Clearly present academic content [E-1]

Be Engaging

  • Tips for being engaging
  • Move around the room
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Project to the back of the room with confidence
  • Convey enthusiasm for the content
  • Involve everybody

Adjust Wisely

Illustrations are grouped by the proficiency that they best bring to life.

We would like to communicate our deep appreciation to these teachers who are allowing us to learn from their experiences.

Explanation

Sometimes we think that our lesson’s goal is to complete everything we planned - so we present material without gauging whether students are getting it. This can be easy to do because we feel a sense of urgency and know that there is a lot to be taught in the year. However, if we try to “get through” or “cover” our material without regard for student engagement and understanding, we will not know if students are actually learning what we’re trying to teach.

Solution

Presenting academic content is only valuable if students are learning it - your goal should always be student comprehension. Read your audience to monitor engagement and check understanding; then make adjustments to your plan when necessary. For example, if you check for understanding and students are confused, you may need to spend more time re-teaching material than you originally planned. It’s OK to deviate from your plan as long as you stray for justifiable and strategic reasons. Read more on how to do this.

Explanation

We may think that we need to “put on a show” in order to get students to understand our key points, leading us to either (1) try a style that we’re not comfortable with or (2) focus so much on being dramatic, entertaining, or lively that it distracts students from focusing on the essential information.

Solution

Quality presentations can take many forms. While many effective presentations may well contain elements of drama, creativity, and energy, they are certainly not requirements. A calm, even-keeled presentation that lacks distinctive flair can still be effective. It is most important that you find a style that suits you and facilitates your students’ learning. Be yourself, but be open to incorporating different approaches to consistently reach the largest number of students. View different examples of effective presentation:

HS, Government Upper Elem, Math
Pre-K, Math MS, Science

Explanation

We may assume that students understand our presentation because it sounds logical in our heads. When we do this, we may not think to monitor student engagement or check their understanding, preventing us from really knowing what students comprehend and what they are struggling with.

Solution

Avoid assuming anything about student learning until you have actually tested it – always read your audience’s reactions and check for understanding as you explain your key ideas. Read more about how to do this. When you do this, you may find that what made perfect sense to you needs to be explained differently for students using more accessible language or examples