Lightbox Reflection

For our first Product Design unit, we were challenged to create a lightbox featuring the landscape of a place that’s special to us – one that we couldn’t visit because of COVID. For my lightbox, I chose to make a mountain landscape that reminds me of Colorado. We visit friends there almost every summer, but didn’t get to this year because we didn’t go home.

I learned a lot of different skills during the process of making my lightbox, most of which had to do with Adobe Illustrator. Creating specifically sized shapes, joining two shapes together, and image tracing/expanding are three examples. I also learned a little about acrylic paint, like how much to use and how to thin it out using water.

There are several things I’d change about my lightbox. First, I’d go back and make the rectangle underneath the trees shorter, so that it doesn’t show. This would make it look more realistic, and it would also allow the lake behind it to show a little more. Next, I’d pain the brown part of the mountain up a little higher so it looks more real too. Finally, I’d consider making the trees a little less perfect. I think if they were different types of trees, different sizes, or maybe not so perfectly distances it would look a little more natural.


Teaching and Learning during SY20-21

I’ve been ready for this schoolyear for a while. I’ve been in Beijing since January, I’ve been looking forward to our new Design Center opening, and I’ve had this idea for a unit for nearly a year (though the context I’ll present it with has changed).

Then I got to school.

And I remembered how nothing ever goes quite the way you plan. I’m finding myself intimidated and unprepared to teach students who are both at ISB and outside. The Design Center won’t be open for at least 2 weeks, so I have to re-plan around that obstacle. I’m slowly realizing the weight of have to do all prep-work, teaching and clean-up myself without help from TAs. Luckily, I’m really well supported here and I’ve already begun tackling these issues by reaching out the the OOL, my colleagues, and my teaching partner for help. Teaching and learning might be a little bumpy to start the year, but I’m confident it will smooth out pretty quickly.

My Cardboard Arcade Creation

For my grade 6 Design class, I made a cardboard arcade game. Players try to navigate a marble into the doors at the far end of the game by tilting the entire game side to side without putting it into the two pits.

If I did this again I would make several changes. First, I would change the shape of the cardboard piece where you place your marble to start. I would make it an L shape, so that the marble doesn’t start rolling out as soon as you put it down. Another thing I would do differently is add a few more obstacles, especially at the front of the game.

My biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep the toothpicks straight when I put rubber bands on them. I did this by cutting out strips of foam and gluing them to the bottom of the game. This way, the foam helped give strength to the toothpicks and kept them in place.

Overall, I think my game was a success. Lots of students played it, and many of them came back for a second turn. Additionally, lots of students told me they enjoyed playing it because it was challenging and fun.


Design Sketches

No-Device Device Challenge

To encourage people to stop using their phones and interact with each other instead, I created a game called Phone Escape. It was inspired by a game I played before called Unblock Me, where the goal of the game is to slide wooden blocks around in order to remove the red block from the puzzle.

In my version of this game, players put their cellphones in a lockbox (blue), which then becomes the piece of the puzzle you need to remove from the game. The game board comes with other pieces, some of which move side to side (orange) and others move up and down (green). The board itself would display where you can set the pieces up to make the puzzle, and you would be able to change the puzzle after you are done if you wanted to continue. This game encourages people to play games in real life together, without the distraction of their phone. You need two players to play, and you don’t get your phones back until you solve the puzzle.

My Teacher Goal 2019/2020

ISB MS Teacher Goal Template – 2019-20

Name and Position: Jeff Layman – MS Design teacher and facilitator

7Cs Professional Growth Goal
To make a concerted effort to summarize what we learned at the end of lessons.

To create opportunities for students to summarize what we learned.

To create opportunities for students to connect what we’ve learned across classes.

Which of the 7Cs will you work on this year?  Why?  

Consolidate. After completing my self-reflection, I realized that I might not be doing a very good job of wrapping lessons up. Specifically, I’m not doing a very good job asking students to summarize nor am I summarizing things very well myself.






Action Steps: Resources Needed Evidence of Completion (deliverable showing completion of action step) Will be completed by (date)
  Start carving out a few minutes at the end of each lesson for summary.   n/a  Keep a running log of what I summarized?
  Develop a few activities that allow students to summarize something they learned Chats w/colleagues, book resources   copies or notes of activities
 Develop activities (perhaps a timeline of some sort?) that allow students to make connections across lessons Chats w/colleagues, book resources   copies or notes of activities
 Try them out!   n/a


Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

  • Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
    • Self assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards  (Tripod 7C’s)
    • Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
    • Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
  • Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
  • Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
  • Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
  • You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.

If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!

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