19 February 2014

Vann's First School Assignment


What was your child's first school assignment?
 
Vann got his first school assignment in K1. Unlike conventional school assignment with lots of writing, or a hands-on project like an artwork or spelling, Vann’s first assignment from school was a Show and Tell. The topic is about "Myself" and they were required to construct 5 sentences.


Vann's first assignment - a Show and Tell

Tips from the teacher on how to guide the children in the assignment.

Back to Vann’s Show and Tell assignment… Sometimes I do wonder if this task was meant for preschoolers. Well, I guess any task would be beneficial if it can be customized to cater for the young minds. It was a clear direction that Vann’s school is preparing them towards primary school as I have heard Show and Tell is part of the curriculum in Primary school. Show and Tell is practically about presentation skills. Presentation skill is about knowing what you want to say and put your ideas across to your audience in a structured manner. It is not about reading or memorizing from script but using the appropriate tools to help you to remember what you have to say.

At first, I didn’t know how to start helping Vann on his school assignment. Should I prepare the script? Should I prepare his props? Should I prepare a Power Point presentation? Haha, okay… I know Power Point presentation is much overboard.  About 2 weeks before his Show and Tell, I started to test the water….

Me : Vann, you will be having a Show and Tell. Do you know about that?

Vann : Ermm… * looking blank *

Me : You are supposed to talk about yourself.


Vann : Myself? Oh..

Me : What would you like to talk about yourself?


Vann : I don’t know… * Shrugged his shoulder *

If you were me, what would you do at this point? Will you be tempted to just write a script and get him memorize the whole thing? Well, Keep Calm and RELAX…. We will see how it goes since it is just 2 weeks away and 5 sentences to speak.
The next day, I started throwing some questions..


Me : Vann, let’s talk about your Show and Tell..

Vann : Okay..

Me : We will start with … What is your name?
Vann : My name is Pok Vann Xyn.

Me : How old are you?

Vann : I am 5 years old.

Me : What is your favourite colour?

Vann : I like… I don’t know..

Me : What do you like to eat?

Vann :  I like to eat Chocolate.

Me : What do you like to do?

Vann : I like to play cars.


Hmm… not bad… We were making some progress. We have 5 questions and that will make up the 5 sentences.

However, when I repeated the same questions each day, Vann has got different answers. Hmm... We still do not have a clear and concise subject matter to speak about. I tried again the next few days and I was surprised to receive some responses as below…

Me : Let’s talk about your Show and Tell.

Vann : Oh, I know! I know! At first, I need to say “Good Morning Teachers and Friends! My name is Pok Vann Xyn.” ………………..* blank *……………. Ermm… And then at the end, I need to say “ Thank You!”

And he makes his bow……….


Haha.. Quirky! I am not sure whether if he had learn this from a Hi-5 show, or his teacher had taught them in school, or he had learn from his friends in school. I certainly did not teach him that!

Then, it was Chinese New Year and we had a break. We did not talk about his assignment. He had a fun time enjoying his holidays with his cousins. Just a few days before his Show and Tell, I started revising the questions again. I took out a pen and a paper to jot down the script. He did not wait for my questions this time and this was what flowed out from his mind…
 
Vann : Good morning Teachers and Friends.
 

Vann : My name is Pok Vann Xyn.

Vann : I like to play cars.

Vann : My cars are blue, black and yellow. (His favourite cars!)

Vann : I like to eat bread.

Vann : I like chocolate, strawberry and peanut butter bread. (His usual breakfast in school!)

Vann : * blank….*

Vann : Thank you.

I was pretty delighted. His objective was clear this time. The structure was in place. He wanted to talk about his cars and his favorite food, and he had a supporting description for each subject!  I was also glad that it made up of 5 sentences. This was his own script and he remembered it effortlessly. Well done, Vann!
Next up, I help him to prepare his presentation tools. I suggested that he brings his toy cars to class. We did not have a toy bread, so I found a simple bread picture from Microsoft clip art. He was excited to see the printer in action. Though the printer was running out of ink, he was still happy to receive his print out. I made him cut the edges of the pictures. I helped him to trim off some rigid edges. He did tear a small part of the picture. I made him fix it back by using scotch tape. Here are the props prepared for his Show and Tell.


Vann's toy cars and bread picture for his Show and Tell session.

The rest of the days, we practiced his script 2-3 times a day. I told him that his toys and picture were there to help him remember what he had to say. A day before his Show and Tell, Daddy Pok offered to be his audience, but he was too shy to speak out loud. He soon became impatient and wanted to have his play time. I just let him be.

After his Show and Tell session, here is the feedback from his teacher. Overall, I think Vann has done a good job. We just need to work on his voice projection.


Teacher's feedback on his performance.
There will be another Show and Tell session coming soon and the topic is “My Favourite Fruit”.  I will be using the same method as I have approached for this one, and we shall practice more on his voice projection. I hope he can do even better on his second Show and Tell attempt.

Tips for parents on coaching for Show and Tell:
1.) Let your child draft his script himself, this will help him to remember better.
2.) Ask questions to guide him on the topic of his presentation.
3.) Suggest ideas on preparing touch and feel presentation items, like toys, pictures, photos etc. This will assist him to remember what he has to say.
4.) Practice makes perfect.



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