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Lessons on project planning Options
Dansilvernail
Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2015 12:26:17 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 8/8/2012
Posts: 0
Location: West Linn, OR
Happy Saturday!

I come to you looking for ideas on how to teach and help students with project planning. I've not been doing a very good job of this. My goal is to have each student envision, design, plan, and build a project that they came up with themselves. I've tried this at various levels from grades 6-12 and have had a wide variety of results (seriously, I had a 6th grader build a table-a pretty decent one at that-out of 1/2" x 2 1/2" fir strips; on the other end I've had seniors who were completely lost).

Anyway, I want to incorporate this into my curriculum. I want my students to successfully design their own projects.

Thanks!
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2015 3:24:25 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
See if you can download this Components of Design PowerPoint. DivShare has become very finicky, but if you can get it, you can make changes to it that may better fit your situation. This file is too large (over 20 MB) to e-mail, but I can cut the PowerPoint in half, save it as two parts and e-mail those which you can use as is... or easily reassemble it back together on your end.

So you know, I hate written lesson plans and usually build my material backwards from conventional methods we were taught in college. I always start with the project, or PowerPoint... you know, an end result.... and then figure out how to document it later, for the administrators.

This is the same Components of design PowerPoint, but must be viewed from the host site. The host site doesn't always see the PowerPoint as it was meant to be, so animation doesn't work and there will probably be some slides where the words and images jumble up a little. Also, the blue links in these PowerPoint's will not work from the host site. They have to be with the video folders on the curriculum thumb drive.

I have also used these PowerPoint's during my design unit.

Furniture styles
Working drawings
Measuring & Layout
Segmenting circles
Measurement

The only one of these that needs to be cut in half to go over e-mail is the design PowerPoint. The measurement PowerPoint works way better if it's e-mailed since the animations are a big part of it. All of them are changeable so you can tweak them if you want.

If you are wondering why they have some of the information in them that may not always seem necessary, it is because they were built (for high school level) to reflect our state standards. The students had to pass an exit exam. My students did very well taking the top scores in the state for the first three years (in a row) that the test was instituted. Then my district was losing students and funding and they closed the program. Anyway, I had to expose the students to more than just building a project. I hope you find them useful. I have a bunch more I can share. In fact, a thumb drive has to be 64 GB for everything to fit.

woodshopteacher@cable(NOSPAM)one.net
Jack Grube
Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2015 12:46:50 PM
Rank: Advanced Member
Groups: Member, Moderator

Joined: 12/28/2005
Posts: 0
Location: New Hampshire
Have you considered some parameters on their design? A favorite of mine was do design a clock. My priority in project selection was something that was going to have an immediate and significant place in their home. Although many of us have dozens of clocks in our homes, few are not built into some electronic device. This was the final project in an introductory high school class requiring students to specific design parameters, sketch designs, obtain feedback on their top designs and finally create a simple working diagram. For many, their favorite project; always my favorite!

Most used the $3.50 quartz movements so the project was very affordable. I also did it with lamps but that was a bit more challenging and expensive when you add the electrical and lamp shade into the project.
klandin
Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2015 3:38:49 PM
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Joined: 6/1/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Connecticut
I think that the key to success is setting fairly tight design parameters up front. ie: maximum size of the finished project, maximum board feet used, specific type of object (box, table, clock, etc.). Don't let a design project become a free for all. My point is that your students don't know what they don't know. If you give them too much design latitude then they're very likely to take on more than they can handle. The instructor's job is to set appropriate limits so that this doesn't happen. But don't think of design parameters as being limitations. Think of them as goal setting tools. Once you've set the project parameters, and everybody is more or less on the same page, then you can start to design your lessons and demonstrations to meet the specific construction challenges that you anticipate are likely to occur. Of course, none of this means a thing unless you've already provided your students with a solid foundation in the basics. There's no point in branching off into design skills if they're not already competent with the basic tools and techniques of the craft.

Keith Landin
Woodshop instructor, Woodstock Academy
"Mens tua sit implementum acerrium in fabrica"
Dansilvernail
Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2015 10:20:29 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 8/8/2012
Posts: 0
Location: West Linn, OR
Thanks everyone!

Yes, I agree that there has to be parameters and constraints. I'm going to keep things simple to make sure that the students succeed. I have a desk organizer design challenge that was given to me by a middle school teacher. I'm going to use it with my 9th graders; I don't think it's too simple.

I also agree that they need the foundation in skills which is why I'm doing this now instead of September.

Thanks again!
tbockman
Posted: Monday, February 02, 2015 7:27:34 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
I noticed DivShare was down for maintenance issues over the week end. It's back up again and downloads are working great. After downloading, if you want to open them for editing, open PowerPoint first and then from there open the file. Turn off the hyperlinks since you won't have the videos and documents they open. Change the information to better fit you program like adding photos of your own projects, etc....

Design
Furniture styles
Measuring
Working drawings
Segmenting
Selecting materials

What I like about PowerPoint is that you can pace it fast or slow, stretch it or compress the time it takes, stop anywhere and pick up later, and everyone gets all the information all the time, even those who are absent because they can download them and watch at home, or wait and view them at school when they get back.

I can't recall very many issues with students getting in over their heads when designing projects. If anything, I was pushing them to go further because I found them to be a bit timid about what they wanted to do. Every once and a while we did entertainment wall units 8' tall and 10' long, but mostly it was based on what they could afford. I was open to any idea. Bending wood was popular. It's only lately I've had more youthful students that definitely need much more assistance.
MrsN
Posted: Monday, February 02, 2015 4:28:17 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/2/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Wisconsin
I struggled a lot with this when I first started (and still do to an extent) Part of my issue was that I am not great at designing furniture. I didn't have the knowledge base to look at a project plan and see the problems a kid would face in building it and creating ways around those potential issues. I also struggle with creating designs that don't look like "shop class projects"

One of the things I did with kids (and myself) was to find a variety of projects that were of the same thing (several bookcases for example) then pick apart the different designs. look at how each design was constructed (joints, support pieces, plywood...) It gave us a chance to really discuss design and how different people like different things. It also gave us references to use when creating our own designs. It also gave kids a good reference of the types of things that I was hoping they would create, I keep struggling with kids wanting to build construction grade projects when I want them to build fine furniture.
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