Mastery, Confidence, and Pride
A Boulder Country Day middle school student was about to present his eighth-grade capstone project in front of family, friends, and faculty when the school lost Internet access. Panic struck classmates who began to wonder how they would effectively share the findings of their yearlong research projects. This Mountain Shadows graduate thought, “What’s the big deal? I’ve been giving presentations since first grade.”
From a math concept to language lessons, from the solar system, Timeline of Life to cubed root, each lesson in an Elementary classroom ends with the student deciding how he/she will demonstrate follow up work. For some it’s a model or a chart. For others, it’s a writing project. At Mountain Shadows, there’s a strong culture of presenting…. confidently communicating the message of a lesson by teaching others.
As with most Montessori learning, there are multiple steps to the presentation. You ask the teacher if you can give a presentation; you practice the key concepts of your presentation with your teacher; you invite your classmates to attend your presentation (those who don’t want to attend can continue to work quietly and respectfully); you ask and schedule times to present your work to the Primary classrooms or administration.
The outcomes of the presentation are significant. In addition to mastery of the work, children are: building their confidence and public
speaking skills at a young age; demonstrating pride in their work; strengthening the connection between classroom programs; exciting younger children and classmates about what they will have the opportunity to learn; reinforcing grace and courtesy skills through the practice of entering a classroom or office, and how you sit and ask questions as an audience; and if it’s a presentation with multiple presenters, teamwork and coordination of the presentation is key to the communication of the lesson.
When asked how they feel about presenting, some Elementary students replied, “We work really hard to make our presentations beautiful, “ “We know that when we are in front of everyone that we have spent a lot of time on our work,” “Primary students get a head start on learning elementary work,” “When I was in Primary I liked presentations because it showed us that they were good workers.”
Any questions? Thank you for coming to my presentation on presentations!