EDU684: Week 3 Special Learning Needs

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EDU684 Week 3 Special Learning Needs

I am in the process of tiering all of my projects so that I can meet my students at various levels of complexity and skill. Although all of my students must accomplish certain tasks within the scope of a unit or project I modify their artifacts based on their own choice and my observations from prior units. For instance for my Level 2 class I allow students to make mousetrap cars from a kit as part of their initial research. Later in the project they redesign their own mousetrap. Some students require parts of their original kit to build one, some are able to make their own kit from materials in the shop, and then finally some exceptional students make everything from scratch (including the spring).

I choose now to model all projects this way to allow for students to work with what they’re comfortable with. Some students love working with hand tools, but for a variety of reasons can’t manage digital creation and fabrication(laser cutting/3d printing). So giving them clear options helps me focus on their needs and ability, as well as keep them better engaged in a project.

With my upcoming unit on 3D printing design all students must meet some base-line criteria for designing a shell for a USB key using a certain CAD program, but after that they’re able to design using alternate materials, tools, or functionalities based on their ability and interest. I find that students who struggle with complex CAD programs tend to find the path of least resistance and excel once they uncover a design process that works for them.