In our TEDxKids@NBCC class, the age differences, enthusiasm, preparedness levels and interest have varied greatly. This has made it a bit challenging to be equally tough on everyone about getting to their best “why” of their idea, despite many conversations formally and informally. So… we didn’t worry about it. Instead for class #5, we just had them start practicing one at a time. And if they weren’t ready yet, it became apparent they needed to get ready! (We didn’t tape any of these practice sessions – but you can imagine how rough they might have sounded).
After each student practiced, we gave them some “light” feedback or “nudges” on digging deeper for facts, proof or examples. Otherwise, the learning objective was to get them to realize that they were very close (one week!) to delivering their talk at TEDxKids@NBCC on 2/17.
And even though this felt like the first official “practice” of their ideas and talking in front of each other, in reality, they had been doing it for a month already. They also were starting to hear each others’ ideas and either improving on their own – or cheering each other on to do better. We started to finally see some momentum and enthusiasm from the group. (and we also solidified who absolutely would not be talking – mainly 3 kindergartners – so we gave them other jobs which they gleefully accepted).
Lastly, we had them vote on a t-shirt design (“Tshirts? Really, we get Tshirts?” – I would not underestimate the importance of this artifact.) To do this, they each drew their name in a circle. We took each circle and arranged them in 3 different designs and gave them the power to vote for their favorite. This one won hands down:
Also, they picked a number out of a hat the order in which they would speak. I chose three students to help “host” to assure that no adult had to be on stage during the event – and we discussed what that meant and how to prepare (know each other’s names, a little about their talks, and follow the transition notes we’ll give them next week).