"My name is Riley O'Neil and I am smart, kind, sensitive and brave."
Halfway through, I suggest, "Move the paper down so we can see your face."
She moves the paper down.
She starts again.
"My name is Riley O'Neil and I am smart, kind, sensitive and brave. I would be a good student council member because...."
"Riley, projection. We can't hear you!"
Todd, Seth and myself sit on the couch, pretending we're her classmates.
A couple of tries later, I introduce the concept of eye contact while giving speeches. I suggest she look up at the end of each sentence. Look at a person, an object or a mark on the wall.
She wigs out.
She reads the speech loudly, making ridiculously exaggerated eye contact. Think along the lines of this:
"I'M RILEY O'NEIL AND THE ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME ARE HEALTHY FOOD AND RESPECTING OTHERS!"
If she were versed in FU, each "eye contact" would be punctuated with one.
The first round is her own classroom. If she makes that, she'll go on to compete against the winners of the two other fourth grade classrooms.
I'm so proud of her for trying.
It's going to be an interesting week.