Thursday, April 11, 2013

Show and Tell

Today was the day my class has been waiting for!  They have been asking about it for weeks, counting down the days, and planning the exact best thing to bring.  The excitement in our classroom as the students walked in this morning was palpable.  It was finally Show and Tell day!

Before we started, we discussed some things we would be learning and practicing during our Show and Tell time. I explained that we were going to practice speaking in complete sentences.  We talked about ways to be a good, respectful listener.  After that, my students took over!   It was so much fun to hear the students talk about the treasures they chose to bring!  Some of my quieter students said a sentence or two and then let their classmates' questions carry the discussion.  Others commanded their classmates' attention from the beginning and maintained it throughout.  Some engaged their listeners by having them guess what was in their backpacks or used technology to display their treasures on the SMART Board.  It was obvious that a few of my students were born to be in front of a crowd!  

Each child got a chance to video tape another student's Show and Tell segment using our iPad.  We have practiced this skill with other, smaller recordings, but this was the biggest recording they have done.  Good news!  They were all able to do it entirely on their own.  They have even mastered the silent cue to the presenter that the camera is rolling.

The students presenting controlled the learning environment entirely on their own.  They said their bit, called on students who had questions, answered their questions, and controlled when their turn was over.  They also made certain that each of their peers got a chance to see their treasure up close.  I was very proud of all of my presenters.  I was also very proud of my listeners who showed good listening manners and asked good questions (and knew what a question was!).

After everyone had a turn to present, the children sat down to write about their treasures.  I allowed 55 minutes for this process, including a 10 minute mini-lesson.  That was great - for part 1!  Part 2 will begin first thing tomorrow as I had several students groan miserably when I told them that we had to stop writing because we were out of time.  Before they stopped, they wanted to be sure that they would get a chance to finish as soon as possible.  As I think back to the beginning of kindergarten when it was a struggle for most students to write for even 5-10 minutes, I am amazed at their growth!  Then I look at their writing and am amazed even further. (That's another blog post in and of itself!  It looks like I already have my inspiration for my next post.)

Today was such a good day in my classroom.  We had fun and got to know each other better (while addressing around fifteen Common Core State Standards).  I know all of my students will smile when they tell their grownups at home about their day today which is really what it is all about in kindergarten!

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