Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Module #22 and the Carnival Model

We have 21 different modules for the seventh graders to work through in nine weeks (45 days). The classroom is set up in what I refer to as the Carnival Model. This style of teaching is referred to as the Carnival Model because the students in the classroom look like kids at a carnival or kids in the midway of a county fair. All the modules include activities and are self-directed. The students choose which module they want to do. They follow the directions and finish the assigned project. When they are finished they rush off to find another open module to work on. It takes about 3 days to complete each module. So, mathematically it will take the students 63 days to correctly finish the modules, which means they will never actually finish every one of the modules.

Of course, about this time each quarter we begin to loose momentum in the Carnival Model. The seventh graders have done what they personally consider the "fun" modules. They begin to ask if they can do some of the "fun" modules a second time. They also begin to tell me they have finished "all" of the modules. Some students begin to move through 2-3 modules a single day, but really don't produce any working or successful projects. This means they have lost focus. The students have actually bought into a corrupted concept of the Carnival Model and begin to believe school is suppose to be "fun" and nothing more.
To refocus the students I have created what is known as "Module 22." When a student says they have finished all the "fun" modules I take them to Module 22. At Module 22 the student will read the chapters in an old industrial tech book and answer the questions found at the end of each chapter on a sheet of paper. With out exception each student that is introduced to Module 22 quickly remembers several modules that they have not finished. No one ever really does Module 22. Module 22 is designed to reactivate the Carnival Model describe above.

(The 21 modules used in the Carnival Model for the DCG MS shop can be seen HERE.)

Mr. Wiemers

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anna's Acrylic Chess Set

Anna made a complete set of black and white chess pieces on the CNC lathe in the DCG Middle School shop.

Mr. Wiemers

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Advisory: Play-Doh Charades

Two advisory classes combined for some competition in Play-Doh Charades. Students were divided into groups of four and one of them was chosen to be the molder. All the molders met the teacher who showed them a card with a description of what the molders would be quickly creating in their play-doh. Some of the items were a bicycle, palm tree, umbrella, tractor, birthday cake, etc. The first group to shout out the name of the item was the winner. This activity included competition, team building, group work, communication through art, visualization, and, the ultimate goal, fun.