I told students that it was important to explain things in sequence….just like we have been learning about sequencing in reading. For example, it would not make sense to tell the life cycle of a frog out of order. When you’re explaining things to others, it should be done in order to help them understand a process or how something happens.
I showed students the rubric I would use to ensure I spoke clearly and used complete sentences with appropriate volume. I modeled practicing my presentation, focusing on the elements of the rubric. I purposely spoke too quickly so that students would be able to give me feedback on something I needed to work on. They told me that I spoke too quickly. I also asked them for something that I did well. They thought my volume was appropriate. I presented again, this time incorporating their feedback and speaking at a moderate pace.
Students worked in small groups to practice explaining how sound waves travel through the ear. They also offered feedback to each other. Having students critique each other let me know that they understood the criteria of an effective presentation. They told each other something that they did well and suggested something they may want to work on. I did this because it can be difficult for some students to speak in front of an audience. Hearing what they did well served to boost their confidence. After the practice and critiques, they presented their work, using the diagrams they had drawn previously, via document camera and microphone.
For assessment, students assessed their speaking skills as well as those of their partner via the rubric. I also assessed them using the rubric. Elements they were assessed on were speaking clearly, using complete sentences, and volume. They were also assessed on how well they listened to others. The ability to listen respectfully is an important life-long skill that goes beyond the classroom.