Get to Know Your Class Using PechaKucha

Have you ever had the situation where halfway through the year you are talking to a student and they reveal an amazing fact about themselves that you didn’t know e.g. that they are a black belt in karate or they love to go fishing or something equally unusual, and you suddenly realise that you don’t know your class very well at all? Well, when this happened to me this year I decided to try and do something about it, in a way that wasn’t teacher time intensive and that was interesting.  So I implemented my Form Class PechaKucha Project.  

 So I explained to them that they all had cool talents that I am sure I didn’t know about and wanted to them to share these with their classmates and I.  I asked my form class to do was to create a 2min presentation on themselves that they could show to their class in form time. (I adjusted the time constraints of a traditional PechaKucha to make the task as easy as possible.)   I suggested they used PPoint but they didnt have to.  In my instructions I said they could include things like: Family photos, baby photos, crazy photos of themselves, their goals this year or long term, their hobbies, favourite foods etc, but I emphasised the fact that these were suggestions.  Before they began, I did a presentation on myself so that they could get a better idea of what I was wanting.  We spent our form time for two weeks in a computer lab and then they were ready to present.    

What Was Surprising?

  • Because it wasn’t a graded assignment the students seemed more interested in completing it.
  • They revealed a lot about each student.
  • Students were not embaressed to share info about their families and themselves, right down to their own baby pictures and even more personal, their goals both long term and short.
  • For some students it was the first time they had used ppoint and they were excited to learn this new skill.  

Other Benefits

  • It was a great opportunity to practice speaking in front of their peers before their speeches in English.
  • Learning where to stand and how to talk while using a ppoint.  We had informal chats about some of these things as we went to help them improve their presenting skills.
  • The opportunity to share funny things about themselves that they normally wouldn’t.
  • Some students learned new computer skills such as emailing attachments etc. 
  • It was a great opportunity for students to help one another create interesting presentations.  Particularly for skilled students to help those with little experience.  

Key Things About Doing This Project

  • Do in term two.  The students said they wouldnt have wanted to do it in term one as they would have been too self conscious in front of new classmates, but they would be fine by term two.
  • Do one yourself and present it to them first to show them how it could look.  
  • Dont limit the info that they can share.     

PechaKucha’s for PD

Edu ignite is run by the NEAL group in auckland.  They host a PD night once a term and they are run in basically the same way as a PechaKucha, which is where I was first introduced to this style of presenting.  Teachers register for a PD night where they can go and listen to other teachers present info on something they are doing in their teaching that they are really inspired about e.g. Using facebook or setting up specific programs in their schools.  The topics are so varied and really interesting.  The second time you go, you have to either present yourself or bring a friend.  The ultimate goal of course is to ignite our passion for teaching and in doing so in our students.  I recommend attending these at least once, you will be amazed at what other teachers and educators are doing and you will be inspired to try new things yourself.  I myself am aiming to try to do a presentation at one of these next year when I return from my maternity leave.  So go ahead and get inspired.

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