Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Designing with a Client

Part of what my senior students have to do as part of their project work is work with a client. This is great experience for them as they are not designing what they want but have to take the needs and wants of someone else into consideration.
I have worked with clients a number of times doing my own design work. It is always an interesting experience, as I tell my students, as the client will never like the design that you do!

Over the last couple of years of being a CoL teacher in the Manaiakalani cluster, I have done a few pieces of design work for them. This experience has been even more interesting as there are viewpoints coming from a number of sources, not just one. I think this is good for me as it means I am walking the talk when I force my kids to do it.

Part of the process of working with a client is the back and forth. You send them ideas. They make decisions. You work on their decisions and send the developments to them. It is a process of developing and receiving feedback then working on that feedback and making changes until the client is happy.

The first one was an overview of Learn / Create / Share to showcase the Manaiakalani inquiry structure.

The second one was to go with the focus on Create last term. This came after input from teachers in the cluster about what they thought create was. We decided to go with just images to represent different aspects of share as there were so many written ideas.

The last one is the most recent, and it is to go with the focus for this term of Share. Again we went with just images as there was a lot of feedback from teachers in the cluster about what they think share is, so there would have been too many words to include.
We stayed with the circular design too with the words around the edge so that they look part of a "set" when used together.
What amused me most about doing this design was the amount of time it took doing a view of the world from the New Zealand side. They are difficult to find.

Photoshop Design Developments

My Year 13 students are designing sets for a show about Matariki. They have been making models in card and plasticine and drawing in their sketchbooks. Their next step is to develop all this work into cohesive designs for a set and see if all their elements work together.
We are going to do this using Photoshop.
Over the last two days we have done some basic skills like adding an image into photoshop, learning about layers, using the magic wand tool to select and delete a background, using the other select tools to see the different reasons why you would use them, putting sections onto their own layer for editing, replicating layers to get multiple images, putting lettering on the design and filling selections with colour.
They started doing this on found images from the internet to get used to the skills and have some fun.

While they were practicing their skills today, I was photographing their designs from their sketchbooks so they can move on to using their own designs in photoshop.
This has been going really well today and they have made a really good start at some design development work on Photoshop using their own drawings.

I have one student in this class who is in Year 12 and he is doing NCEA Level 3 with the rest of the class. He has a lot of experience at using Photoshop already so has been doing this kind of work over the last couple of weeks.
Here is his first design development.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Art with Year 7 and 8

Earlier in the year I had been doing media experiments with my Senior students to try and encourage them to use a range of media instead of just colouring pencils all the time.  I had put these up on the wall and they were seen by one of my Intermediate classes. They asked of they could do something like that too. Their class teacher, Mrs Robyn anderson was happy about this as she wanted to do more art work with them.  She wrote a great blog post about it here.

After we had done that it got me thinking about an art project that I had done with Year 7 students when I taught Art in England. 
I put together an example and discussed it with Robyn. It was a mixture of colour blending with oil pastels (which they has already had experience of in the previous Art activity) and looking at really simple cubism. She was keen so after the students had completed their technology project we did this activity at the end of the rotation.
They then went back and taught the rest of their class how to do it.
When I visited their class today their art work was on the classroom wall and it looked fabulous.

I have included photographs of them here.

STEAM Project with Y7 and Y8 - Week 1

Before the last school holidays, Robyn Anderson from Panmure Bridge School talked to me about an exciting STEAM project she was planning with her Year 7 and 8 class and asked if I wanted to be involved. I see her students every Friday for their Technology lessons at Tamaki College so I was very keen to have some more fun with them.
The project Robyn wanted to do was catapults so we say and brainstormed some ideas together and decided on a plan for the term. I am going to go through to Panmure Bridge School every Monday afternoon as I don't have my own classes then and we will work on the project for the rest of term 3.

After our brainstorming session, Robyn put a great planning doc together and we started on practical investigations this week. Last week they did research.

Here is some of the planning doc showing what they are doing this week and what research they did last week in preparation for the project.

