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Profile: audell
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User Name: audell
Forum Rank: Newbie
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Location Janesville, WI
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Joined: Thursday, March 16, 2006
Last Visit: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 8:54:56 AM
Number of Posts: 0
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: Drum Sander recommendation
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 1:33:47 PM
I have had good success with Woodmaster. I unfortunately don't have a drum sander at school. But, my father-in-law is a cabinetmaker and he swears by it. I have used it many, many times and it's definitely a breeze to use. Plus, it's made in America if that's a factor for you.
Topic: Laminated Landing Net
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 1:55:01 PM
A laminated landing net is for a fisherman to land his fish he catches. I have looked at doing that project as well, but lost the plans and lost ambition to set up that project for my class. I always thought it would be great because it involves small amounts of wood, laminating, bending of wood and tying of the net.
Topic: Flavour of the year....Skill Centres
Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:29:13 AM
I have no experience with skill centers. But, I can tell you that the school district to the south of us has something similar... They have a vocational school across the river from their high school and the kids will not walk over there for the class. I can't speak for the quality of the instructor. BUT, I can speak for how much money they put into the class ( A LOT!!) It is an Automotive class that is geared around building a racecar and actually racing it. However, as I said the kids are unwilling to walk the 1/2 mile to the center.
Topic: What would you do?
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2009 1:53:56 PM
That's got to be a good problem -- too many students for a program.

"...promote what works for you." For us that's a blessing and a curse. For us it has worked for our class numbers. But, there's another teacher teaching the fourth program. In my own opinion the promotion of his program is lacking, which results in lower numbers for him. In his eyes, it may be our faults.
Of course we never do anything wrong. It's always someone else's fault. Human nature?
Oh well, I guess now I'm indifferent now. I'm happy with my numbers and my kids.
Topic: What would you do?
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2009 12:37:34 PM
JeffSeiver ???!?!?!? What are you talking about?
My question was completely serious, and my reply was completely serious. I am sorry if I offended you in any way. But, I have read and re-read my post many times and don't see what the heck you're talking about. Either way, I'm sorry. All I am looking for is some different ideas from my peers, hopefully someone may have a solution that we haven't thought of yet.
By the way, I welcome your emails to my principal. He's a great guy and I am sure he always welcomes feedback about his staff. I'm sure he would also tell you how he is proud to have me as a teacher -- In my own humble opinion.
Topic: What would you do?
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2009 10:10:39 AM
Thanks for the ideas on classes and rearranging the program flow. They're all good ideas that have been tossed around. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like there is no good answer to make everyone happy. Is everyone ever completely happy?!
Topic: What would you do?
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 6:00:47 PM
What would you do?
We are a two high school district. Currently we are having a big to-do over which side is doing it "right." Essentially it comes down to when do you allow a student to take a class?
Let me give some more detail. At both schools we have 4 levels of Construction classes (Essentially woodworking and Construction). We have the first level (1 semester), second level (1 semester), 3rd level(2 semesters) and the fourth level (a senior level house-building class that's two hours a day the whole year). The big hub-bub is coming about because at one school they only allow juniors and seniors to take the 3rd level class. At the other school it is allowed to take the third level class after they have passed the first and second levels. The "problem" therein is that a lot of sophomores are taking the third level class, and having a year off between that class and the senior house-building class. It isn't an issue of knowing the content, instead it's an issue of numbers for the fourth level class. One school thinks that's detrimental to those numbers. Another school thinks that the bigger picture is that if a student is eligible to take a class then they should be able to take it if they want. The issue of numbers for the fourth class is a factor of a whole other set of problems. Either way they have qualified students taking the third level.
Another part of the argument is that... one school says if they have the third class their sophomore year they will have one whole year away from construction classes to forget about taking the fourth level. Whereas the other side of the argument is that letting a student take the classes early a teacher can really persuade them to take more Technology Education classes such as auto, machining, drafting, etc...
What do you guys think?? I know it almost seems like there's no right answer. BUT, what I would like to know is what ideas, however wild they may be, would you suggest?
Our thoughts/discussions have led us to... adding another class in there (a great idea, but something would have to be cut), limiting only juniors to taking the third level, opening up the fourth level class to juniors (which is nearly impossible to do with graduation requirements and travel issues), or ultimately solving everything with an arm-wrestling competition.
????
My blood pressure is quickly rising. Any help or ideas you can give would be appreciated.
Topic: PLTW
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 4:59:43 PM
Our school is part of PLTW. I am "certified" in one of their classes. It's a good program, but... Before I get to the but I will explain a little of what PLTW is not. It is NOT meant as a replacement for the traditional shop classes. Rather it is meant as an addition. It is though meant as a upper level class for highly-motivated college-bound students. That's all fine and dandy to say that but in reality it's only as upper level as the school sets it up to be. I have students in there of all ability levels, just like my woodshop classes which is good and bad.
If I would give PLTW a plug it would be that the class is like having a teacher with 30 years of curriculum and experience hand over their notes and lesson plans and say here you go. They do have a tremendous support network.
BUT... (here's that but..) it is not an end all/cure all. Just like any other class you definitely have to have the right teacher teaching the class to get the kids and results you want. Some of their curriculum is kind of hokey. Example: They had a powerpoint on there about making good powerpoints yet most of their powerpoints break many of the rules. Plus, from also teaching design and engineering classes before we adopted PLTW I had plenty of my own materials I wanted to use. At first I had worried there would be this big hub-bub because I wasn't teaching exactly what they had but thankfully they were fine with some deviation.
In my humble opinion it is a good program IF: your school district can afford it and you have the personnel that has the energy to teach it. Usually you can get state funds and/or private funds to help with the transition so that's always a plus. I'm also sure the extra exposure of the supposed "good" kids to our areas is always a good thing too.
Bottom line for me personally, give me the woodshop anyday.
Topic: 1/4 sheet sanders
Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:26:50 AM
In our shop we don't really use ANY sanders. We had used to use the little 1/4 sheet Porter-Cable sanders. But, with the way the kids treated them we were buying several every year. Plus, I thought I was going to go insane when I was hearing two dozen of them everyday for a few weeks. Currently, we have an older Porter-Cable 1/2 sheet sander that's built like a tank. I give it out to use as a reward.
I also like to justify not using sanders by maintaining that they get a better appreciation for machining the wood correctly, sanding the wood in the correct direction, and just for getting an appreciation for the efficiency an electric sander provides.

I've heard air-powered sanders are great if you have the compressor to run them.
Topic: canoe-building in your classes
Posted: Friday, February 06, 2009 1:37:08 PM
Thanks for the student built canoe pictures. Also, thanks for the canoe storage ideas. I hope to get the kids started soon, AND finished this year.

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