Teaching Welding Symbols and Fractions

For me one of the best ideas I stumbled on from another teacher was the use of little white boards and dry erase markers when teaching students how to read welding symbols, construction math and fractions. I found that dry erase boards are great for working with students when teaching something visual. Instead of calling a student on the carpet to come to the front of the class and draw a welding symbol I keep a stack of boards along with a box of markers in my classroom. When I get to the chapters with welding symbols I pass out the little white boards and dry erase markers. I then start asking questions to the class and having them draw the welding symbols on their white board. This allows the students to do their work or pose a problem, have students jot the answer down on their boards before sharing with the group. I usually have half a dozen questions in a PowerPoint presentation with the question on slide one and the answer to the question on slide number 2. I ask the question -

Student Templates of Resume and Cover Letter

 In regards to resumes and cover letters for welding students - I did not have the heart, will power or the class time to wrestle with the nine headed monster of trying to get the students dialed in and moving in the right direction when writing resumes. The other welding instructor and I gave it a go and attempted to help our students write resumes my first year teaching and it was an unmitigated train wreck. So I went the easy route and just said to heck with it and I wrote a plug and play resume and a plug and play cover letter for my students. I figured this was probably the best path forward without chewing up large quantities of time fixing grammar and spelling errors.  Below is a copy of the cover letter. Joe Smith 127 Merry Ashford Houston TX 77082  (555)555-9907 January 29, 2020 Dear Sir/Ma’am: I am a graduate of Houston Community College where I earned a Basic welding helper certificate. For the past year I have been employed by the AUC Group as a Weld

Contacting Parents and Administrators

As you head into your new career as a welding instructor at some point you are going to have a students who is a renegade, hooligan, ruffian, lollygagger or maybe just is falling behind. Any of the aforementioned behaviors or situations might be cause for reporting this individual's behavior to people up the chain of command from you including the students parents.  One of the main things to remember is to keep it professional. If the student is a ruffian and making your life miserable make sure and include all pertinent information in regards to grades, classroom behavior, work ethic, shop safety and attendance. You don't want to write something down in the heat of the moment telling the parents and the students AP/Counselor that the student is the spawn of demons and will probably be the sole reason for Ragnarök happening. Keep it professional when dealing with the administrators and parents of students that are not doing their work or are hooligans. Odds are if you are havin

Numbering and Naming Assignments

 I know this probably sounds like common sense but coming from outside education no one ever sat me down and said hey this is how we do this. So I thought I would throw in my two cents worth and let you know that as an instructor you probably want to find a system that works for you as far as keeping track of assignments in your LMS - Learning Management System. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of what assignments you have given and where they are located. I like a numbering system for my assignments this is probably due to having been a welding engineer and all the Welding Procedure Specifications are numbered using an alphanumeric numbering system, all of this depends on where you work and the system that is in place for documentation numbering. I start the school year with assignment number 1 and work my way to the bigger numbers as the school year progresses. I also put in a descriptor after the number so I know what the content of the quiz is. 87 - Review and Some Math 88 -G

Building Power Point Presentations

 As I lecture two days a week and am a firm believer of having my students take notes, I would be lost without a solid stash of PowerPoint presentations. There are a couple of different directions one can go with building a stash of PowerPoint presentations. I have some PowerPoints that go with specific chapters of the textbooks that I teach from, others I found on the internet and a vast majority of my library of PowerPoint presentations I built from scratch. I am going to try and put together a somewhat coherent how to on building welding related PowerPoint presentations.  When I teach my Welding I course I start at the bgining of the year with welding and shop safety, then after a couple of weeks of that, just when the students are about to lose their minds due to me talking about welding safety, I go into Stick Welding or SMAW - Shielded Metal Arc Welding. I keep mentioning that two of my favorite sources for questions are Nonresident Training Courses on welding, Steelworker, Volum

Coming Up with Questions -

Questions are the backbone for a question bank, not like that really needed to be said. That is like saying you need money if you are going to start a bank. These two statements make sense, but the task at hand is trying to find and or build enough questions so that you have a viable question bank. Like anything else there has to be a shortcut or a trick or two that one can use to cut down on the grind involved in coming up with questions. And figuring out some of those tricks it the key to not getting burned out trying to come up with questions. Another thing to keep in mind is that in a previous post I mentioned spaced reputation and how utilizing spaced repetition is beneficial for teaching some courses. This repetition means that as instructors we keep asking the same questions over and over again through the duration of the course so that the material being covered is retained by the student. My theory is to teach welding like it is a language so spaced reputation is the key and h

Software Tools That Are Useful

When making questions for your quiz bank and questions in general you might decide that you want to include a sketch or a drawing or something like that to maybe give the students a hint or maybe the questions requires a sketch. When teaching welding it is pretty difficult to ask questions about welding symbols and blueprint reading without a small drawing or a sketch.  Now that we realize that at some point you are probably going to need a sketch or two for your class, I am going to list the four main pieces of software that I use to add a little depth and or clarity to my quiz questions. 1) Google Drawings 2) Libre Office - Draw 3) Snipping Tool - on Windows 10 4) Microsoft Paint - on Windows 10 All of the above pieces of software are either free or open source.  Google Drawings  Google Drawings is a diagramming software included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite offered by Google. It allows importing images from the computer or from the Web as well as insertin