Friday, August 18, 2017

Using SOLO Hexagons to assess prior vocabulary knowledge.

I had my new Year 9 class for a double period today. We have started our clock design project and all we have done so far is to collect images of different types of clock.
What we moved onto today was a kind of pretest (without them knowing that's what it was) to see where they are in their vocabulary knowledge. We used SOLO hexagons to write down everything they could see in their collection of clock images. We then grouped them together in groups of their own choice and they had to explain why they had put the groups together.
The students worked in pairs for the activity and we all had a go together at the start, with them calling out suggestions to the whole class.

This gave me a lot of insight into the variation of the knowledge around the class. One student came up with the word "analogue" and "digital" with no prompting while others struggled to know what the hands of the clock were called.

I hope that starting early with the vocabulary like this, it will help them later when we start to describe their design ideas.

Here is the work we did today ....

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Planning for Literacy

My inquiry for this year was mainly focussed on using SOLO taxonomy to improve the depth of analysis of design work. As we have worked through this I have come to realise that a major stumbling block for my students is their lack of vocabulary skills. This is stopping them from confidently managing the describe element of product analysis. I mention this in a post about my inquiry spiral here and we have been working on building some skills during the class onair lessons here.

My next step was to have a long discussion with members of the English department to plan some strategies. The first thing that we discussed was getting the students to do more READING about design and pulling out the key words and terms that have been used. This was an interesting approach to me as I would not have thought of getting them to read more before we do our own writing.

I have a new Year 10 group on the Technology junior rotations, and this new class have low literacy levels. I still want to do the same project that the rest of my Year 10 groups have done (we design a portable speaker to be 3D printed), so I thought this would be a prefect opportunity to try out some literacy strategies. What I learn form working some strategies with this group, I can build into my planning for NCEA next year (and Jump Start next term).

The work I have started putting together is on a Google Drawing that the students can make a copy of and work on. The description of the product is mostly taken from the Harvey Norman website with a few additions from me.
After another chat with the English department about this today, I have included a table where they take out the vocabulary, write what they think it means and then use to find the definition.
I will see how this goes today and then tweak and adjust this to improve the plan.

Link to the Google Drawing here...

Update - after the lesson

For a first try doing this, I felt it didn't go too badly. They students were focused on what they had to do and tried hard with the activity. It involved me doing quite a bit of one to one work with the students, talking over their individual work with them as they were doing it. This is a good thing, as more one to one time is premium in a classroom.
I am including a couple of screen shots of student work on the day.
Where I need to focus is making sure the students read the definitions they are finding on, not just copying and pasting the first thing they find as some of them don't match what we need. Ongoing feedback down the side of the work in comments helped them in the lesson so this needs to happen more often. It did not put them off when I was correcting them with what they had put on their sheets.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir Lesson 12 - Design Analysis Each Day

See the whole Class OnAir team here

Direct Instruction

Direct instruction for this activity involved the students being round the front desk all together for the first 5 - 10 minutes of each lesson.
On the board each day, a picture of a different product is displayed for the class to talk about.
The questions are given verbally by the teacher and the class talk about the answers to these questions. There is no writing or typing involved from the students. They have to make suggestions them selves or listen to the input from others in the class.

These videos show the direct instruction at the start of each lesson. We spend 5-10 minutes analysing a different product each day. These videos are not all of our sessions, just the first few. As the videos progress, the students find it more difficult and this is a good thing as we are analysing deeper. The first video is shown here and the other three are links that show analysis of different products and at different depths of thinking.

These were the products that were discussed by the students each day.

This feedback is from some of the Year 11 group. We had gone through what I was going to ask them and they had practised what they wanted to say. Then when we filmed, they forgot some of the plan. It appears like I am leading them a little but I am just reminding them of what they had already decided they wanted to say.

Detailed Lesson Plan

Lesson Topic :- Product Design Analysis Team Work
Year Group :-  Year 11, 12 and 13
Learning Outcome
The students will be able to analyse existing products in increasing amounts of depth.
The students will be able to give their ideas and opinions in front of the rest of the group.
The students will listen and understand the ideas and opinions of others in the class.

Success Criteria
Using SOLO
These have not changed much in the last two lessons as we are still doing design analysis exercises which incorporate the same skills and levels in SOLO.
The focus of this work has been changing and the depth that we have been doing it has been increasing.

Extended abstract
Students can identify the main parts of a design.
Students can describe and list the design elements, properties, use and materials used in a design.
Students can explain and compare elements of a design idea to show how they work together and the effects that they have.
Students can evaluate the work of others and reflect on where design decisions have been made and generalise on why they were made.

