Even in Kindergarten, it is important that we allow our students an avenue to present their work to their peers. When students are able to present a piece of work, they take a lot of pride in making that work really good; this makes me want to allow students to present their writing as often as possible. Presentation is also the perfect avenue for students to be able to practice their speaking and listening skills! Overall, presentation time is an opportunity for students to present their knowledge, gain confidence and practice reading their own writing for meaning!
To show students how a presentation should go, I will have them sitting on the carpet. I will be in front of them and will model for them how a presentation of writing should look.
"Boys and girls, today we are going to learn how to present our writing! Since we work so very hard on our writing, I think it is important that we have a chance to share it with each other! That is where presentations come in! Right now, I am going to show you how I expect you to present. So, watch and listen so you will know what to do when it is your turn!"
"When I present, I stand up in front of the class." (I stand up in front of the center of the carpet.) "I also stand straight and smart! See how my shoulders are back and my chin is up?" (wait time) "Now, I am ready to look at my writing. I have my final draft of writing in one hand. And, if I want it, I can have the microphone in my other hand." (I use one of those silly little plastic echo microphones from Dollar Tree; the kids love it.) "Now that I am up here and I have everything that I need, I am going to make sure to look at some of my friends to let them know I am ready." (wait time) "Now, I will begin reading my final draft, using inflection; so my listeners stay interested!"
At this time, I read my own pretend final draft. I make sure to look up when possible. I also make sure to use lots of inflection. I want my students to see my model and think of that as their expectations.
"Now that I am done, you can congratulate me with a round of applause." (wait time) "Thank you for listening."
At this time, I will walk over to my chair, so students know I am no longer modeling the presentation process.
"Did you notice how I presented with my 'speaker voice' so that everyone could hear me?" (wait time) "Did you also notice how I read with inflection, so that my listeners would stay interested?" (wait time) "Also, when I was done, I thanked my audience for listening." (wait time) "All of those presentation skills are very good and I expect to see those things from you as you are standing up and reading your final drafts to your friends!"
After students have written their final drafts, usually on a Friday, I like to have them present their hard work! We have a speaking and listening block built into our day between math and playtime, and that is where I like to fit "Presentation Time" into our schedule!
On Fridays, I have all of my students come to the carpet and sit on their spot with their amazing final drafts. I call one student at a time to present their work to the class. As each student presents, I sit close to them so I can help them if they have any difficulties reading their writing. They stand up and present and I encourage all of the other students to be good listeners and follow our rules for listening skills. After each student presents, I choose the student who was the best listener to be the next presenter. (This is an easy way to keep listeners engaged and actually listening; they want to go ahead and read their final draft, too!)
In the end, it takes about twenty minutes for all fifteen of my students to present. This time investment is totally worth it because it helps my students be confident, proud and good speakers and listeners!
Once students have presented their final drafts for a couple of months or so, they have a good basis for presentation skills. After the foundation has been built, I am confident in letting my students present other types of writing.
As the year goes by, I like to let students present their journal writing if it is really good, their morning work responses if they are created well or even their homework!