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Middle School Woodshop Teachers Unite! Options
jmardon
Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2006 2:29:47 PM
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Joined: 7/15/2006
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Location: Oregon City, OR
I teach 7th & 8th grade Woodshop in one of the few programs left in Oregon. Our district's other middle school Woodshop teacher and I collaborate on projects, but I'm finding myself quite alone in curriculum development. I have a number of projects available to the kids, but am always interested in discovering new simple projects for the kids.

How many of you out there are middle school Shop teachers? I'm hoping there are a few of us that can help stoke the fires of creativity!
Doug Stowe
Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2006 1:24:57 PM
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Joined: 2/21/2006
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Location: Arkansas
I teach in a small independent school and have woodworking in grades pre-K through 12. So, I also work with 7th and 8th grades. I've posted a couple projects to the projects section of this site, and I hope you will do the same, as it can be a great way to share project ideas. My program is probably unique, in that the project ideas come primarily from the core classroom teachers and are designed to create hands-on learning opportunities to enhance the other areas of study. I have found that the core classroom teachers can be an excellent source of inspiration for project development, and once engaged become enthusiastic participants in the woodshop, making it an integral activity rather than an isolated elective. I realize that mine is a model that would be difficult to replicate in other schools without a great deal of training and administrative support. I would be glad to share more information with you and others, and am working on a new website that will help to share the philosophical framework of my Wisdom of the Hands program.

Doug Stowe

jmardon wrote:
I teach 7th & 8th grade Woodshop in one of the few programs left in Oregon. Our district's other middle school Woodshop teacher and I collaborate on projects, but I'm finding myself quite alone in curriculum development. I have a number of projects available to the kids, but am always interested in discovering new simple projects for the kids.

How many of you out there are middle school Shop teachers? I'm hoping there are a few of us that can help stoke the fires of creativity!


Doug Stowe
Director Wisdom of the Hands at Clear Spring School
Contributing Editor, Woodwork Magazine
http://www.dougstowe.com
blogging at: http://wisdomofhands.blogspot.com
Mr2A
Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:54:53 PM
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Joined: 3/4/2007
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Location: Amarillo, TX
I taught Middle School Wood Shop for 10 years in Colorado, I'm currently teaching High School Woods in TX...if you need any help or assistance, I'd be glad to email you some ideas.

"I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon"
ejaguar
Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007 11:21:16 PM
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Joined: 4/4/2006
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Location: Santa cruz, Ca
Joe,this is Bob Merriam, the man who sells the uncut skateboard decks.
There are some woodshop teachers in Oregon I sell to but phone me some night and I'll give you some ideas on projects and class management. I taught 7/8 shop for 33 years. Class management, mainly use of time, is also critical to a productive program. I ran a program with now "dead" or down time for the students. If any others want ideas on the middel school call me also. I did post some of the band saw boxes we made.

Bob M

831-464-8876
ejaguar
Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007 11:22:46 PM
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Joined: 4/4/2006
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Location: Santa cruz, Ca
My email is sc58@aol.com Bob Merriam
mrb1977
Posted: Monday, March 05, 2007 4:18:17 PM
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Joined: 3/5/2007
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Location: Albany, ny
jmardon wrote:
I teach 7th & 8th grade Woodshop in one of the few programs left in Oregon. Our district's other middle school Woodshop teacher and I collaborate on projects, but I'm finding myself quite alone in curriculum development. I have a number of projects available to the kids, but am always interested in discovering new simple projects for the kids.

How many of you out there are middle school Shop teachers? I'm hoping there are a few of us that can help stoke the fires of creativity!


