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Woodworking for Kids - Big Learning


Woodworking for Kids - Big Learning

Woodworking brings together valuable knowledge and skills from many academic and practical subject areas. Here are a few examples.

Designing: Going from a concept, like "a box for trading cards," to the finished product involves mentally decomposing an object into its component parts. This isn't easy, and the best technique I've found is "reverse engineering," which means examining a similar object to see how it is put together. This is a great exercise for developing mechanical and spatial skills.

Drawing and prototyping: You'll find that drawing the parts on paper is extremely helpful for avoiding big mistakes. I've even gone so far as to make paper cutouts of the parts to convince myself they'll fit together. Learning to represent an object accurately develops visualization and drawing skills, and if the drawings are to scale you're developing the mathematics of proportional reasoning.

Measuring: A tape measure is nothing more than a number line you can carry. Your kids may think adding fractions is a scary concept. But adding 3 ½" + ¾ " is easy on a tape measure - you just find 3 ½" and count up three quarter-inches. No conversion of denominators necessary. Using fractions on a tape measure reinforces the idea that fractions can be thought of as numbers (rather than as parts of a whole) - one half is a number between zero and one, for example. This is a more mathematically sophisticated and useful understanding of fractions.




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