Saturday, October 24, 2015

building club...

Managing a class is a lot easier when you have something for your students to do. Yesterday I made .125 scale model 2 x 4's. for the school's building club. According to the scale 1 1/2 in. equals one foot. So I tried to hold the student's attention while working at the white board multiplying various real dimensions to learn their sizes in scale. Lily said, "I'm sorry I don't do math on Fridays." And while she knows she is good at math in math class, the things learned in math classes don't generally translate outside of class without practice doing real things. Going from the abstract to the concrete is not as effective as teachers would like, and actually applying math to the real world is not as easy as one might think.

In any case, we managed to determine the various lengths of 2 x 4's at scale and made 8, 10, and 16 foot scale model so that scale model walls could be made. I taped pieces of wood together in bundles so the students could cut them to lengths using a hand powered frame miter saw. I plan to make more 2 x 4 stock, and perhaps some 2 x 6's also, so that the building club can make various components for a model building of some kind when their usual club teacher returns from New York.

The students used glue guns to assemble the walls with the studs placed on 2 in. centers.

I cut the model stud stock from real sized 2 x 4 studs. A model stud at .125 to 1 in. scale is 3/16 in. thick and 7/16 in. wide, and an 8 foot stud is 12 in. long, so this is an easy scale to work with and many lengths of stud stock can be cut from a 2 x 4. I advise cutting the real 2 x 4 in 4 ft. lengths  first, then ripping strips 7/16 in. thick, and then ripping those in strips 3/16 in. thick.

The great thing was that once the students were given something to do, the work became quiet and intense concentration ensued.

In the meantime, the President of the US and the department of education have acknowledged that standardized testing is a policy that has gone much too far. Sign this petition to join others in demanding that they listen to the concerns of parents and teachers and involve them as they craft a new standardized testing policy.

In my own shop I finished inlaying lots of boxes yesterday for fall orders, and will take a break from box making to finish and photograph tiny boxes for the book.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning likewise.

1 comment:

  1. I did something pretty similar like this with my children a couple of years ago as an indoor activity in our summer house.
    My children were amazed at how well diagonal braces worked in stiffening things up.
    We built two small barns and and they are still proudly on display at home.