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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Show and Tell- Love it or Loathe It!

Lots of Early Childhood classrooms are moving away from Show and Tell. It takes too long, it's hard to get kids to pay attention, it's hard to get kids to talk about their items, I could be doing something else like banging my head against a wall! Okay, maybe not that last one... out loud... :D

With the recent connections being made between the development of Oral Communication skills and Reading and Writing success, I encourage you to give Show and Tell a second chance. Check out this article for some tips and information on how Show and Tell can help you help your students.

We have a Class Mascot, Rover the Roving Dog. He goes home with a student each Friday and spends the weekend with the family. On Monday, we read about Rover's adventures from his journal. I like doing this over the weekend

1) because it gives parents time to help complete the journal and

2) it gives me the whole week to wash Rover before he goes home with another friend!

Rover's Adventure Journal is a Composition Book with a label stuck on it. I have a sample page filled out in the front for parents who may be struck with a case of Writer's Block. It's super simple:

Rover went home with ___. We ____. We also ____. My favorite part about staying with ___ was when we ___. We ate ___ for dinner.  I really liked getting to visit ____'s home. I wonder who I will visit next?

On the inside cover of the Journal, I stick a copy of the parent note explaining the expectations and procedures printed on label paper. It explains to parents of the purpose of the activity, the instructions/expectations, and reminds parents to encourage/assist their little one in taking care of Rover by keeping him clean and in a safe place (away from pets, younger siblings, and messes).  

Here's what mine looks like if you need a jumping off point:

The pack includes a sample Journal Cover, Parent Explanation Letter, Sample Journal Entry and  a Checklist to keep in the travel bag to be sure all items are returned.

Note: This product is being sold 'As Is'. I may have time to make additional Journal Packs for a certain theme next summer if this is something y'all would like. Thank you for your understanding.

A handy tip: plan out when you will begin your Show and Tell/ Traveling Mascot program by dividing the number of students you have by the number of weeks to ensure each child has an equal number of turns. For a class of 24, this usually works out to beginning the program in October. I usually roll mine out during our Pets theme.

Another handy tip: Buy multiple Rovers (or whatever your Mascot ends up being) in case one meets a tragic end in the middle of the year. ;)

You may want to have the kiddos bring in a free choice item the first month to get those "I need to bring in a toy from home!" crazies done and over with :D , or something to go with a certain theme or letter, or give yourself a break for the first month of school! You've got enough going on in the beginning of the year. One thing I've learned: You don't have to start EVERYTHING on the very first day!

Here's a song we sing as we gather on the carpet for Show and Tell:

(Tune: Are You Sleeping)
Let's get ready. Let's get ready.
Time to share! Time to share!
I'll see you at the carpet. I'll see you at the carpet.
Meet me there. Meet me there.

If you would like to do Show and Tell every day:

I assign 4 or 5 kiddos a Show and Tell day so that we each have a chance to share during the week. It goes really quickly. We have Show and Tell questions to ask (I model this a LOT in the beginning so the students are able to be independent with their questioning skills pretty quickly). We ask 3 questions per child so the turns don't take too long.

Why did you pick this item for Show and Tell?
What makes this item so special to you?
Is it new or have you had it for a while?
Was this a gift?
Who gave it to you?
Do you share it with anyone? If so, who?
Does it have a name?
What do you do with it?
How do you play it?
What is your favorite part?
Where do you keep it?

Always, always, always remember to thank each person for sharing their item!

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