This guy obviously likes to speak his mind….

Such a large part of my class depends on speaking up and speaking your mind. We constantly have class discussion between myself and the class and peer to peer discussion. In an effort to promote speaking up and having a voice in the classroom I have started a “Speak Up Friday”. This consist of starting the class with myself and my students speaking up about what bugs us from the previous week.

I’m constantly preaching to my students about how they need to stay positive, but it is good to have some healthy venting once in a while. We will spend about the first three minutes of class speaking up before we transition into our lesson for the day. I feel that this is a great conversation starter and really motivates the students to speak up more in class.

parking lot

I have also created a “parking lot” in the back of our room. As you can see form the picture above, this consist of having three different areas that students can add ideas or suggestions to. The plus sign area is for ideas/suggestions that students enjoy having in class and believe we should keep in our normal class routine. The delta sign stands for ideas/suggestions that they believe we should change or do away with in our class routine. Lastly, the third section, which is marked by a question mark, is a section in which students put ideas/suggestions that they need clarification on.

I feel like this is a good exercise for students to practice for a couple of reasons. Number one, it gives them a voice that they might now have any other time of the day, and number two it gives them an ownership of their classroom and how they are being taught.

Mr. McClung

3 thoughts on “Speak Up!”

  1. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the course of the school year – you’ll have to keep us posted (no pun intended) on what develops as I like the idea a lot – the student side of it especially.

  2. Hey, this is Robbie Grainger from The University os South Alabama. I am in John Strange’s EDM 310 class. I think this is a great idea. I think all students should have a chance to at least have their opinions voiced. It could probably be done in a better and more civilized way than the guy on the youtube video, but opinions are meant to be heard. I am curious to see how this works out for the class.

  3. First let me say that I am currently a student at the University of South Alabama and studying to be a teacher. I am enrolled in a EDM class with Dr. Strange and my personnel blog is

    I am amazed at the enthusiasm and feedback that you will receive from only a few minutes participation each week. I plan on incorporating something similar as a way to improve the lessons that my kids will be receiving each week. Everyone likes feedback, and encouraging kids to participate only reinforces the belief that “what they say and think matters.” It just strikes me as a win-win situation. You gain enthusiasm, participation, trust, and class management improves. At the same time the kids feel part of something, excited, and you see what ares you can improve on, incorporate more of, and that the kids don’t understand the point of.

    In most professions, improving your ability results in a pay increase or a promotion. It is great to see people willing to do this just to improve the overall level of education. We teach kids to be lifelong learners and that should be no different for the teacher.

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