It has been a while since I have had group presentations to the whole class since I usually focused more on a “speed dating” format to increase the amount of engagement. Today in all of my classes I assigned a homework problem to each table to write on their whiteboards and present to the class. We have been working on practice CST problems for the past two weeks as homework and I wanted to make sure that everyone took time to do the problems and share them with each other.
Normally I have had a hard time getting students to focus and pay attention during student presentations. Today I was able to get all of my classes to turn towards the presenters, remain quiet, and refrain from drawing, looking away, or otherwise not paying attention. It took a lot of insisting and constant reminders, but they all got to the point were students we respectful. I got a lot of practice with using proximity and non verbal signals to redirect behavior and keep a positive atmosphere during the presentation.
I feel like I’ve been using more engaging strategies as a bit of a crutch and while I don’t want to lose those tools, I think next year I want to spend more time developing proper behavior during presentations in all formats so that when a group presents, everyone knows to turn their chairs (not just their necks/bodies) and look at them. I think positioning and posture needs to be instructed slowly and deliberately next semester to help make sure students follow routines correctly. With all of the craziness that is coming as the year ends, I was happy to have some success with behavior improving, even if it was just temporary and took several sets of instructions to occur.