Thursday, August 07, 2014

Show and tell - what are your thoughts?

The kids' party posts continue on Organising Queen...this whole week :)

So we practised the show and tell the entire week. By practise I mean this: I switched on my video while I was cooking, they did their 5 sentences and done! Then they could do their "homework" (they're busy doing finger strengthening exercises to prepare them for school next year). They love the homework (long may it last) so that is their incentive.

And then when D got home, they did the show and tell again for him...

I also told K if she did her best and just said her stuff, we'd make pancakes on Friday afternoon.

Now I don't want to brag but I make good pancakes. And it just so happens that K is a HUGE fan of my pancakes. If ever I ask her if she wants something special, she wants (my) pancakes.

When I collected them, she told me she did her bit and "don't forget; you said we could make pancakes". I said, "I didn't forget" :) Apparently this time Connor was shy. He said he's not scared but he is a little shy at school. I told him it's very normal to be a bit shy to speak. That I also still feel a bit shy (okay, not, but butterflies is another kind of thing to explain) when I have to do talks but I do it anyway and once I start, I'm fine.

He also had two "takes" and they sent me the videos via Whatsup. Not his best but he did just fine!

(Have any of you received a message from a friend to say we're all going to be charged for using Whatsup? Of course I think it's a hoax again - either way, I could care less!)

Sam said something on the last post that they're only just 5 and is this all necessary?! I totally agree that it's not. Really, I only remember doing "Oral" when I was about 9 - 10. I'm all for kids being kids and only facing up to "real hard things" when it's really necessary and they're a bit more emotionally ready.

Then again, maybe I'm just a wuss.

Another friend told me on Sat that at their pre-school (our kids are 2 months apart), they have show and tell but there is no forcing any child to speak. If the kid doesn't want to speak, so be it. They feel it may do more harm forcing them than letting them share when they feel ready. This whole year her boy has done show and tell exactly once, and he announced afterwards, "that's it. I'm not doing that ever again". I say, there's a child who knows what they want :) And it's fine.

That will never happen at our school, by the way. The school is quite tightly managed.

I asked my other friend what she thought of the show and tell, and of course, she thinks "great! very good for their confidence"

If it were up to me, I'd have the show and tell theme and encourage the kids to start small. Just say one sentence a week, and do that for awhile, then build on from there and at the end of the year, have them saying their 5 sentences.

But it's not!

(in the newsletter they mentioned that we parents need to make sure we know what the expectations are as our children are being disadvantaged if we don't prepare them properly. Which to me seems just a bit too much!)

Anyway, what are your thoughts?


  1. I'm probably not a good judge of this but back home 5 year olds are in grade 1 so I don't think it is too much to expect. What I don't like is forcing then to say a specific number of lines if you can say just one so be it and if you get shy and can't say anything you get another day to talk. Last thing you want is show and tell starting the fear of the dreaded public speaking.

  2. In whatever context, I like the idea of setting up the kiddo for success. If it were my classroom, I think I like your work up (on an individual basis) from standing up and showing off their saying a little bit about it...eventually to five sentences. It would be different if these kiddos were 10...but 5? I think the point of preschool is largely to set them up to love school.

    In any case, I'm glad to hear K&C are doing OK with it!

  3. At our school they encourage spontaneous speaking - so they are encouraged to speak about the theme of the week but they should not practice. I like this as they get the chance to speak, but there is little pressure. Also they can stay seated and just chat if they do not want to stand in front of the class. But grade 1 it's actually a debate theme they have to prepare in second term and do in front of the class. So this is a bit of a big "jump"

  4. I'm all for preparing our kids and setting them up for success but I still think the school's approach is slightly OTT. 5 sentences for a 5 year old is like a whole speech. Especially if its' not really their thing. (and just cos their mamma is a public speaker doesn't mean they will be...) I do believe that public speaking can be taught and skills learnt to overcome the "shyness" or whatever, but you know they are in PRE-school and whilst I know that a large part of it is to prepare kids for "big" school I do also think it should be fun. It's not like they have marks on the line or will "fail" if they don't get it right or clam up or the like. So it if was me I probably wouldn't push my K so hard at this point. Once it "mattered" by all means but for now I would let him be a little boy.

