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Lifelong Learning

ISD#152 Instruction & Curriculum Advisory Committee

December 8 ICAC Meeting

When: December 8, 2016

Where: Probstfield Center for Education Board Room


  1. Introductions
  2. Minutes from November 10, 2016
  3. Update on Industrial Tech Resource Adoption and Curriculum
  4. Gifted and Talented Overview
  5. Other


Instruction and Curriculum Advisory Committee
Dec. 8, 2016, Meeting Minutes
Members Present: Karen Jacowitz, Chizuko Shastri, Josh Haag, Sadie Anderson, Leigh Dornfeld, Julie Wellnitz, Bill Tomhave, Carol Ladwig, Cindy Fagerlie, Rebecca Guest, John Wirries, Missy Eidsness, Dana Haagenson, Mary Flesberg and Pam Gibb.
Guests: Hannah Reisdorf and Jeff Schneider, Moorhead High School industrial technology teachers.
1. Approval of Nov. 10, 2016, Minutes
Bill Tomhave moved, Karen Jacowitz seconded, to approve the minutes. Motion carried.
2. Update on Industrial Technology Resource Adoption and Curriculum
Hannah Reisdorf and Jeff Schneider, Moorhead High School industrial technology teachers, provided an update on the resource adoption for industrial technology. Computerized equipment helps with meeting industry standards so students gain entry-level skills. Schneider explained the Welding I course introduces the five main welding processes and teaches students foundational welding skills. The Welding II course focuses on skill improvement and teaches the fabrication and manufacturing process. This introduces students to welding and manufacturing jobs.
As part of the new equipment, the department added a digital multi-process welder, which is used by industry partners to do three welding processes. By repurposing some equipment and furniture they have four modular welding and small engine benches with updated tables for the drafting classroom. In 2010 they added two auto-darkening welding helmets (about $350 each) and in 2016 they added the $16,000 CNC Plasma Cutting Machine for cutting and manufacturing parts. Students use 3D CAD software to design before programming the cutting machine. This allows cutting of custom shapes and bending to make projects more structurally sound instead of hand cutting or shearing. Parts can be nested and cut together to minimize waste. A water table underneath absorbs most of the smoke.
The Lincoln curriculum being used is industry-recognized training that was purchased instead of textbooks. Students are learning basic programming to cut shapes, and they are learning manufacturing and fabrication techniques using industry cutting and welding equipment.
For the engineering design class, students learn the engineering process, engineering software and 3D prototyping. They have added two 3D printers. For Intro to Drafting, students use and understand basic drafting techniques using industry-specific drafting software programs AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit Architecture. Examples made using the 3D printer include some replacement handles and a train engine/track. Reisdorf said that this adds another level of learning for students – of when it’s OK to fail. For the train example, the axle to hold the pieces didn’t work so the student had to glue the wheels on. Students learn the limitations of technology and how to make improvements to their designs, she said.
Students in the engineering and drafting classes are using the same software industry is using. Project Lead the Way curriculum, which is a STEM-based approach, is used, and students are exposed to careers in the area through partners in industry. Reisdorf said she shares with students what she learned from participating in the teachers in industry experience with a local engineering firm that uses the same software programs students are being taught how to use.
There was discussion of the physics and mathematical knowledge needed for the engineering class. Reisdorf said Principles of Engineering combines science, math and engineering, such as when designing a cube students also calculate surface area, standard deviations, and do spreadsheet work on density, mass and weight. There were questions on students being served, whether enough newer equipment is available, if students pursue industrial technology training or positions after high school, and the repurposed furniture. All four industrial technology teachers have full schedules with students from across the spectrum; more females are starting to take the classes. Students have to take turns as space and equipment are limited. Missy Eidsness said that as the department looks to upgrade equipment, such as a router, they would look at what industry uses to make sure Moorhead students are on pace with area schools and industry. There is no formal tracking of where students are going after high school, but some have reported additional welding or automotive training, some go directly to work in industry, and some learn that they don’t want to work in these areas.
3. Gifted and Talented Overview
Leigh Dornfeld, gifted and talented coordinating teacher, shared an overview with the committee. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Dornfeld spends the day at an elementary school working with fourth- and fifth-grade students. Third grade will be added in January. The elementary resource strategists do book clubs while Dornfeld focuses on math enrichment and project-based learning. Dornfeld is at Horizon on Fridays for PBL Discovery, which switches hours each week so they don’t always miss the same class (and students are never pulled from their advanced math class). On Wednesday, Dornfeld is at Moorhead High and Probstfield.
The goal had been to get into the high school, and this year that happened — partly because of relationships developed at Horizon. Dornfeld is there on Wednesday morning during the ILT time working with ninth-grade students. They explore opportunities available to students, and Dornfeld serves as a resource teacher and can help students keep track of what they are doing for college applications.
At the elementary level, the Discovery projects are project-based learning with the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity). At the end of the project, students give a presentation. Dornfeld shared an example of the BreakoutEDU curriculum, which lets students break into a locked room and ends with them creating a game.
Dornfeld attended the conference for National Association for Gifted Children, which has led to a goal of identifying students who are from under-represented student groups, using universal screening starting at a young grade level, and providing opportunities to these students. She wants to pilot a plan where she partners with a teacher to teach a lesson while the teacher observes what students are doing. The lessons are designed to pull out creative thinking.
Dornfeld is considering whether the current identification process is best practice since gifted/talented students should be from all groups. The CogAT assessment is given to students who qualify and to all students at one grade level. Dornfeld spends September identifying students and would like to shorten that so she has more time to work with students. Adding more schools next year will spread out services more. Adding another gifted and talented teacher may need to be considered, but providing services to the high school was easier this year because of Dornfeld’s relationship with students.
There was discussion of working with teachers so they can help with identifying, the need for social skills, parents upset if a child was not identified for services, providing gifted and talented services because it is a need for students, whether the title gifted/talented is limiting, that resource strategists lead book groups with less restrictive participation requirements, that higher female participation is seen at the elementary level but more males are in math league, and that Destination Imagination has gained interest and is available to as many students as are interested.
4. Other