Butterfly Bench & Butterfly Growers

Community Watch: Pine Wood Derby Clinics

Saw this during half-time in last week’s Jets-Colts game over at http://www.coptool.com. It seems Lowe’s and Dremel will be sponsoring clinics on how to make Pinewood Derby cars. I may have to take a spin by and see if I can snag a few kits. Might have a week-long science lab project there.  I should at least get two sets.  If only to make one for each son  (they are nineteen months and five days old, don’t gimme the “they need to be involved speech”)… Continue reading Community Watch: Pine Wood Derby Clinics

This Week in the Classroom: Squiggle ‘Bots

Here’s a line on what pre-school should be – I actually thought I invented this project a few years ago when I worked with primary school-age kids in VA.  Obviously, I did not – it’s just rumblin’ around out there in the knowledge sphere. Teacher Tom goes into some of the skills those little guys learn, but I love building these things out of paper cups, markers and hot glue.  Even though the hot glue can get dangerous, I find this project is simple enough that the kids learn to use and respect the tool without having a tricky joint … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Squiggle ‘Bots

This Week in the Classroom: Mobile Base (The Volleyball Court)

Two weeks ago, my colleague and I had an interesting revelation.  While installing a basketball hoop, we had extra cement.  I had a shovel-ready stimulus bill waiting for him.  It looked something like this: Which looks exactly like it is (brilliant statement there).  It’s a empty tire (the rims lost to another project) with a wood bottom/plug.  The metal thing in the middle is some sort of salvaged structural bracket which can hold a two inch pole of PVC or galvanized piping.  Two eyebolts/lag bolts can be cranked onto the pole in order to secure it to the base.  Being … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Mobile Base (The Volleyball Court)

A Statement to Begin

Howdy – I’m a mid-twenties, early-career, woodshop-esque teacher in an environmental science program in a very progressive therapeutic private school for students with neurological differences.  My job involves a little of everything: lesson planning, curriculum building, community outreach, technology literacy (hence this blog), gardening, erecting permanent structures on campus, wearing a tool belt, generally being awesome and so on. I’m a Texan by way of Virginia (like the original hero in the original western, The Virginian by Owen Wister) with die-hard Boston/Maine family connections and a love of the Pats and BoSox.  I graduated from Virginia Tech in ’05 with … Continue reading A Statement to Begin