I love NBC’s “Making It”! A great game show example with a tasteful amount of competition & sportsmanship. It’s tough to find shows where people will go out of their way (even during the competition) to help another. Even if the show is craft orientated, briefly showing this to any gamified class may be worthwhile to show those employability skills in action.
Love the lab coat idea with patches. Question for you. Do students each purchase their own lab coats or does the school provide them? I would love to do this. Maybe even a specific Safety Patch. However, I can't see my district paying for everyone's lab coats and many of my students can't financially afford to buy them. I love the Faster Challenge idea and the Master Challenge Idea.
As far as breaking things up more. In my Agriculture Mechanics course I break it into quarters but a bit differently. I have multiple ag mechanics courses so certain courses cover certain things. In my Ag Mechanics and Technology course, I do 1 quart of electricity, 1 quarter of woods, 1 quarter welding, and 1 quarter of small engines. So 1st quarter I teach the electricity information in the classroom after safety. The kids know we have to get through content to get to the shop. After I've taught the electricity content, they then spend the rest of the quarter in the shop applying the skills learned. And then I start again the next quarter with woods and so on.
Because we spend time each quarter in the shop like this, I also had to find a way to keep them more accountable. We have weekly "Shop Reports". (Almost like a time card for work)Each week they get one to start the week. One side has my "Bell Ringers" for them to fill in and the other side has spots for them to write a weekly goal, what they accomplished each day, what they cleaned up, and a reflection at the end to tell me if they met their goals. If they didn't meet they then have to explain to me "why?"
I think doing it this way the end of year "Master Challenge" could be a project incorporating at least 2 of the quarters? Thinking like a lamp design that adds in woods and wiring or woods, wiring, and welding/soldering?
A "Faster Challenge" idea might be using club crackers and spray cheese in the welding unit. (I use this activity in my actual welding course). For wiring it could be making simple circuit out of edible materials (candies, frosting, graham crackers).
I love how you lay out your course!! That is such an awesome idea. Thank you for the ideas.
And also, we have some lab coats provided, so I'm thinking something that can be removable so we can reuse (yay for saving money!). I've looked into purchasing some aprons as well- I've found a couple options that aren't too expensive. After I know for sure how many kiddos I'll have in class I will decide on how to proceed with the patch idea.
Lab coat with patches is a great idea! We have lockers for each of our shop students - I'm thinking locker badges would work better, since kids don't were lab coats in our shop.
I know in my shop I have the students split into 4 rotations (wood working with power tools, wood working with hand tools, welding, and lathe). This year I plan to add a fifth rotations of small gas engines. The students serve as peers and review each others work. Then if there is a question or disagreement they come ask me about my opinion - this is when I let them all justify their answers. I also have some very talented students and will pull them to be a foreman to oversee that area, when I'm tied up with another group. This way they give them feedback on their projects and I know they have a good grasp on the content.
Lincoln welding does a chocolate lesson with pretzel rods. I have used this in the past and the students really liked the ideas of learning about welding and components.
I love your ideas. I am teaching Ag Mechanics this year and the other teacher pretty much just focuses on welding and maybe a touch of small engines and woodworkings. Your patch idea is great. I have a class full of freshman boys who I will need to spark their interest in earning them. Having the different challenges each week sounds awesome. I think it will make it more exciting for me as a teacher as well. I am very competitive and it will usually rub off on my students once we get started.
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