Joe, 7/8 grades can be challenging to teach woodshop. The positive side is that it can be fun, interesting, and challenging for students. I incorporate alot of "Real- World" applications into my curriculum. This helps the kids understand the why's in the class. Especially when it comes to how much money they can make from building custom wood working items. Some example projects I have the kids build are, End Tables, Blue bird houses, Corner shelves, adirondack chairs, rustic cedar chairs. The last marking period of the school year consists of the students designing, drawing, and constructing a wood working project of their choice, within reason and skill ability. The kids are really motivated and engaged throughout the entire building process since they have the "Buy-in" of choosing the idea. Hope these ideas help, feel free to ask any more questions.
Mr.b1977
ejaguar
Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 2:15:36 AM
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Location: Santa cruz, Ca
I taught. Jr. High, much like Mr.b in the earlier post.33 years. In my wood programs, I had the students have a say in the design and wood selection of their projects. This got them invloved and construct a item that had their input. I taught how to make a 3 view drawing, but didn't expect it to be exactly to scale or perfect. It would show the finished dimensions and the woods they wanted.
I usually had a selection of 3 beginning projects to
select from. One easy one was a laminated cutting board. I encouraged the students to go home, talk to their parents and come back with measurements and style of board they wanted. I have run into parents of past students who reminded me of the cutting board their child made and how it was perfect for their use. I have about 4 differet woods to use in the laminating process.
Another beginning project was a laminated clock. Here again they selected the size and design. To save time for projects with difficult shapes, I had the students figure out if the finished shape would be a rectangle or square to start. This they glued up. When planed, if the shape was a animal or something difficult, I had them take the wood to our art teacher and he'd sketch the shape for them which could be cut out.
I'd get clock motors and about 4 different style hands for them to select from. These could also be trimmed if need be.
After 2 projects were done I gave a lot of leeaway on what they could build from there.
We made lots of laminated longboard skateboards and I was able o get the concave decks I now sell. My old students run Santa Cruz Skateboards. I made about $2500-3000 a year selling their items. Pieces of grip tape and Hooded Sweatshirts were big profit items.
I wouldn't let them make a concave deck as their first item and they had to have some experience in the use of our electric saws, as without that experience they often miscut the decks.
The girls and mothers loved the Band Saw boxes as they could design their own, chose the woods to laminate, and they came out beautifully.
The advanced kids could make almost anything they could design and if we had the wood and tools and time to make the object. I made a full rocker press for making laminated slalom waterskis and we made dozens of those over the years. The rocker shape, and tunnel in the middle matched the best skiis on the market. A ski company sold me top bindings at cost. I realize today more kids are into wakeboarding, but some kids made the skis for a parent.
Being near the ocean we also made hundreds of skimboards, bending the tip up made from 3/8" Baltic Birch.
Once a student had began putting a finish on a project they could start another project. This required a rough materials bill with design on back.
I had 7 tables, one was reserved for drawing plans and also used by any students that had nothing to do for some reason. I had a lot of magazines they could read or do homework. I was VERY STRICT on this so if any kid was just wandering around I made them go to that table and stay. This prevented a lot of "fooling around".
Then, as I mentioned in a previous post the last week I had a scrap wood contest where a student or 2 students could make some creative project out of wood scarps and other materials, being no larger than 8"x8"x8". I gave some extra credit if one was made and finished.

These I kept on display all year and at our year end awards assembly I had 4 teachers choose the best 3 scrap projects and at the assemble I awarded the winners, usually with a hooded sweatshirt. Over the years this became a very big event and one of the coveted.

I kept one of the winners for disply for the following year. For you high school teachers this must seem pretty tame but I have hundreds of former students in the trades here. The middel school experience got them started.
I also taugh a small engine class using Briggs and Stratton engines and one of the girls I had is now a top tech is a Volvo/Mercedes shop here.
I'll have to add that woodshop full time bored me. We had 9 week electives so I also taught during the year 1 electronics, 2 small engine repair, 1 drafting, 1 electronics, beginning and advanced woods, and I always had one math class. I taught the math in the shop. This was a lot of work so the summers were my time to regenerate. Without the summers off I couldn't have kept it up. My wife was also a teacher so we had that time together with our children. My classes were always 30-34 kids. I newer yelled or raised my voice. I never asked a class to get quiet or sit down. When the bell rang, I stood at a tbel in front of the room and waited for the class to quiet down. I could sit all period if needed but never did. I told this to the class at the start so they knew what I was going and would quiet each other down. The major basic safety and tool usage was done in a week. I then added new tools and information as needed , when I could see the first student was ready for a operation.
I never believe in boring a class for 2-3 weeks on instructions. These can be added as needed. Believe it or not, clean up can be done in 5 minutes if all kids cooperate. They knew they had a longer work time if they did this.
You new teachers may not think you're making a difference but years from now, if you stay in the same area you'll see your rewards.
Hope this helps some of you. All my years of teaching I'd have days where I left saying to myself, "What in the hell am I doing this for?"
Then a good day would come and I'd forget that for awhile.
I gave my phone number in an earlier post if any of you would like to "Chat". Bob M.
michaelknauf
Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 3:11:48 PM
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Joined: 1/17/2007
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Location: Hancock, NY
I'm looking for summer staff to teach woodworking in a live in summer camp program in upstate NY, June-August... is there any place you all could suggest for me to make contact with qualified woodworking teachers that can work with kids from 7-17 years old?
woodchips
Posted: Sunday, August 08, 2010 3:20:02 PM
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Joined: 8/5/2010
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Location: Southwest
I am just about to embark on a lifelong dream of teaching woodshop and construction technolgy at a small rural High school. Classes begin on the 16th and I have spent the last 2 weeks in the shop sorting, pitching, and organizing things so as to make the shop efficient. Previous instructors have been janitors who had woodworking skills, but no organizational skill. When I first walked into the shop I almost passed out. The mess was absolutely indescribable other than to say it looked like someone had turned the shop upside down and shook it, again words can't describe it. cabinets full of power tools missing parts ( 8 porter cable routers and not one of them had a base on it) cut cords and missing plugs, bent hand saws, not a single screwdriver to be found and a total of 12 18x24 plastic bins with pieces parts, tools, etc. overflowing the edges. All guards had been removed from all the machines so considerable time has been spent loking through those bins trying to find all the hardware to put the machines back together. All the while, the previous janitor teacher keeps walking in when I'm not there ( he has the keys) and using tools, making piles of sawdust, and walking out. I'm also finding tools that have been hidden in the auction pile which I am sure were destined for someones home workshop.
On the flip side, the school recently purchased a lot of new tools which I am putting into inventory, all the machines are being tuned up ( some were way way way out of spec) vises are getting new wooden jaw pads, lumber is being re-stocked, and everything is finally getting put in order. The principal walked in yesterday and was speechless at the transformation. My daughter and wife have spent hours sorting through 50 small drawers which had very fastener known to man mixed in together ( it really was unbelievable)
I guess the reason I am posting is to say how excited I am that the district wants to put industrial arts back into the curriculum and chose me to do it. It's been a lot of work and I haven't even taught my first class yet so the real work has yet to begin.
Wish me luck!!!
JoeNovack
Posted: Sunday, August 08, 2010 10:39:47 PM
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Joined: 3/16/2006
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Location: Madison,VA
Good to hear your enthusiasm.
Try www.woodshopteachers.org for free links and resources.
All the best,
Joe Novack
gwalker
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 2:50:45 PM
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Joined: 8/25/2010
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Location: campobello island, new brunswick
I am a first year woodworking teacher with personal woodworking and carpentry experience, but no experience teaching this subject. I will be teaching grades six through twelve, and have a concern about how to keep all students active and moving forward with projects while dealing with a limited amount of tools. The shop has most tools that would be required for most projects, but there may only be one or two of each tool. If we're all doing the same project, how does everyone stay busy? Some of you seem to have a great deal of experience, and I would be greatful for your input.
greg
blom
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 8:51:47 AM
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Location: Washington, DC
I'm also a new shop teacher for grades 6-8 in Washington, DC. If anyone has advice on projects that work well for kids this age, please let me know.
I'm glad to see there are others out there.
Bobber
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 11:35:35 AM
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Joined: 3/27/2009
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Location: The Great White North
I'm going into my second year as a shop teacher and I would love a chance to view some of your ideas. Thanks for doing this!
ben.kubik@lethsdNOSPAM.ab.ca
gwalker
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 10:51:15 AM
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Joined: 8/25/2010
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Location: campobello island, new brunswick
Thanks so much for helping me out. My e-mail is greg.walker@nbed.nb.ca