Wk 1
LI: To make connections to the history and design features of catapults

History of the catapult
What is a catapult?
What are the different types of catapults?
Find an image and attribute
Use the summary scaffold to write a short summary that explains each design
Compare and contrast using SOLO map 

Wk 2
LI: Practical build challenge to introduce triangulation

Challenge 1:
Use cardboard/split pins to replicate meccano to construct a square
Use the iPads to photograph the process
Apply pressure. What did you notice?
Construct a square with an additional piece of card diagonally across the middle
Apply pressure. What did you notice?
Define triangulation
Where have you seen triangles used in construction locally? In the world?

Create a DLO to explain your learning - must include images of process

Robyn started the lesson asking them, questions about the catapult research they did last week to remind them. She then took them through the practical methods they were going to use to make their card structures today. The students were working in project groups.

I then took the group and we did experiments to do with triangulation. They built their shapes out or card and split pins and tested what happened to the shapes when you apply a force.
We then had a challenge and the groups had to work out what was the minimum number of extra pieces it would take to strengthen the shapes I drew on the board. The conversations in each group were great to listen to as they were working these out.  Lots of problem solving and explaining to each other.
We talked about where they saw triangles being used for design and strength happening in everyday life. They worked together on this in their groups and produced diagrams together.

It was a great start to the project and I had a lot of fun.
I can't wait for next week!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Year 13 Warhorse Trip

As my NCEA Level 3 Design and Visual Communication class are designing stage sets for their major project, I thought it would be a great idea if we went to see Warhorse at the Auckland Civic Theatre.

The students had a great time and it was only a couple of days after the tip that they really started to talk to me about what they liked and got from it.

Here are out main takeouts and thoughts that we could use in our design developments.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Learning through Challenge

My Intermediate and Junior classes are all involved in projects which will require some 3D printing done. To do this, they have to learn how to use Tinkercad.
I have discovered that the students enjoy learning the key skills they need in order to be able to do their design work if we do challenges. This is the same for the Year 7 students up to Year 10's.

This week, my Intermediates have been doing some skills challenges ready for design work when we come back after the holidays.

The first skill I wanted them to get was overlapping shapes, using holes and grouping.
So the challenge was to make a moon shaped pendent from 3 cylinders.

The next one was a combined challenge. Joining a square and 2 cylinders together, lining them up with the align tool.
Making the same shape as a hole through the first one.
Using workplanes to put their initials on the side of the whole thing.

I did these two challenges first on the board while they watched. They then did them with no help form me.

The last challenge was just a list of instructions on the board that they had to follow.

  • A house with a roof
  • A door that goes into the house
  • Two windows
  • A green base underneath as grass
  • Two trees
The fabulous conversations going on while they did this last one were great. They were helping each other, explaining how to do the skills, moving round and showing each other how do do elements of the work. They were all totally focussed.

I asked them to take some screenshots. Here are some of their creations. I love the extras they started putting in.

Year 7 and 8 Maths Presentations

Today I was very lucky and got to watch Mrs Anderson's Year 7 and Year 8 students from Panmure Bridge School present their maths games.
They have been working on games where they could present anything that they had been learning in maths and they were using Google Slides to make their multi choice games.

Mrs Anderson did the first one to give them the idea.  
Students are allowed to read their prepared notes that are part of a blog post that they have written about the process.
Not only is there the maths skills used in the game, there are animated gifs used as part of it.
They have a rate your game link to get feedback from each other.
The students go up in pairs for support and confidence.

There was a mix of skills here in one activity :-
  • Choice of language
  • Choice of what Maths skill they wanted to focus on
  • Coding, using Google slides to control multiple choice answers
  • Peer feedback
  • Graphics skills thinking about clarity of font choices and colours used to make their game easy to use.
  • Explanation writing in their blogs
  • Verbal presentation skills
Here are some screen shots of one of the games from today.
Here is Aung Naing's blog post to see the whole game

What can I use from this with my Year 13 inquiry group who are doing verbal presentations of their design work?

  • Let them work together - in the planning of what they are going to say and when they get up to say it.
  • Put their work up as a presentation so they are not trying to balance their sketch books or show drawings in a sketchbook to a big group
  • Choice of what to present and how to present it.
  • Play to their strengths - use skills from other subjects and get input from those subject teachers to help them.