There are 46 First Nations in Alberta. We have been learning about the culture of First Nations people in our province. Our project work has allowed students to be active in developing research strategies.
This week students worked collaboratively to organize and present their information. They created posters that they will show to the class. The posters form the basis for their presentations. Listening to the opinions and ideas of others, working collaboratively towards a goal and demonstrating an ability to compromise and find roles within groups were skills students worked on. For the presentations that will take place following the March break, each individual within the research group will report on a different aspect of the First Nation they have been researching. When the students present before the class each person will have a role. Students have come up with unique and novel ways to present their information such as incorporating videos, using music, gestures and referring back to the poster. The process has not always been easy, but it is part of the process of developing skills of cooperation, conflict resolution and consensus building that will benefit students as they move through their education and in the future when they have their own careers.
A number of groups were able to film themselves presenting (i.e. a practice presentation). After presenting they viewed the videos and rated their performance on the scale seen below:
It is hoped that by viewing themselves, students can pinpoint areas where they did well and likewise where they feel they could improve. They were encouraged to watch themselves and be critical about how well they could be heard, whether or not they were facing the audience, using gestures and if there were miscues or instances of indecision. Students have created scripts that include a beginning, middle and end. Many students are keen to present in front of the class even if they are nervous about their performance. By watching themselves, and reflecting on their performance when they were not in front of the class (and presumably a little more relaxed), it is hoped that they will be able to present to everyone in a confident manner.
I was very pleased to meet the majority of parents / guardians of the children I teach at Parent/Teacher conferences on March 22 ~ March 23. Over the break I would encourage students to read 20 minutes per night. Setting aside a specific time for reading is a often a good way to encourage development of reading skills.
Here are some tips for parents reading aloud with children: