This Guiding Question was necessary as I prepared for several presentations. From experience, I know that middle schoolers tend to lose focus during peer presentations, and can even seem a bit disrespectful. In order to avoid this, I needed them to be able to identify what a good audience member might look and sound like (hint: it's silent!).
When students were finished with the Guiding Question, we had a brief talk about what respect looks like during a presentation. We use S.L.A.N.T. (Sit up, Lean In, Activate your thinking, Note important information, Track the speaker), and I had to reiterate the expectations for it. We also talked about how we would hold our questions until the end, and then the presenter would choose three peers to ask the questions. Basically, we were setting the stage for respectful interactions with our peers.
The bulk of this lesson is presentations and I try to get through about six per class. Considering I allow for a quick question and answer session at the culmination of each presentation, and that sometimes it takes kids a really long time to get logged in or prepared, this is a pretty lofty goal. Anyway, they turned out pretty well.
However, in order to keep the rest of my class engaged in their peers' presentations, I knew I needed to have something for them to do. I used the Student Feedback form so that they recorded each presentation, and took the time to mark one thing they learned, and one question that may be lingering.
Here is the assignment, the Embedded Assessment.
Here are some of the presentations I've seen so far today: