Submitted by: jae
I would like to share an idea with you that was the number one, hands down favorite thing in my class last year. It is called Open Mike. I went to Toys R Us and bought a Spice Girls microphone for about $24.99. It has a stand that is adjustable and the microhone can be in the stand or students can hold it. I covered up the Spice Girls label (because my children told me it was way too dorky - heaven forbid!) with stickers. I made a sign with a ribbon to hang on it that said Open Mike and put it in the corner of the classroom. It caused quite a stir on the first day of school.
When students read the poetry or even someone else's poetry they used the mike. We also used it for speeches and introductions. There were Open Mike rules that had to do with looking at your audience, speaking in a clear voice, where to hold the microphone, etc. In the beginning there were some hams that couldn't wait to get hold of the mike, others were terrified at the thought. It happened every Wed. afternoon for Poetry at the Mike and by the end of the year every student was great and confident. For one of our two required parent open houses I invited parents to bring in their favorite poems to share at the mike and many participated.
Given the fact that the ability to speak in public is so important it is never to soon to start. Try it - your students will love it and so will you - even those of you who are still afraid to speak at a microphone - now is your big chance!
Linda Sallee firstname.lastname@example.org
The first full day of school when I have both groups for Language Arts,
I model and then assign a "Me Bag" for each student. I give them a
large paper lunch bag with the instructions that they must find ten
items which all fit inside the bag and tell us about themselves. They
can be things about themselves, their families, places they have been,
things they like to do, things they don't like, etc. They can not
duplicate an item (not more than 1 photograph, one postcard, etc.) For
example, in my bag I have a photo of my children and a small ceramic
statue of a black Lab. Some of my favorite things kids have brought
have revolved around the negatives--a sponge because they hate cleaning
the bathroom, the nozzle of the hose because they hate giving the dog a
bath, Brussels sprouts (which rather smelled before the end of the day).