Thanks again,
greg
beastwoods
Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 3:27:45 PM
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Joined: 1/14/2009
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Location: Bellevue, NE
my email is nicholashinz@hotmail.com I would like to look over some of the materials that you have to offer. Thanks.
woodchips
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:59:45 PM
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Joined: 8/5/2010
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Location: Southwest
As a first year teacher, with first year students, I started them out on a toolbox project that requires only handtools. we are starting small and simple. Once the toolboxes are finished we will venture into some of the staionary power tools ( bandsaw, scrollsaw,spindle sanders, and stationary sanders, as well as drills, jigsaws etc,. I'm holding off on tools such as planers, jointers, an table saws for the time being since I'm finding some of the students lack the maturity. I had one student in my highschool carpentry class yesterday, experience a missfire with a Dewalt framing nailer and promptly turned it around and pointed it right at is eye to see why. I think that took about 10 years off my life. That was a serious scare. He didn't see the severity of what he had done. Needless to say he's off the power tools for a while until he can prove that he's responsible enough to handle the tools again.
All in all, after my first month of teaching all is going pretty well. I'm loving what I'm doing and hope to carry on for many years to come.
MattM3
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 4:28:12 PM
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Joined: 9/10/2010
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Location: Maryland
Middle School woodworking here (Tech Ed). Nice to see others out here. I have 6/7/8th grades in Maryland. I have each class for about 4 weeks, every other day, so not a lot of time to work. I'm starting my second year. The first year was a learning experience for me. I'd be interested in exchanging ideas. It would be nice if this forum could be broken down into different areas, like adult woodworking teachers, high school, middle school, etc.
jimmydestiny
Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:16:10 AM
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Joined: 9/23/2010
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Location: Waterford
I am extemely interested to see what people here are doing with new woodwork students. As a woodwork teacher i wouldnt use any machines at all for as long as possible and try to get the kids as proficcient as possible with hand tools first. Saying that i do work in a fairly tough school and trusting some kids to use machines properly is a bit of a risk!! Especially until I get to know them and their character.
Karen
Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 8:32:56 AM
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Joined: 11/14/2010
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Location: Milford, NH
I teach middle school woodshop, (technology education). I have tried many projects and found a bird feeder for sixth grade to be appropriate and a gumball machine for my 7th graders to be quite exciting for my students. If you would like the plans and/or more ideas email me. My students are busy for a trimester (60 days). Cutting, drilling, sanding, and finishing. I am also implementing CAD. There are several free programs out there that you could use. Thank you
mikeb
Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 6:11:45 PM
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Joined: 3/7/2008
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Location: North Kingstown/RI
Karen,
What CAD programs are you using?
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