Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Speaker motivates McLouth students

September 17, 2003

McLouth students were pumped up on Friday.

And that's due, in large part, to riveting talks given by Bill Cordes, a motivational speaker who visited with students in first through 12th grades.

And on Saturday night, Cordes talked with parents in the school district, encouraging them to build bridges to their children.

In a before-lunch chat Friday with elementary school students, Cordes got the 250 children bouncing in their seats with jazzy music blaring over the loud speakers in the auditorium.

He taught them dance moves to the song, "Respect," by Aretha Franklin.

"I know that sometimes you don't get the respect you deserve," Cordes told the youngsters. "I'm going to help you get it."

And so Cordes taught the group the "respect dance." He used chunking and modeling -- breaking down the number of dance moves into easy-to-learn groups and showing the moves to the students.

He encouraged the youngsters to use chunking and modeling when they confront lessons in school that might be difficult.

"When it gets hard, you work hard," he said. "Find someone who knows how to do it -- like a teacher. That's called modeling."

And he asked them to employ the SLANT method once they returned to their classrooms. SLANT stands for sitting up straight; lean forward; ask questions; nod; and talk.

"Talk to the teacher, not the person next to you, but the teacher," Cordes gently reminded the group.

Cordes' 30-minute performance hit home with Corinne Hoffhines, a fifth-grader.

"He was cool," the 10-year-old said. "A lot of speakers don't do activities and stuff. He taught us. It was very fun."

And classmate Derek Wright, also 10, chimed in, "He taught us in a kid way."

During talks with junior high and high school students, Cordes chatted with them about making choices.

"We've been conditioned, and the way we are isn't the way we have to be," he said. "Our past doesn't equal our future."

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