EDU649: Week 2 Reflection

3 minute read

EDU649 Week 2 Reflection

This past week I videotaped a workday in one of my after lunch foundations technology classes. The recording was started well before class started as I had set up the room prior to lunch so that my students could come in to the workshop after lunch and start preparing their workspaces with the requisite tools for the day. As students came into the room they had either heard from me to check the whiteboard for do-now instructions or seen their fellow classmates starting to unpack their drawings and retrieve drafting tools from my drawing tools cart. A weakness last year that I have been trying to improve upon is the flow from lecture to worksession. I have found over the last week that having students prep their workspaces prior to my demonstration eases the transition and makes for a cleaner flow into work. So I need to continue to improve upon this and keep transitions in mind as I plan my lessons.

During my demonstration students seemed fairly engaged, and responded to prompts, although I should work towards asking more questions or involving students more in my demonstrations. What was exciting to me is the fact that most students were engaged and not distracted by phones or headphones. The first few days of class I clearly established norms of putting away phones in cubbies, and that I will be explicit when students can listen to music in class. So I must work to continue these norms into the school year. As I finished my demonstration students asked a few clarifying questions and took me up on my offer to help them set up their drawings. I am fairly competent in coming around and helping my students, but do wonder if I need a clearer system for circulating the room and helping students when there may be a queue of calls or hands in the air as to not distract others.

Based on my reading I am properly executing Project Based learning in my video. I have students engaged in stimulating activities working towards deliverables (p 34)that they will pin up and critique amongst themselves and then turn in. They are working on a project that explicitly is to train them in mechanical drawing so that when they begin to draw projects or utilize software to draw they will be at an advantage. As described one can view the classwork videotaped as a Level I project in the STEM SOS model. I am allowing them to gain knowledge and 21st century skills and the project is not out of context when viewed within the courses unit plans(p 68). Their final deliverable is a drawing set that they will have done by hand and they will have a chance to formatively assess as a group. Again this type assessment followed by my own formal rubric aligns with the qualities of assessment looked for in PBL and STEM initiatives(p37).
The book begins to talk about Standards in chapter 5 and how it is increasingly hard to jam content within a certain amount of time(p 66). In my video I discuss how “we will only have a class and a half to continue to work on our drawings”. I am clearly seen as trying to move us forward and there is a rift between my students wanting to “complete the drawing” and me just wanting them to get hands on experience with the tools. This is something I shall address moving forward, but I need to be clear with my students when completion is key versus experience with tools, knowledge of craft, or skill improvement.