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 - analysing the design based on a specific question or focus.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts - talking about their ideas for the analysis.
  • Managing self - Using the RISE values when doing this work as a whole group.
  • Participating and contributing - Giving suggestions to the whole group. Listening to the suggestions of others.
  • Relating to others - responding to the ideas of others in a positive way.

Prior knowledge
The students have been drawing their design developments for their Product Design project.
We have been doing analysis exercises together on the class Google Plus Communities.
We have been talking about and using analysis focussed vocabulary.
We have made a start on analysing their own design development work.
Lesson Sequence

Session Outline
The point of these short sessions is to spend 5 -10 minutes all together at the start of each lesson to verbally analyse a product.
The product will be different each day.
The focus questions for the analysis will start in the unistructural and multistructural levels of SOLO and slowly build in complexity each day and each product.
The outcome is hopefully the students will be less worried about analysis as we are doing it regularly all together and showing the depth that is  needed.
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • The students sit round the front table for 5-10 minutes at the start of each lesson.
  • They look at a different product each day and analyse what they see.
  • Project the product to analyse that day on the main board.
  • Ask the focussing questions for the product that day.
    • What shapes can you see?
    • What forms can you see?
    • What colours / textures can you see?
    • What materials have been use?
    • What properties do the materials have that make it suitable?
    • How is the design used?
    • How is is been designed to be safe?
  • Record the answers that the students have given on a Google Drawing with the picture of the product and share this on the class communities for the students to refer to afterwards.
  • Think about what they are looking at in terms of what questions the teacher is asking them.
  • The focus for the product each day will be different, with an increasing level of depth, so they need to make sure they concentrate on the day’s product and analysis focus.
  • The students are doing this exercise every day verbally, so they need to speak in front of the rest of the group and listen to what everyone else has to input.

Selection of images of products.
Google Plus Communities
Document - Describing Words
Next Steps
Students need to analyse their own design development work as they produce it. They need to go into enough depth so it is obvious what design decisions were made and why they were made.
Reflection and Analysis

What went well.
We have been doing this exercise everyday for a week at the time of writing this. The students have got used to what we are doing and understand why we are doing it. They come round the front table at the start of the lessons without too much nagging as they are coming in expecting to do the analysis exercise together.
They are giving input to the sessions well and are listening to each other in a respectful way.
We have been going into greater depth on each product analysis that we have done, and while the students have quite often struggled with the questions that I have been asking them, they have not given up and have offered suggestions.

What still needs work.
As I have realised recently that there is an issue with vocabulary, I should have been writing up the keywords the students were suggesting as they were doing it instead of afterwards. This would maybe have given these words more importance.
We need to try and move the depth of the answers into the extended abstract area of SOLO, as we have not done this yet, so this will mean some modelling from me so they know what I want them to do.

Student Work

Class Google Plus Communities

Where am I in the Inquiry Spiral ???

I have been looking at my inquiry spiral / cycle. I started looking at using SOLO taxonomy to increase the depth of the work being completed. As I have been doing this work with the students, it has become increasingly clear that they can not do the lower elements of SOLO, for example, describe a product using Design Elements, very well as they lack the subject specific vocabulary needed to do it. I have decided to spiral into two branches for my continuing inquiry as these two things will complement and support each other.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Stepping up the Product Analysis using SOLO

As part of my Manaiakalani Class Onair work this term, I am focussing in on design analysis.
We have done simple exercises and analysed each others designs. We are now spending 5-10 minutes at the start of each lesson analysing a different product. We do this all together round the front table, looking at the product projected onto the board. The analysis is done verbally, so all they have to worry about is answering and talking, not about phrasing sentences and typing up answers. They all have to listen to each other and no answer is a wrong answer. They are allowed to discuss and question each other's answers but it is a good exercise in using their key competencies and RISE values.
The answers that the students gave during the sessions were then written up onto a Google Drawing and shared into the class Google Plus Communities so the students could refer back to them and remind themselves what was said.
My next step is to interview the students for Class Onair and see what value they are taking from these exercises. They are in the middle of their own design developments and need to analyse their own work. I want to know from them if this work is helping them with their own analysis work or if it is just taking time away from them in the lesson.

Here are some of the product analysis diagrams that we have done. All typed elements are what the students gave as verbal feedback on the days we did these products.
The colour coding on the written parts are linked to the SOLO taxonomy posters that are up in every class room.

The complexity of the questions has changed each day as we have done this.
We started off just describing and listing - keeping on the unistructural and multistructural levels. We have slowly moved to explaining why design decisions have been made and how these decisions have affected the design. How things are used by people and how this changes any decisions made.