This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

As a parent, I know that art projects can be a mixed blessing.  Some are breathtaking.  Most should go in the circular file.  Worse still are things my kids build – they fall apart and break.  They take up space. God save me if my sons bring home noise-making pieces of art they have built. As a teacher, I conveniently ignore my own good sense.  I present wind chimes built in preparation for Mother’s Day as part of our “building music” unit. Make it safe and keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

For the past three spring semesters (way back to my work at Citizen Schools) I have led a team of students in the design and construction of an Art Car.  An Art Car, if you don’t know, is an embellished vehicle of some sort.  Last year, I ran a sharkcar, the year before, a gatortruck.  This year, I received permission to use the school bus.  We run our car in The Houston Art Car Parade every second Saturday in May. Of course, whatever I did had to be removable.  Nothing like a challenge. Over two months my students designed, cut out, painted … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

Little Toy Trucks

Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm, Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm. Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm. Take me riding in the car, car; Take me riding in the car, car; Take you riding in the car, car; I’ll take you riding in my car. — The Car Song, Woody Guthrie   Continue reading Little Toy Trucks

This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve let y’all into the woodshop at work.  We’ve been building the “simple bench”.  If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love building benches – butterfly benches, green benches, small benches and long benches.  My boys have been working off this pattern: And I give them lots of flexibility in said pattern.  We started with three 3 foot lengths of 1×12 stock.  The students then cut their bench seats to any length as I rip the rest of the stock into 3 1/2″ strips for the aprons and 5 1/2″ strips … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: The Simple Bench

Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair

You’ve been to a science fair, right?  Tri-fold boards, volcanoes and blue ribbons.  This month, my colleagues and I shepherded the “STEM Fair” into existence.  The STEM Fair is a showcase for any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math project our students produced over the course of a month.  My school produced forty to fifty blog posts, hundreds of digital pictures, a dozen two minute videos, thirty presentations and about ten individual physical showcases.  I have a room filled with Japanese art-chemistry, rocket cars, rockets of various propulsion methods, a small robot, a Lego-Branded robot, paper gliders, a seesaw and more.  … Continue reading Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair

This Week in the Shop: Refurbish A Children’s Bike

The 16″ childrens’ bike project has cleared my outbox.  I’m busy in reflection mode with the students, examining all the different parts of our work for ways to improve the product, teaching and quality next time.  I thought the bike itself came out well:

If you’ve followed the blog over the past two months, then you’ve seen some of the progress.  If you haven’t, or are interested in doing this yourself, the I’ll recap the project after the jump.

Continue reading “This Week in the Shop: Refurbish A Children’s Bike”