Traditionally, middle school and public speaking do not mix well.
But in my classroom we struggle through it and fight against the rising tide of awkwardness to emerge victorious, public speakers.
These mini-presentations were for an audience of a small group, five or six peers with me on the sidelines. Starting small, in a safe environment of friends, helps build their presentation confidence for later. Also, I have three groups running simultaneously, so they have to practice being loud enough to be heard!
Students presented their user guides today, sharing information about their 'operating instructions,' now with an audience to hear the fruit of their self-reflection. The looming presentation day also ups the ante of student investment in their work, knowing that somebody else will take the time to listen and see their work.
I also love mini-presentations because I get time to watch, listen, observe, and let my students do ALL the talking!
- JMF (the teacher)