Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guidecraft Educator Review #4 ~ Little Lectern

by Carrie Wells, Ed.D.
This month, the Guidecraft Educators are reviewing the Little Lectern. Made of walnut-stained birch plywood, the lectern stands 40" tall, has a shelf inside to hold presentation items, and comes with a carpet-covered riser that can be stored inside the lectern. It is for ages 3+. With each review, I like to provide practical suggestions for home and school, and this product really asked me to 'think outside the box' because it is unlike any other product I have reviewed before!

When I was in elementary school, I participated in a public speaking program called Toastmasters. We had to learn to respond to different topics, to engage in debates and rebuttals, to summarize the information provided by both sides...but most of all, we had to learn to get in front of our peers and talk about something that may not be so familiar to us. This was not easy for me, especially since I was one of the smallest kids in my class and had some self-esteem issues. I remember we had to stand in front of the class at the end of a table. Everyone could see if my hands were shaking or my legs were 'antsy.' If I had this Little Lectern to stand behind, no one could tell that I was so nervous, which may have given me the confidence to be a better speaker!

So first and foremost, the best use of this product is for teaching children to be more confident public speakers. This would be really important to practice at home with children who have speech-language disorders since they often feel self-conscious of their performance in front of peers.

Beyond the most obvious use, I thought of a few others:
  • Schoolwide competitions ~ This would be a great way to practice school competitions, such as spelling bees, math competitions, science fair presentations, or any other academic events, either at home or at school. 
  • Extracurricular activities ~ This little lectern would be great for activities outside of school, such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Children can stand at the lectern to present minutes from the previous meetings and important announcements. 
  • Pretend play ~ Have the children dress up and pretend to be different types of professions that may speak at a lectern - the president of the United States, teacher, lawyer, college professor, etc. Be creative!
  • Be really creative ~ Decorate the lectern to be a lemonade stand, host a magic show at the lectern, or do a pretend cooking demonstration. The ideas are endless!
BUY IT! You can purchase your own Guidecraft Little Lectern for your home or classroom for just $200.

WIN IT! What's great about this Guidecraft Educator group is that each month, one of us will be hosting the giveaway of a product that we have all reviewed. Visit Simply Stacie to enter and win. This contest is open to the US and Canada.

*I received the aforementioned product for free to review. The opinions expressed are honest and provided without monetary compensation. 

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