- I am now in my 10th year teaching at St. James Academy
- This year I am only teaching technology
- I have started teaching computer science AP classes
- I fell in love and got married to a sweet dude named Chad
- We got married and have a sweet little dude named Walter Otis
I'm sure once I start updating more regularly, I will go into detail about all those great things.
But more importantly, I want to share with you what I have been doing in my technology classes. We have a modified block schedule at SJA, meaning mostly block days with one day where we have all 7 classes. This semester I have made the 7 class days (called C days) STEM Instant Challenge days. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things with my technology 1 classes
We have had one so far and it was a success!(for our first STEM day) The students were engaged and tried to be successful. We did the Cup Holder challenge (found here). Now, the first hour I did it, I didn't explain the directions well and the creations weren't as creative. 7th hour crushed it and had some really good designs. Not all of the creations were successful and I had a group in each class not have a structure by testing time but they were actively participating.
Here are the best creations from each hour:
Here is what I learned for next time:
- Mix up the groups - try to have at least one boy and girl in each group - we naturally think different
- Start a tub with supplies for STEM challenges so you don't have to go to Walmart everyday
- Students don't need a big reward to want to do well - sometimes a simple smelly sticker gets high schoolers invested
- KNOW the directions and how you will rate each creation before starting the challenge
- Embrace the noise - that means students are working and collaborating (meaning SUCCESS!)
- How do you teach students to think outside of the box? That their first idea is not necessarily the best?