Written by Edward “Brook” Boswell
I am glad to be a part of the CTE Program and have been teaching HVAC and Building Materials at Klein Cain High School for the past year. My background is in the HVAC industry as an HVAC Technician and in building materials as an independent self-employed handyman for the past 10 years or so. I really like how my classes are for both traditional college-bound students and for those who may not go to college immediately after high school graduation. Many students simply want to work in a trade as a skilled employee and may attend college later or perhaps attend a trade school specializing in an area of interest later.
First, the HVAC and Building Materials classes I am teaching are a combination of hands-on activities, small group work, and traditional academic study. I have found this combination works well for my students. On a typical day, we will watch a few short videos that may introduce a topic. Sometimes the video will demonstrate how something works or covers a concept that is part of the lesson plan. I have found that these short videos work remarkably well, and between 3 to 7 minutes is just about right.
Second, a logical well-flowing presentation helps drive home the topic in detail and is the main part of the lesson of the day. There are plenty of pictures to back up what you are attempting to present to the class. Templates and enhanced design features allow some slides to be presented and help make the subject a bit more interesting to the students. Some parts of the presentation can be used over again, so a quality presentation can be done very efficiently. Typically, 10 to 15 slides are just about right and should never take over a third of the class time.
Third, I like to wrap up things with a small group activity or hands-on activity. This will help the students apply what they have just learned. For many, this is an important step that is where the real learning starts. Sometimes comparing or contrasting make an interesting activity. A small group of 3 to 5 students will allow them to discuss what they have just learned in detail and allow them to process the information. There are also times when we use equipment and tools to perform a specific task. These activities try to involve all the students and play a critical role in learning.
In conclusion, HVAC and Building Materials classes offer the student an opportunity to obtain valuable knowledge and learn things through small group instruction, hands-on activities, presentations, and short videos. These ways of presenting the information will allow the student to learn the material needed to become employed in today’s competitive markets and obtain valuable skills needed.
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