Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Show and Tell......Here's Your Sign!

I have struggled recently with Show and Tell, or "Show and Hotel" as one of my little friends calls it. I have always advocated allowing children to bring whatever they wanted to share, as long as they talked about whatever the item was. My goal was language development.  
Until now.    

I seem to have a tough group this year who seemed to bring the same toys every week, and no one was willing to actually talk about what they were sharing. The audience was bored, the students were bored and I was frustrated.

I made an executive decision after one frustrating Friday that Show and Tell items should be related to our theme in some way. No toys, unless directly related. Period.

I goes against what I really believed in, but sometimes a teacher's just gotta do what she has to do. Our shares the following week were AMAZING! The kids were excited to tell about their items and the rest of the class couldn't pay close enough attention. For the last 2 weeks, our Show and Tell time has been quite enjoyable. And it seems, the kids really did like the change. For our Valentine/Post Office week session, there were even a few surprises for the teacher---what a treat!

One sweet friend brought these flowers and told the class about the meanings behind the different colors of roses.

Check out that neat retro mailbox brought by another friend. It was filled with photocopies of Disney stamps for each friend to take home.

Two friends brought candy for the teachers in heart shaped boxes.

Sometimes, when reflecting on the logistics of how we teach, we wonder if we are following the appropriate philosophy. Educational theorists have conflicting opinions, just like politicians.The trick is figuring out what works best for me, in my classroom, today. Tomorrow, I may need to adjust my teaching or classroom policies in other ways, but I think I'll be okay with this change. I think Bill Engvall would tell me.......

Just thought I'd share this cartoon about Show and Tell. You never know what kids will bring to share!


  1. I think as teachers we have to be flexible. If something works with one group of kids it may not work with another. Bravo for you for making the "executive decision". So often it's easier to take the road of least resistance!

  2. The dreadful "Show and Tell". I have to be honest...I hate it. I hate it so much that I didn't do it this year. I know, terrible teacher. I think I was in the same frustrated state you were in, but I love that you found a solution that works. Not only works, but is actually enjoyable?? I applaud you,Ms. Ayn! I may actually try this sometime soon. ;)

  3. I think Show N tell is great when parents HELP!! I go by the letter we are working on that week (not my idea about letter of the weeK). It amazes me how parents CAN NOT help their child think outside of the box. I have to say sometimes NO BARBIES or NO CARS.
    In the past Show n Tell was fun but parents just do not care anymore. : (

  4. Ayn, you are so right. While we as teachers probably have some things that are "non-negotiable," we should keep our eyes and minds open for adjustments (and major shakeups) that will benefit this group of kids on this day. Good for you on risking a change.

    (And Jessi...I don't think you are terrible for stopping something that didn't work - even the treasured Show and Tell. You made the best decision for you and your class at this time - the mark of a wonderful preschool teacher!)

  5. Thanks everyone, for your comments. It's funny, I thought I was following DAP by allowing anything, but went to training this week and the subject came up (not by me) and the consensus was that this was fine, too.

    Jessi, I was SO frustrated that if I thought I could have gotten away from it, I would have probably stopped altogether. And no, you are not a terrible teacher. I'm sure you are probably using that time in your week for something that the kids are benefiting from instead.

    Anon #2~ I did that for a while, but we are no longer doing letter of the week, so that was the beginning of my downfall. :)

    Scott~I do try to keep an open mind, but realize that even when we try to be open, there are some things that we still stick to the old reliable methods. There's always room for improvement! :)


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