Oct 19

[A/B] In the Midst of Transit Transition

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Classes that extend throughout the entire year do not have midterms. This is due to a schedule that rotates every other day.So as many students at Phillip O. Berry Academy prepare for midterms - racing toward the second half of the semester - my students will be transitioning into the second portion of the first quarter.In order to bring this section of the year to a close, we finished the first nine weeks with an exam on chapters one through four of Speech, and we will continue to present our Organized Speeches as we move further into the content of the first quarter.​​…

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Oct 19

[P.1] Winding Down to Ramp Back Up

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

This week has been a week of closure. Students begin testing next week, and in preparation for their midterm, we have been practicing table topics (impromptu speaking) and studying the first four chapters of Speech.As we wind-down this quarter, I couldn't be more proud of my students. I have seen amazing transformation in the poise and confidence of each student, and I am extremely enthusiastic as we ramp up for the next nine weeks.​…

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Oct 11

[A/B] Speaking with Style and Structure

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Students completed their Declamations, and we are now beginning our Organize Your Speech unit.The focus of these speeches will be to engage the class with an original piece that has a definitive introduction, body, and conclusion.​Through the combination of both the Declamation and the Organized Speech, students are learning how to meld the structure of their speech with their personal speaking style - they are learning how to punctuate the content of their speeches though their nonverbal communication and vocal variety.​These first few speeches therefore function as the DNA for the remainder of the year, helping students to engage the oratorical processes that enhance the message(s) within their speeches.…

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Oct 11

[P.1] Unlocking Academic Excellence Through Scary Stories

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Students have recently completed their Organized Speech in which they shared stories of their past, visions of their future, or wisdom for today.This week we not only completed our Organized Speeches, we also began a unit in story telling. Although I am not a big Halloween person, I do enjoy a good scary story (especially around a campfire).In the spirit of the classic campfire-scary-story, students will unlock their story telling talents.In preparation for this, we have studied various dramatic interpretation and duo interpretation pieces.…

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Oct 05

[P.1] Close to Completion – The First Two Speeches

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Students are finishing their second speech. With only a handful of speakers remaining, the class has experienced the stress of creating a quality speech and the euphoria of giving that speech before a group of peers.We have had numerous stories, experiences, and ideas shared throughout the week - the pain of losing a loved family member, the humor of a retelling a past prank, the need to share an experiencing so that past mistakes are not repeated by others.The class has begun to take a more collective role in leadership roles: various students taking on the roles of class lead, grammarian, time keeper, and evaluator.…

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Sep 28

[A/B] To Name is to Know and Remember

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

This week has been a time of completing our study in the importance of nonverbal messages.In order to better understand their dependence and use of nonverbal language, students worked on the following:​ students studied the verbal/nonverbal cues of Lambert students communicated via charades The class is now beginning to focus on the use of vocal variety and nonverbal communication in order to effectively speak.…

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Sep 28

[P.1] 50+ Speaking Opportunities

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

We are quickly approaching the completion of the first nine weeks, and the speech and debate class has begun to move into "fast gear."In this week alone there were over 50 speaking opportunities: lead roles, participating roles, and formal speeches.As the year continues to progress, students will begin taking on greater and greater responsibility to lead the class.…

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Sep 20

Let the Speeches Begin

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Period 1​There has been enough preparation and work toward a common understanding of speech and debate that the class is now on the cusp of starting a new journey: your children are preparing to become professional speakers. After several weeks of table topics and literary analysis, each student will now begin applying his and her knowledge toward communicating ideas, values, and stories that each one holds dear.In preparation for this new journey into public speaking, students completed the following: students completed various activities to focus on developing nonverbal communication (i.e.…

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Sep 13

The Silent Messaging of Non-Verbals

By Patrick C. Ames | Classroom Updates

Students are preparing to give their declamation speeches. The focus for this week has therefore been on non-verbals (the silent messages that we all communicate).Interestingly enough, it is the silent messages of non-verbal communication that accounts for the greatest portion of our expression. It also is subconsciously given greater value than the spoken word - people want to see the action behind the word.Week three of instruction has been focused upon this very concept.…

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