This fall, Shooting Star English held its first set of English presentations. Due to the pandemic we decided that we would hold the presentations online for the safety of the students, limiting the number of students who were present. One of the bonuses of this meant that we were able to present to parents who might not have been able to attend presentations normally using YouTube. We had such a great time from beginning to end. Let me break down how things went.
We started off by writing our own presentations. Students were differentiated into different levels based upon how long they had been studying English with us, and their ability. Each student chose a specific topic within their theme. Once completed, student and teacher sat down together to review their work and see what improvements we could make together.
Once we completed our presentations, we got set on preparing for one of the most important aspects of presentations – how we present.
Students were educated on their posture, gestures, intonation, word stress and pronunciation to name but a few of the necessary presentation skills they would need to be successful.
For 6 weeks we practiced each of the skills independently, incorporating them into their roster. We higlighted their key words in their presentations so they could consider which words to say louder than others. For pacing we sped up some sections and slowed down others to keep the presentation not only interesting, but give it the dramatic effect that a good presentation has. The students had amazing rhythm in their presentations. Finally, the students’ gestures added animation to their presentation. Instead of standing still, like lifeless rocks, the students added feeling to their speeches and stories. We felt the important of topics that the students cared deeply about.
Our presentations were held over a couple of days. We did our best to make sure that the students were not only well prepared, but were motivated to present. We explained the main purpose of the presentations were to help them learn pertinant life skills that would follow them for the rest of their lives. The students took this information and flew with it. Here are a few great examples of some of the presentations that the students presented on the day. As stated before, students were given differentiated themes based upon their ability which is in the captions below.
In the end, both teachers and students felt a sense of pride and achievement.
As teachers, we weren’t quite sure how the students would respond to the presentations. I wasn’t sure if they’d put in the effort to memorise, or even come to stand in front of a camera. The overwhelming euphoria at the end of the presentations both Victoria teacher and I felt when the presentations were completed is still with me days later as I wrote this.
Students and their parents have messaged us, thanking us for helping them learn such valuable skills. The pride the students felt was apparent as they were asking to watch their videos again, and even some students wanted to have another go in front of the camera they enjoyed it that much.
As an educator I cannot thank my students enough for how much they tried during these presentation, especially during the pandemic. But, maybe the presentations offered an outlet for them to either distract, or vent their frustrations. Either way, we’re hoping that next years Shooting Star Online Presentations will be even more successful than this years, all because of our wonderful, Shooting Star students. Thank you.
Check out our YouTube channel for a taster of what the presentation day looked like.