Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What happens when students choose their projects?

While I was working with my Level 2 boys today, the chat got round to project / topic choice.
I was asked "can we design shoes?"
So my reply to the Level 2 (Year 12 ) boys was "do you want to design shoes instead of shelters in Year 13?" They already know the Level 3 main project is a portable shelter as they see it in the lesson (my class is a mixed level class)

Their reaction was quite excited, which then got even more so when I told them of the 3D printed shoes that I had seen online recently. I have put this idea past my other class of Year 12 students and they seem keen too. So it looks like I am rewriting the Level 3 Product Design project, which is all good. I would rather they did something they were keen on as this is a big project and takes up a fair chunk of time on the course. It is also god advertising for me, getting them interested for Level 3 while they are still in Year 12!!
I sent student R these links today as he was the one that started all this. Hope it will blow his mind as he was "really??...we can 3D print shoes???" today.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

So their job now is to work out what materials we need to 3D print something flexible and if it needs a different printer. We need to know that before the budgets are due in at the end of the year.

Monday, June 19, 2017

New Google Sites

When the new Google sites came out, I had a little go and instantly hated it.
I mean, come on. I'm a Graphics teacher. I need to change fonts!!!

Anyway, as more staff at school are starting to make sites using the new sites, I have decided to force myself to love it as i am going to end up supporting people with something I haven't played with properly.

I decided to make my experimenting useful and so I have started off by making a Junior site. This will be used by Year 7, 8, 9 and 10.
I soon realised that the navigation across the top was not going to allow me to have one site for everything that I have at the moment on the old sites layout. Link here to my current site.

My layout decision was to make one site that has one page on it, illustrated above. This will have links to seperate sites for each level / link, with them all having the same look so you don't feel like you are swapping between sites all the time. I still want it to feel like one overall site for everything like I have now.
So far I have made and started on a skills site and a juniors site.

Link to hub front page
Link to juniors site
Link to skills site

What I don't like?
It's a really long list so lets focus on the positive....

What I like?
The look is clean and simple
It is REALLY easy to add stuff and use
How it flows beautifully for different sized screens and viewing

I am sure the like list will grow as I use it more and Google add functionality to it.
I shall continue to force myself to love it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What did I learn from my Year 12 class?

As part of my Manaiakalani Class OnAir work, I managed to convince some of my Year 12 boys to teach a drawing skill to my Year 10 class (there may have been a food bribe involved here).
I wanted to see if a skill that had just been learned could be embedded any better once you have taught it to someone else.

What I had not quite been prepared for was how much they could teach me in the process.

The boys worked in pairs and the Year 10 class was split into 3 groups.
They started out really nervous, standing outside the room watching the Year 10 class go in.
When they got in, they were very quiet with their groups to start with but they soon got into it.

My three main points :-

The first point that took my attention was how the boys approached the demonstration. They did not show the group the whole thing like I showed them. They did a little, then passed a sheet round and let the whole group have a go at that small part before moving on. They were all together as a group and could see what each other was doing in the group. It was very much a team / group approach to this task. The Year 10 class gave very good feedback to this, as they felt supported in the small group and with everyone having a go together.

The second point I really noticed was how the boys automatically introduced themselves and started talking to the Year 10 groups, asking them who they were, what ethnicity they were, did they know any of their families etc...

The third point was how supportive they were to the Year 10 students through the whole process. They helped at every stage and gave feedback that was honest and supportive. One student who is not the most engaged you will ever see in Graphics tried really hard, got loads of help and was glowing from the praise from one of the Year 12 boys.

As a staff, we spent a lot of time last year having PD on Kia Eke Panuku and to be honest it was not the easiest PD that I have done. I had difficulties understanding what and where I could apply these things in how I appraoched my lessons.
What I saw from these boys was an absolute lesson on how to do it so naturally.
I was so proud of these boys after this lesson and they were rightfully feeling proud of themselves. Their confidence was soaring and they felt really good about themselves.

I may have been teaching for 22 years this September, but I was taught a lesson to remember today.
It was the best thing to happen in my classroom for a LONG time and I was actually quite emotional about it afterwards.

The whole Class OnAir lesson is here

Today is the day after the lesson, and here are 2 of the Year 10 class still busy with their 3D drawing skills.

Little added extra...
I left them in the class room "recovering" afterwards, over lunch time.
As I was leaving, I could hear them analysing what had happened, swapping stories, talking about individual Year 10 students and their attitudes.
They sounded like teachers in the staff room..... very funny.

Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir Lesson 8 - Year 12 students teaching rendering skills to a year 10 class

Direct Instruction
On one day, I gave the direct instruction to the Year 12 group. They were learning rendering skills to apply to their design developments.
On the next day, the group of 6 Year 12 students taught these skills to a Year 10 class over a double period.

This is the direct instruction given to the Year 12 students in regard to hard to do the rendering techniques that they were going to teach and use themselves.

This is the focus instruction on what they should concentrate on with the Year 10 class.
I got them to focus mainly on a simple box shape, use 3 tones, leave a white Y on the front corners and put a shadow on the dark side.

Here is some of the ongoing lesson where the Year 12 boys were working with the Year 10 class on their rendering skills.

Here are some photographs taken during the session, showing the Year 12 students working closely with the Year 10 class.

