Tech Class Expectations

Tech class has transitioned to a “flipped classroom” workshop format.

What does that mean?  A flipped classroom is one in which students use learning resources individually, at their own pace, to acquire the knowledge and skills required to complete class assignments.  Classroom time is devoted to working through problems, completing assignments, and sharing completed work.

This format achieves two objectives.  It enables more varied experiences, including independent study options and the ability to support each student moving at their own pace through the assignments.  It also develops “life long learner” skills for making effective use of learning resources.

Students may choose from the following paths through tech class:

The happy fun default path:  master computer science concepts by completing fun Scratch programming assignments in order at your own pace.  Each assignment has detailed expectations and is accompanied by one or more videos explaining the concepts and demonstrating how to complete the assignment.  Work in class and at home.  Get individual help solving problems in class or by email.  Most students should choose this option.  Here’s a link to each grade’s assignments:  Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8.

3d modeling:  use tech class time and resources to work on a 3d model to be printed and used for another class project.  7th grade students may design and print components for their simple machines science project.  Any student may use tech class time to work on a model in support of another class project.  You may combine this with the default path (above) and switch back and forth between them if you like.  Do a couple TinkerCAD tutorials and get a few pointers in class and you will be productive in no time!  7th grade students should check out Mr. James’ saved collection of Simple Machines projects on Thingiverse.

Independent/advanced study:  Unlock this path by placing out of the Scratch assignments:   complete your grade’s assignment number 3 at a level that exceeds expectations.  Then you can design your own programming assignment, or pick from a list of options.  These assignments must be challenging and further develop your computer science skills.  Each assignment must be approved by Mr. James and must include a plan to achieve specific K-8 computer science standards, ideally standards from the algorithms and programming list which are not addressed through the default Scratch assignments.

Status Tracking:

All students are expected to keep their Office 365 profile up to date with the status of the tech class assignment they are currently working on.  For example:  “I’m working on the Scratch program for the Guess a Number game” or “I’m working on a 3d model of Stonehenge for my social studies project”  Keeping this up to date counts towards your class participation evaluation.  More info and directions.