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Getting there


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday Day Four, Presentations.

Got into class 8:55 and began to set up the ppt stuff, one of my students was kind enough to help me. Took me ages to find cables, and then I couldn't get the laptop screen to show on the slide screen...as I got more and more anxious, the chime went, so I decided to ask students to hand in the summer assignment while I worked on the hardware issues a bit longer. One techie student was kind enough to open up things in the windows innards and set things for going on screen, I tried to learn it...for a second I thought of showing everyone, but they were all still busy sorting out their papers, rubrics with article and report clipped together.

Then I redistributed papers and explained about commenting during the two week break, grading and showing how to improve, and correcting grammar. Only one student didn't have her assignment... I also asked students to deduct ten points for missing original articles or rubric sheet, realizing that the presentation rubric was taken out of the rubrics in favor of a different criteria, but that without the original article or the marksheet, there had to be some response in grades.

Anyway, having got that out of the way, I asked for volunteers, immediately got response, so I said great, you get the five point bonus...and while they were settting up i explained the marking system and handed out the first round of presentation marksheet rubrics to each remaining group. Six groups in this class, so one marker in every group, worked nicely.

The presentations were fantastic. I had my kitchen timer, and I set it for six minutes, and after the first presentation I was on four minutes and thirty seconds, only one of the presenters had been timing them too and insisted by their measurement it was just under six, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. They then got all worried about whose timing was right, and began comparing my kitchen clock timing with their watch in the second and third presentation...don't worry, I said, you timed which is the right attitude, so no problem.

But it did serve to make everyone realize I was timing, and that timing presentations is an issue. During one very thorough, brilliant presentation, they went waaaay over time, and we all had to mark the lowest rubric for that section. Then in the following presentation one presenter skipped excellently through the team's last two slides, pinpointing the most important info, to finish the team on the dot. I made a point of praising him when the team got back, and just before we all went home I remarked to everyone that we need to learn that technique, of skipping expertly and with flair when time runs out.

With one team less presenting, there was a moment to say thank you to everyone for how excellent they were, how pleased I am at the way they structured content, and for wearing the business attire. On my way out I chatted with four people who said it really was heavy duty for them to wear suits, because they come in early for soccer, and with the shoes and everything. I promised in Presentation 2 we'll just wear ordinary clothes, and taste the difference, as it were.

I made a point of asking questions right from the first presentation, and just like Tuesday, when I said, "Why are you wearing a green tie?" (on Tuesday I asked, Why are you wearing a pink blouse?"), the students thought I was complaining from my position of a teacher, rather than acting in the role of a harrassing questioner. They were so cute, they said I like green, and then they asked, is green not business attire? I apologized for scaring them, I then said ok, look at your worksheets, how can you answer, and reminded everyone of the worksheet phrase, "I think that goes beyond the scope of today's presentation".

I continued to ask questions for about three presentations, and then stopped, reminding everyone that we needed to work more on that too. One of the students sitting close by me at the back asked if they should be answering the questions people were asked to write on the back of the rubrics...no, I said, it's ok, but you can tell how well your presentation was understood by the absence or presence of and quality of questions. If there are none, or really basic ones, it may be a sign that your message didn't get across, so you might have to think about how to improve. This was a private conversation, but I almost wish I could say that to everyone....

The other thing that was good was the response to what you noticed/learned in class. Lots of reflecting, I'll blog it later when i've had lunch. This has been such a great learning experience for me too, to take my computer into the classroom, and hook it up to the projector, and to see all the fantastic ppts. I'd never have dared last year. I think with it being my second year, I am more used to the buildings and everything and the basics of where I'm going with the course, so I can think how to integrate the available environment into the course to our advantage. Certainly having the ppts right from the start scaffolds the weak delivery, making the English and the ideas more accessible. Good to have the structure in place, and the visuals, and NOW we can begin to focus on polishing delivery.

So presentation two is going to be different from one, in
Pres. 1: Definition, Example, Advantages and Disadvantages, Group Message
Pres.2: Trends and Projections Based on Graph comparison or Surveys (with survey monkey)

Pres 1: Business
Pres 2: Casual

Pres 1: On Structure, beginning, outline and ending and responding to Q
Pres 2: On Delivery and possibly Teamwork


Pres 1: Working with friends
Pres 2: Working with a pre-determined group (possibly of people you normally avoid)