Detailed Lesson Plan

Lesson Topic :- Rendering
Level 2 - Development of concept ideas - AS91342
Year Group :-  Year 12
Learning Outcome

The Year 12 group with transfer their rendering skills onto a Year 10 class.
The question is whether they understand how to do something any better by teaching someone else how to do it.

Success Criteria
Using SOLO

Extended abstract
Show the Year 10 group how to render a simple cube form in 3D using 3 tones.
Show the Year 10 group how to render a range of simple forms in 3D using 3 tones and to use use different media in order to do it.
Show the Year 10 group how to use their rendering skills in their own design developments to get a desired effect.
Demonstrate to the Year 10 group clearly how to use tones, media  and rendering skills to make their design developments look 3D and have a particular surface texture.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum
Level 2
Curriculum Level: 7
Learning Area: Technology
Strand: Design and Visual Communication
Achievement Objective: Outcome development and evaluation
Critically analyse their own and others’ outcomes and evaluative practices to inform the development of ideas for feasible outcomes. Undertake a critical evaluation that is informed by ongoing experimentation and functional modelling, stakeholder feedback, and trialling in the physical and social environments. Use the information gained to select, justify, and develop an outcome. Evaluate this outcome’s fitness for purpose against the brief. Justify the evaluation, using feedback from stakeholders and demonstrating a critical understanding of the issue.
Achievement Standard: AS91342

  • Thinking
  • Using language, symbols, and texts
  • Managing self
  • Participating and contributing

Prior knowledge
The Year 12 students have done a lot of work on drawing in 3D.
We have done some work on rendering in past lessons.
The Year 10 students have done some work on 3D sketching using the isometric grids - so a brief reminder will be necessary for this but they should know enough.
Lesson Sequence

Session 1 - Monday 12th - Year 12 students
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Sit as a group with the teacher in their own lesson and watch demonstration of rendering techniques.
  • Show group of Year 12 students key elements to use when rendering in 3D
  • Discuss with students points to emphasise with the Year 10 students tomorrow.
  • Talk with students and answer their questions and worries about tomorrow.
  • Practice the techniques shown so they are ready and confident for tomorrow.
  • Ask teacher any questions they need to about the session tomorrow with the Year 10 students.

Session 2 - Tuesday 13th - Year 12 group with the Year 10 class
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Year 12 students will sit with a small group of Year 10 students each.
  • They will go through the rendering skills that they have been shown.
  • Demonstrate and show the Year 10 groups what to do
  • Support the Year 10 students when they are trying the skills.
  • Monitor the groups to make sure focus is on the skills to be learned.
  • Remove any Year 10 students to the “teacher group” for skills instruction away from the Year 12 students as needed.
  • Support of Year 12 students as needed.
  • Year 10 students put into 5 / 6 groups.
  • They will sit in their groups around separate tables with one of the Year 12 students.
  • Listen to the Year 12 student and watch their demonstration about rendering.
  • Year 10 students will practice their rendering skills with the support of the Year 12 students.
Session 3  - Year 12 students
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Analysis of the lesson with the Year 10 students - discussion with teacher and each other.
  • Facilitation of discussion about how the session went with the Year 10 group and analysis of whether teaching others to do a task can help consolidate knowledge of the task.


Plain paper
Isometric grids
Drawing pencils
Coloured pencils
Sugar paper
White pens
White pencils
Next Steps

Talking to the Year 10 group about what they thought of being taught by the Year 12 students instead of the class teacher.
Did they listen more?
Did they understand the task any better?
Reflection and Analysis

Monday 12th January
Session with the first group of Year 12 students - Period 1 and 2

What went well?
Splitting the skills up into small chunks for them to see then practice worked well as they could see what to do in small steps instead of forgetting most of a longer demonstration.
This also modelled to them how to present this content to the Year 10 class when they see them.
They practiced their skills more than once each time which was a good step forward.
They listened well and had a really good try at each step that I showed them today so the quality of their work was of a good standard.
They were keen to try the different media that were on offer for the rendering skills.

What needs work?
Getting them to come backwards and forwards to the front of the room, or around one table for small demonstrations is always a struggle as they moan and complain each time I want them to come together. Maybe doing the demos on the big screen with the drawing board projector would have worked better as they could have stayed where they were.

Tuesday 13th June
Double period with the Year 12 group teaching the Year 10 students

What went well?
The Year 10 students responded very well to the Year 12 group teaching them. They listened very well and were very respectful to the boys. They tried really hard with the skills they were being taught and made a good job of them.
The group of Year 12 boys did a good job of working through the steps in the skills that they were demonstrating.
It was good to see them being so supportive of the Year 10 students as they were working, helping them improve, and making supportive comments and judgments.
The boys ended up working in pairs for the activity today so their group size was a little bigger than planned but they felt more confident doing it this way so it worked out well in the end.
You could see the boys enthusiasm and confidence  grow as the session progressed and some of them ended up doing a little roaming of the room seeing what other groups were doing too.

What needs work?
I should have let the Year 10 students know before hand what was going on, especially in regards to getting into groups. They were quite “precious” about what group they were working in.
We had a couple of no shows of the year 12 group so a couple of them were last minute inclusions. I thought they did well in spite of this though.
The boys were very shy about doing the teaching and were EXTREMELY shy about being recorded, so some of the recording s are lacking heads.

Feedback from the Year 12 Group

Feedback from the Year 10 Class

Recorded Feedback from the Year 12 Group

Link to folder of work created by the Year 10 students in this