Friday, November 4, 2011

Guidecraft's Little Lectern Review & Giveaway Link

Each month, the Guidecraft Educators will share our honest feelings about a Guidecraft product(s) and how these products would fare in an early childhood classroom. This month's selection is the Little Lectern, a piece of furniture that promotes public speaking and group presentation skills.

What did I think of the construction/durability?

The unit was pretty easy to put together, although by the time I got to putting this piece together my hands were a bit tired and I struggled a bit with the screws on the carpeted riser (no fault of anyone other than myself)! It was not too heavy and relatively easy for one person to move (a plus considering all the "things" I take to my classroom also have to be removed before year's end as there's no guarantee I'll end up in the same room). The piece seems very steady and appears that it will hold up for some time to come!

How did we use this in the classroom?

My classroom consists of twenty Head Start/UPK children, many of whom are still only three-years old. The lectern required some introduction as none of them had any clue what it was. I got lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" initially and then lots of ants-in-the-pants while children waited for their turn. I chose to introduce this during our "planning time," a time in which children "plan" for which area of the room they will use during their "work time" AKA exploratory center play. I explained to the children that the "podium" (incorrect terminology on my part) is used by people when they have something important to share with others and that they would all be a part of sharing something important (their plan for work time). I started off by giving an example - "I am Miss Katie and I'm going to work in the block area with the cars." The children were then each given a turn sharing their plan at the podium. (Typically, after the children plan, they immediately go to the area where they intend to "work." However, because I wanted to stress the importance of the lectern as a "public speaking" piece, I did have the children stay and listen as their friends planned.)

While the children planned, my aide took their picture at the lectern and wrote down their plans, as we thought this might make a nice "book" to add to our classroom library - "The Planning Podium." The responses were great - some of the children took the opportunity to be very serious, while others decided to have fun with the new planning activity. This one little guy in particular told me he was "Michael Jackson!"

I then opted to leave the lectern out during "work time" for any of the children who might want to explore. One little guy surprised me tremendously! I noticed him very seriously standing at the lectern and decided to join him in his activity.
  • "T, what are you doing?" I asked.
  • "I not T, I Judge Judy." (He takes his fist and bangs it as though it's a gavel on the lectern). He responded.
  • "Who is Judge Judy?" I asked (this little guy receives speech therapy mainly for receptive language, so getting him to respond to questions is a big part of his IEP).
  • "I watch Judge Judy with my mommy and my S. She send T to jail." He told me.
  • "She does? How come?" I prompted.
  • Again, he pretends he has a gavel, "T go to jail for flushing the toilet in my mommy's bafroom when T have accident."
  • "How long will T go to jail for?" I asked him.
  • "Two hours." ("Judge Judy" ended at that point because another child came over and tried to join in at the lectern, upsetting T and causing a slight outburst!)
I was pleasantly surprised at the connection this little guy made with the lectern to a television show he obviously watches with his mother and sister. This went on to show me that the lectern, which I had thought would be "too old" of an activity for my preschoolers, encourages the use of their imagination and helps to build the use of language skills tremendously! This is definitely a piece of furniture that preschool classrooms could use in promoting language use!

Find Out More:

You can find out more about the Little Lectern on the Guidecraft website. The Little Lectern is available for purchase at and also through the Guidecraft website.

For a chance to win your own Little Lectern unit, visit:
Maureen at Simply Stacie,
the host of the October Guidecraft Educators giveaway!

You can also check out the reviews of the Universal Book Display & Storage unit from the other Guidecraft Educators:

Candace at Mamanista!
Andrea at MommyPR
Deborah at Teach Preschool
Carrie from Huppie Mama, now Busy 'Lil Hands
Jody from Mommy Moment

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!