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on 8/17/00 10:22 AM, Marcy Bogdanich at moosie wrote:
> I am interested in your solutions to effective project demonstrations. I
> have tried several ways of showing the whole class how to do something but I
> am sure you all have better, more creative ways of getting information
> across to the children. I teach elementary and sometimes their little minds
> and bodies wander (sometimes all over the room!) during an "all around the
> table" demo. Will appreciate any suggestions or techniques. Thanking all of
> you in advance...Marcy
Marcy - I teach HS, but believe me, the "wandering minds and bodies"
phenomenon is just as prevalent at that level. While I do present
whole-group instruction, I often split the class into sections & present
mini-demos to each group. As an example, my pottery classes are usually
split int 3 groups, one on the wheels, the other two doing handbuilding, so
I can demo to each group separately while the others work. In 2D classes, I
will start one group on an activity, like finishing an observational drawing
or completing an assigned sketch, then demo a new technique to the other
group, then switch. I also do this to provide extensions to the fast
learners or do remediations with the kids who need extra help / practice.
It is not unusual in my classes to see an advanced or independant study
student working with a small group on a demo or technique (probably doesn't
apply to elem, but I have such kids at HS).
Making the groups smaller not only aids with focus and learning. It also
helps create group cohesiveness & encourages them to help each other. It
gives me more time to answer questions and check for individual
understanding. Two things that really help me: 1. Keep it short. Break up
demos into a couple of sessions, showing one technique or method, then do
another one another time. If I have to give several mini demos to each
class, I can't be too global or too long. 2. Give the group you are not
demonstrating to something meaningful to do, or they will make the
"wandering minds" in the demo group look like small potatos!
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