Friday, March 11, 2005

3 ways today

Here it is ... Lunch time ... FRIDAY !!!

Today, we are installing 3 way switches. For the less informed among you (and don't feel bad ... Electricity has it's own language), those are the switches that allow you to turn a light on or off from two locations. They are one wire more complicated than a single pole switch.

Most of the kids are grasping the concept. I have told them all along that this is really easy stuff. If it is hard, you are doing it wrong. To my amazement, two of the first finishers in my 1st block were Kameron and Michael. "Why am I amazed," you ask. Good question! Kameron, Michael, and Roger are my goof offs. They are usually off task and on some prank or otherwise useless discussion. Michael took off on the first project and did well. Kameron and Roger finished eventually. I was there to assist if there were any questions and it was difficult not to get a decent grade unless you were just trying not to get a good one.

Today, Michael asked several questions, but not 'how to' questions. Mostly his questions were just for clarification. "Am I doing this right?" Kameron was attentive and industrious. His work looked good and it worked. Michael's work looked good as well, and worked also. Good job, guys. This left me with a bit of a problem. Roger was left out. There was no one to cut up with or slow down. He struggled. His wires were too short and had to be replaced. He felt frustrated because his usual goof off or lag behind buddies were done.

I always knew that if I kept Michael away from the other two that he would do well. Kameron surprised me. He seems to be the ringleader most of the time. He is the one that starts the trouble then slowly backs out to leave the others to get in trouble. He is smart, just not motivated. Well, at least not motivated to do school work. This may be a fluke. This may be the aberration. Either way, it leave me with the problem of how to motivate Roger. If any readers have ideas, feel free to share.

The rest of the class is taking to the ideas well. They are slowly learning. The key, is to remember everything you did last time, and add to it. I lay down certain basics in every project. The NEC requires 6 inches of wire in the box for terminations. The NEC requires that romex be supported with a staple within 12 inches of the box. This is the same on every project. Outlets are installed the same way every time. Switches work the same every time. Now we are adding the 3 way switches to our litany. Next is the 4 way for controlling lights from 3 or more locations.

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