Options, options, and MORE options with this activity! Here is what I did, but take it and make it your own!
A few things that I would encourage prior to the day:
1) Contact outside community members who would potentially be interested in spending a period or two with the students – obviously this is best done a few weeks in advance.
2) Set up the classroom in pods of 5-6.
As the class period draws to a close, I find it important NOT to totally cut off the students conversations at the last minute – there could be GREAT conversations going on throughout the room! Working to save 5 minutes at the end of the class for debrief, I use the following “warning system” to hopefully gently scale back the conversations without bringing them to a screeching halt.
10 minutes left of class: Please do not start a new client presentation at this time.
7 minutes left of class: Please begin to wrap up your conversations in the next 2 minutes. Peer evaluators, wrap up your final peer evaluation.
5 minutes left of class: Ok, if you will allow me to interrupt your conversations, we are going to wrap up our time together.
First, I thank the guests for visiting our class today. Many times, I even follow up later on with a thank you letter or e-mail. It is important to keep close ties with a wide variety of stakeholders.
To close the class, I open the last few minutes up to the stakeholders for comments. This is typically a great way to end on a positive because the visitors almost always have nothing but great things to say – with a little constructive criticism mixed in…this is really good for the kids!
As the students leave, I have them turn in their peer evaluation forms. You will find that many kids choose to stay after class and mingle with the stakeholders whom they have made connections with though the activity. It is really cool to see!