Getting the whole class to listen when a group is presenting

Today, even if students love presenting something to the whole class, when it comes to listening to other students’ presentations, they are seldom equally keen about it. As a result, many teachers may find it a bigger challenge to get everyone to listen, than finding a  student or a group that is willing to present on what they have done in the lesson.

I recently witnessed a clever technique by a novice teacher. She had earlier asked the class to work on a task in groups. The final phase of the lesson was the reporting back, which was a logical way to wrap up the lesson. But instead of asking each group to talk to the whole class what it had done, the teacher had one student in each group ask the presenting group a question on their work. Because she conducted this at a brisk pace, very quickly each group had asked a question, and the teacher moved on to the next presenting group and repeated the procedure.

The result was that the whole reporting back did not drag, and the presenting groups and the rest of the class stayed connected throughout. Interestingly, when I asked the teacher how she had learnt of this technique, she said she simply thought it up herself.  So, new teachers can (also) be very creative.

20130424_Jennifer Tang (4)

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