I love teaching. I really do. I love the challenges it tosses my way. I love the smiles on kids’ faces when they feel successful. I love diggin’ deep into a topic and teaching all of those tough standards. However, there is one thing about teaching that I loathe. Like skin crawl . . . pull my hair out . . . wanna run and hide . . . LOATHE. Show and Tell in the primary grades. (((INSERT FORK INTO EYE))) Although I was being fairly dramatic (what’s new), I really do dislike the whole sharing process. It takes for-EH-ver and I would give my left arm to be using that valuable time to tackle those core subjects. However, the kids adore sharing and the whole public speaking thing is very important.
I went as far as tossing it out one year and I actually regretted it. Although, I loved having my Friday’s back, I felt like the kids were missing that peer listening and speaking piece that is SO critical. That’s when I came up with an idea. I don’t have to choose sharing OR core content. With a few tweaks, I can have sharing AND core content! Adding additional elements to share time allowed all of us to WIN. The kids still got to take part in their beloved show and tell and I was able to rock out a concept at the same time! Wanna try this with your littles? Here are just a few of the ways I was able to spruce up my show and tell and keep my sanity.
You can tap into comprehension skills following a share “sesh.” Pick one student to focus on and have the students recall information from their story. A canned template will do just the trick. Create a question sheet that asks for the sharer’s name, what they brought, where they got it, what the sharer likes about his/her item, and one other detail from their chat. This proves to be a great informal assessment!
A RAD RETELL
A generic beginning, middle, and end sentence /picture template works like a charm. Invite your students to chronologically recall what a sharer shared during his/her show and tell period. My suggestion is to always use the last student to share as your retell subject. Primary kiddos can get mixed up easily if too many sharers cloud the target focus.
QUESTION FOR YA
Share time is the perfect moment to work in question writing. Following share time, provide each student with a question sheet. Invite your students to come up with one question for one sharer that day. You may choose to assign sharers to students or allow them to choose. Just make sure your question template has a line for who the question is directed to as well as their own name. You may choose to pass these back to the sharers and host a little Q&A session or you can just send ’em home and be done with it.
Don’t have time to write? Have your students just practice oral questioning skills!
JUST GOTTA HAVE IT
Ever thought about working friendly letter writing into share time? Maybe not, but you surely can. So many items that come in have kids drooling all over themselves. They want that toy. Why not leverage this into a persuasive letter writing experience? Mom and dad won’t mind being pressured if it’s in the name of learning . . . will they??!! Hehehehehe. I promise that it will be some of the best writing you’ll see from certain kiddos 🙂
IT’S ALL ABOUT CHARACTER
A little extra character development never hurt, and show and tell is a perfect time to slip some into the mix. Compliments go hand and hand with sharing and the kids really love receiving them. To try this, create a simple compliment card. I suggest assigning table groups to particular sharers so students don’t feel left out. Students write one compliment about the sharer — how they did up there, what they liked about their presentation, etc. Collect and pass back to the sharers. It’s such a feel-good experience. You will even see a hug transpire every now and again. #compassioncounts
I know that you’re thinking . . . all of this is just one more thing to manage. But, if you can kill TWO birds fairly quickly . . . why not at least try it? Notice I said quickly. I have ONE more tip for you today that absolutely saved me time wise. I ended up pulling it out of my bum one share time YEARS ago and I’ve used it ever since. I promise not to hold on to this one ANY LONGER . . . let me pay it forward . . .
Let’s get a mental picture going. Conjure up an image of a child holding a super kid-friendly item. The rest of the crew wants to see it up close. AND . . . hey all want to touch it. SO . . . they begin to scooch in closer. Some kids get so excited that they begin to sit on their knees. Then, the whining starts. “I can’t see.” (((KILL ME NOW))) Next, the sharer allows a student or two to touch this irresistible item. Before you know it, everyone is up trying to touch the dang thing and it’s a nightmare. Okay . . . quickly erase that image from your mind. (I’m sorry I put you through that . . . my blood pressure went up just typing that out.) I am here to tell you that this doesn’t have to happen. How, you ask? Institute an ON DISPLAY option. All of my sharers for the day were given the option of putting the item on display at their desk following show and tell time. I would excuse these students first and they would go stand by their desk/item. The rest of the class would have 4-5 minutes to cruise the items, touch (if allowed by the sharer . . . it was everyone or NO ONE), and ask additional questions. This eliminated the need to pass these dang things around. You may think that this takes MORE time. It doesn’t. Actually, it saves on time. It provides a great brain break, gives kiddos a chance to interact more, and reduces the time it takes to get through show and tell!
Alright . . . so there you have it. A post all about getting the most out of show and tell. You can run with all of these items on your own. However, if you are looking for a grab-n-go packet that requires no additional work on your part, I have one ready to rock. It contains all of the above items and more. Oh, and it just received a facelift too. CLICK HERE to check out my standards-based show and tell collection.
Thanks for taking the time to pop in for a visit. I’ll see you again soon with a little something. I have a few things hiding up my sleeve 🙂