This year I attended VALA’s conference and listened to Rod Sheehan from Peter Lalor Vocational College. He spoke of the need to make sure that VCAL projects had the following 4 principles –
- Real World Application
- Technical Content
- Hands on Learning
I’d never really thought about the above principles, I’d always just planned for ‘Applied Learning’ in a general sense.
Since then, I’ve tried to incorporate these 4 principles in everything I do when planning for my VCAL classes.
So, for your viewing pleasure, I’m about to share with you a quick project that I am going to complete during VCAL orientation week. The project includes the 4 principles.
Planter Box Project
(250 minutes (2 x 100 and 1 x 50 minute lessons))
- Working in groups of three, students will create a planter box from old pallets.
- Research pallet planter box’s on youtube. Find an instructional video and transcribe the video into step by step instructions
- Scale draw your designs
- Come up with a risk assessment.
Real World Application
- Students will be placing the planter boxes in locations around the school to ‘beautify’ the local community
- Transcribing instructions to create a step by step guide
- Scale drawings
- Planting seeds at right depth / temperature
- Risk assessments
- Taking photos / videos for evidence
- Material list
Hands on Learning
- Creating the planter box from old pallets
- Painting the planter boxes
- Planting flowers
- Using ICT (myedapp) students will reflect on the week using reflective techniques, what worked, what didn’t, what could they do better next time?
Key 21st C Skills: Collaboration, Creativity & Imagination, Problem solving
- Welcome to VCAL
- Real world application, technical content, hands on learning, reflection, 21st C skills
- Timeline of this week
- Expected behaviours
- What you put in, you will get out.
- Participation is key – evidence based, need to do the work in front of me.
- Photos and videos are a must for this subject – you need to prove you’ve been there and done that, photos and videos prove this
- VCAL is all about hands on learning – doing things.
- Introduce topic using essential question / learning intention (what will they learn?)
- Basic Research skills, transcribing instructions and risk assessments (basics) – just an introduction to these topics, scale drawing
- Hand out task sheet (need to create one) – need to have video address and step by step guidelines, scale drawing sheet and spot for drawing design, material list
- Show them videos on youtube, how to access them
- Obtain materials (I already have)
- Create planter boxes
- Reflect on learning