A colleague reached out to me on Instagram recently and asked me if I had any curriculum material I could share with him.
I have never had a curriculum director.
During the first year in my new district, I was writing a CAD curriculum, middle school Industrial Arts curriculum, high school Industrial Arts curriculum, as well as a Spanish curriculum.
I was doing all of this on the spot. I was delivering the curriculum I was creating within the next week, sometimes even the next day, and most times the very next minute.
This experience led to the creation of the first thing I decided to share with my colleague. I called it the "Hawk Shop Personal Project Planner."
I would sit down at the end of the day, and knowing that I get more done using pen and paper I would write out steps for planning a personal project. I would photocopy the steps and hand new pages to the students. The process allowed students to build anything in the shop with only the constraints of equipment, materials on hand, time, and ability.
In retrospect, this was a sink or swim approach, utilizing free inquiry as the main instructional tool. Free inquiry, while more difficult to facilitate, is much easier to plan.
(I've included a link to it in the tool bar and will also attach it below.)
I wish I could tell you that since writing it, I have created a more professional version.
I've added some stuff, and taken some stuff away, and I dream of the day when a student says, "Mr. Barbercheck, can I re-publish this for you?"
The cover page is a check list of all of the steps. The blank spots are for me to sign. Having the checklist upfront and personal as the cover page helps to remind students, as well as myself, exactly where students are.
Brainstorming has always been a goofy verb to me... and usually the start of a very long meeting. So, I put a time constraint on it. Two minutes to think of any thing you would have motivation to build. Younger ages are better at this. I'm not sure what happens to creativity along the way, but I'm thinking of ways to better prime the students for this creative challenge.
Next, we prioritize based on constraints. We acknowledge constraints in our ability, time, shop and materials and filter which projects are most realistic looking through a lens focusing on one specific constraint. We compare the most realistic options and, with a partner, students decide which project to build. Prioritizing by constraints is something that usually resurfaces later and I'm in the works of restructuring this book to favor a more cyclical manner of the steps, rather than a linear procedure.
Next week, I'll cover the rest of the book and my thoughts, plans, reflections.
In the mean time, please don't hesitate to share your ideas or offer any critique and comments.
About "Hawk Shop"
The Hawk Shop is the maker-space for Republic-Michigamme students and is available for use to 6th-12th grade students under the course title Industrial Arts. The shop operates using the original woodworking equipment to the building and is continuing progress to upgrade the shop to develop trade skill sets for today’s workforce.
The Hawk Shop exposes students to the diverse fields within skilled trade, and capitalizes on students strengths and interests to prepare students for entering a skilled trade position, and/or to utilize maker skills as a healthy creative outlet.