We had two goals for this week: to get them to understand (in their left and right brains) what it means to deliver a talk in front of people, standing up and secondly, to articulate the basic idea of their TEDx talk.
Each student reviewed this handout – 5 Basics of Speaking – to raise basic awareness about the best practices for speaking in front of people.
After practicing once, each student had at least one behavior that needed help, so we asked them to try again “leaning” into a better practice. They ranged from looking at the audience (not at their shoes), keeping their hands in front of them (not twirling their hair), keeping their feet a bit more stationary (not swinging them like a salsa dance!).
I changed up the class format and worked with them mainly one-on-one to try these exercises. Here, Toby and Maggie got comfortable on the stage and in practicing a basic story about themselves.
Then, I had all the kids join me for a 15 minute circle time on Friday to share their idea and to also design their “circle” for the tshirt (more on that later). Having each student articulate the idea they want to talk about helped all the students know what to expect and that everyone is in the same general “space.”
This week they will need to rehearse a version of their talk (to be at least 1 minute long) to start to put it all together: telling a story, sharing a worthwhile idea, being in front of others while doing so.
I also sent home a memo to the parents with a lofty goal for them to help their child rehearse their talk 10 times over the next two weeks. (After all, the talks are about 1-2 minutes long!). The expectation is that preparation for any talk requires some dedicated practice time and that these talks are not ones to “wing.”
We haven’t spent much time talking about visuals (graphics, images, videos) to support any of their ideas, but they know they are welcome. We’ll incorporate them into one big deck and advance the slides for them if they want to use them. In the future, I might have made a little more time to help them understand when to choose and use a visual – and will still try to do that this week.
Lastly, I’m still arguing in my mind about if we should have shown them a few TED talks before now. But I’m glad I waited since I wanted them to work through the idea in their head before watching others’. I still think there is time to watch a few to demonstrate other kids their age have been successful at the microphone!