  5. I am all for public speaking but then I enjoy it, not everyone does. Another BUT is that 5 sentences is a lot for their age. I think mine were doing that in gr 2 still?

    Our show and tell is like your friends - they can talk if they want to - its not forced.

    It is good prep though for them. Shame Cameron had to do an Afrikaans speech last week, he knew it really well (as he always does) but got muddled up during the actually speech - he really really doesn't enjoy it at all

  6. I agree with Sam 100%. They are 5. And while this is a skill that they are going to need at some point, I think that the school is approaching it all wrong – the last thing you want is for a kid to get anxious and to have this affect future public speaking. I have had 2 experiences of show and tell – both different but also very similar in approach from the different schools.

    #Son1 = extrovert. He LOVED it. They could bring anything they wanted as long as it was NOT a toy. I was told to NOT prep him because the teacher directed. I think that eventually the teacher does stop directing because it just starts to come naturally. No issues EVER. In fact, Son1 also did speech and drama which made a huge difference in his life. They get a lot of confidence in Speech and Drama and this obviously improves the S&T/ speech experience.

    Perhaps this is something you could consider with Kendra? It will give her a lot of confidence and it’s not like they put you on the spot – it’s usually group stuff at that age and they have to roar like a lion etc. They can see if you LOVE the spotlight and will then nurture that. I actually want Joel to do it but the school doesn’t offer it and I have NO intention of giving up my Saturday!

    #Son2 = shy/introvert/speech-delayed. I panicked about S&T. But, apparently he enjoys it! He’s excited about it and we spend our weekends deciding what he’s going to take for S&T. He never likes my suggestions btw. S&T happens every week (on a Monday) and they are allowed to do S&T for anything relating to the theme of the week OR the phonic of the week. NO preparation necessary – I have been told to NOT do it - we do chat on the way to school about things he can mention. Whether he actually mentions it or not I don’t know! I think that the key is to make it seem like a normal thing – a discussion with some friends or whatever. At the beginning of the year, his teacher told me that this is pre-school. It’s still very casual and informal. Things change in big school and this year they are basically just having fun with it while getting them comfortable with speaking in front of their peers. She also told me that even though she does encourage it, she would NEVER force any child to do something that they are not comfortable with - some kids take a bit longer than others to get comfortable with the idea. It really is a no-pressure thing and it just does more harm than good to force a skill that is technically not really required yet.

    What kind of finger exercises do they do exactly?

  7. Also. My VERY LONG ESSAY makes me see just how EXCEPTIONALLY hard I am on Joshua. But then I know that he CAN do it. I would have practiced with him and MADE him learn his 5 sentences. And yet with Joel I am all “let’s-play-outside-and-try-later”.

  8. Our school doesn't do that at all. I'm not too worried about N. She'll talk the ear off a teacup given half a chance.

  9. I love Sam's comment too!

  10. Thank goodness our school doesn't do that! Tommy loves to talk, but I don't think I could get him to memorize specific lines. He just talks about whatever is on his mind, which is everything! Liam on the other hand, he'd love to talk candidly when he has something to say, but if he doesn't have to talk, he's very happy. If he felt like he was forced to talk, he'd boycott the whole thing. He doesn't like to feel he is being forced to do anything.

  11. Our school doesn't do show and tell exactly, but everyday in morning ring you are required to answer questions, get involved, speak to the circle, etc, etc.. I think its a great way to get them talking in a safe environment and used to speaking to a "group" without the pressure of standing up in front and giving a speech. It's weird, Hannah started off not saying anything but now she is the biggest talker in morning ring. Liam on the other hand started off babbling his life away but has now quietened down and only speaks when spoken to. His teacher says this is age appropriate, I don't know.


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