Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Paper Sloyd, again...I hope you aren't bored with it. I mentioned that I had asked my 5th and 6th grade students to do it and they were surprised that it was much more fun than they expected.

It is really good for students of all ages to be able to learn directly from written instructions. When they ask, "how do I do this?" I tell them, the instructions are all there. When they say, "I just don't get it!" I ask, "did you do the preceding project, or are you trying to skip ahead?" Paper Sloyd projects build sequentially in difficulty in such a way that no project is more difficult than its preceding one. What you need to know in one project was learned by the last. The biggest challenge for me is to keep students from trying to jump ahead to projects that they think will be more interesting. They could hardly wait to do the pin wheels.

Computers are changing the way students learn. They tend to avoid directions and just play around with things until they work. If they reach a point of frustration, they will ask rather than read. That process of learning by the seat of the pants can be sort of fun on the computer, but rather inefficient, impulsive and poorly directed for real life.

I tell my students that if they can read and follow instructions they can do anything in the world that they can imagine.
When a knowledge of tools, materials, and processes is in place, they can create whatever they might dream up. They have asked if they can do paper sloyd again next week. The photo above shows students with their pin wheels made in today's lessons.

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