Public Speaking Class: Fluency Friday

Man, it feels awesome to be back in the classroom! At the front of the class as the teacher that is. I’m still avoiding ever becoming a student again! This post might be completely uninteresting to those who aren’t educators, but I’m writing all this down in hopes of getting my ideas for class straight before class starts.

I’m running an experiment of sorts with the Public Speaking class. The goal is to conduct the 1.5 hour class with no-or-little use of technology and with few print-outs or copies. Today is all about the students doing what they should be learning! Learn by doing, the best way to learn anything.

Class will start normally enough by taking roll and simultaneously asking the students to jot down their presentation topics (a presentation previously discussed). During this time, as the sign-up sheet goes around, there will be a quick verbal review of the content from the previous class. The method employed here will be a boys vs. girls Family Feud-style face off.

After the face-off, the students will be instructed to head outside the classroom in to the corridor. There, I’ve taped up along the corridor nine tongue-twisters. The students will have one minute per station to practice the tongue-twisters. Afterwards, once back in the classroom, any eager volunteers will have the chance to show off their verbal prowess.

Next step, the students will engage in a quick Teach-Back. The four teams will receive one worksheet per team, each worksheet containing different information. Their task is to read, understand and discuss within themselves. Then, each team will have one or two students present the information to the rest of the class.

Lastly, if time allows and it should, the students will be paired off and each will receive a fluency prompt for them to practice impromptu speaking. Written on the board are the elements of public speaking that have already been discussed: Eye contact, volume/projection, body language, hand gestures, posture, tone and inflection, and audience engagement. There are plenty of strips (with prompts on them) that they can come to the front to get new ones. After practicing for 10 minutes with a partner, they will be instructed to regroup into their Teach-Backs Group. There, they will have the opportunity to practice the prompts again with a larger audience. Lastly, for five minutes, they will be chosen at random to speak on a random topic in front of the entire class. Building up from partners, to small group, to the classroom as an audience.

It’s time for class to start soon so time to post this and wait for the students to trickle in! Vamos!

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