01 December 2013

Genius Hour Presentation Goals

It's that magical time of year when students' research and reflection pay off and come together in an experience that is both enlightening and engaging for the rest of the class.

I hope.

The topics are diverse, and I want to give students as much choice in the outcome as possible. Still, I want enough uniformity that I can fairly evaluate each presentation, regardless of topic or presentation style. So there are a few things I'm going to ask to see in each, though I am still toying with the idea, too, of offering students the option of differentiated tiers, depending on how complex they want to get with their presentations.

1. Establish Linguafolio goals
Spanish II students have been putting together e-portfolios on their progress blogs, section by section, post by post all semester. I let them choose any 3 of the 9 Novice Mid or Novice High goals designated by North Carolina as the purview of Spanish II the first 6 weeks. The next 6 weeks, they had the chance to re-do any less than successful sections and add 3 more. This 6 weeks, I've designated the ones they must knock out to be complete, assigning them individually based on what they haven't attempted or haven't "passed"  (over half have at least 5 left--not ideal, but at least there's time to revisit). 

I've commented on their blogs where necessary and indicated via rubric what didn't work. Based on this information--and individual conferences if necessary--I'd like for students to choose 5 Linguafolio standards they have yet to demonstrate and figure out how to work them into their presentations. This way, they can self-differentiate and use the presentation to meet previously unattained proficiency goals.

P.S. This will be the only portion of the presentation that I will allow to be in English. I know I want them to label when they present the evidence, so it might be throughout the presentation, or I might just make little labels they could use after the initial slide/page/visual with the standards.

Possible tiers: A=5 standards demonstrated and labeled, B=4, C=3, D=2


2. Select topic-specific vocabulary to teach the class
In order for classmates to be able to follow along with any specialized topic, students will have to frontload the same as I do. 10-15 words seems a reasonable number of vocabulary words for students to begin to process while still allowing enough room for presenters to clearly communicate a wholly unique topic. Plus introducing the vocabulary seems a sound way to introduce their topic, too.

I'd recommend that they hit all 3 of Sexton's Strategies for Vocabulary Retention (visuals, actions, connections), but that might be a way to differentiate too: how many different ways they teach the information.

Possible tiers: A=Visuals, gestures, semantic groups, and strategic repetition/reinforcement for each word; B= Visuals, gestures, semantic groups for each; C=Visuals OR gestures with semantic groups for each; D=Visuals for each word


3. Design an interactive demonstration for all classmates to participate in
I want the whole class involved, with each and every presentation. I could do something with vocabulary in the end like a quiz or taking up notes, but that would not be enough to keep them attending to what is actually happening, to be involved in interpreting their classmates' work or engaging with interpersonal discourse about their topics.

I've talked with a few students about what they could do, like demonstrating their fire gear or "tattooing" their classmates or recording their own (interactive?) scary story in Spanish, and I think there are plenty of things others could do, too. However, since they're already going to have to be exercising interpretation and presentational skills at the very least, I think I want them to have the option of engaging the class with Lower Order Thinking Skills--as long as they're engaging the class. These are some ideas I'd be okay with them using. (I confess I had to hit up the Teach Like a Pirate hooks for inspiration for a few.)

Possible tiers: A=activity with ALL students up, moving, using Spanish, developing deeper understanding of the topic; B=activity with all students using Spanish and understanding topic; C=activity with all students using Spanish related to the topic; D=many students using related Spanish

4. Summarize the information at the beginning and end
The vocabulary could very well get the class warmed up, but it's worth it for the presenter--and for the class--to have a sort of thesis laid out right after and then reviewed at the end.

5. Cite the sources
It's a good habit to cite everything they use in their presentation, and they (should) already have everything gathered on their page of our Genius Hour Google Site.

6. Pre-presentation rehearsal
I want to be sure to set aside a day or two before the big day for presenters to get feedback from small groups, and also maybe to pre-record anything they want to slip in to their Linguafolio itself.

I'm not 100% how I'd weight each of these yet, but a handful of kids are ready for the planning stage, and so to prepare them in my absence (yay, state assessment meeting!), I made this template and this Powtoon (thanks to Heather and Garnet for the tip!) to get them on the right track:


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