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October 2013

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Sender:
First Lego League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:31:31 -0400
Reply-To:
Jeff Beima <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:
From:
Jeff Beima <[log in to unmask]>
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To: Lillian Sun Tadlock <[log in to unmask]>
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Our team is a school-based program so our first year we only had 6 weeks
from first meeting to tournament date.  The kids' goal was simply to have a
single, cool robot mission work well and they succeeded at their goal.
They didn't have any expectations for core values or the project.  They had
a lot of fun at the tournament and were very happy without any awards.  To
everyone's surprise, they won 1st prize for the project!  Moral: Set
realistic goals and focus on doing your best -- you will be amazed what
comes out of it.

Some practical ideas:

   - Filter parent involvement to limit crossing the line.  I start nearly
   every conversation with parents with the statement "the solution is the
   kids', the kids do the work" (see Core Values bullet #2).  Its more fun for
   the kids when it really is theirs.  We expect the kids to do the work --
   let the kids enjoy the fruits of their labor!
   - Have the kids set achievable goals they can be proud of.  Give out
   your own team prizes for success (pizza party, LEGO party, etc.).  Some
   very achievable goals:
      - Attend the tournament no matter what.  This is the best reward of
      all!
      - Complete the project.
      - Share with at least one group before the tournament.  Showing off
      what they learned is a lot of fun (especially with friends and
classmates)!
      - Set a number of working missions or number of points scored at the
      tournament.
      - Have a mission working using a sensor (versus just dead reckoning).
      - Be proud of your Core Values poster.
   - Give out certificates to all the kids using official looking FLL
   participation certificates.
      - See the template on the website:
      http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/marketing-tools/fll/2013-natures-fury-challenge-logo-and-poster
   - Create unique fun prizes or fun paper plate awards for every kid.
      - Most creative use of a sensor.
      - Most creative robot attachment not used in the tournament.
      - Incredible time-keeping.
      - Best display of GP.
      - Best actor/actress in a supporting role.
      - To appease your NoVA parents, try:
      - Have parents attend the tournament as spectators -- they will be
      impressed.
      - Make sure your historian at the tournament shares their videos and
      don't zoom in on just their kid (recall the camera commercial).
      - Have the kids re-enact the judging sessions after the tournament
      (not during please).
      - Have the parents try a Core Values challenge themselves!


Have fun!


Jeff Beima
Coach, Terra-Techno Tigers, FLL #9403


On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM, Lillian Sun Tadlock <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>
> I agree -- very well spoken (typed)!  For new teams, I have to say that
> FLL is very exciting, and the host groups have always been phenomenal about
> making the atmosphere fun.  The teams are truly celebrated and the cheering
> for these kids is incredible.  It is a very fun day, and all the teams are
> treated like rock stars.
>
>  As the coach, just make sure they are well-rested and well-fed (bring or
> plan to buy snacks and drinks, etc), and they will pick up on your positive
> energy.  Being nervous and tense really will negatively impact their
> attitude for the day.  Most teams who have done FLL more than once will
> tell you ANY and EVERY team can have a bad run, a bad day, a bad
> presentation, whatever.  We've all been there.  The judges have always been
> exceptionally supportive, gracious, and understanding, and it's a fantastic
> experience for the kids to have such a rapt audience.
>
>  Best wishes!!  Have fun!
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
> To: VADCFLL-L <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Fri, Oct 25, 2013 3:07 pm
> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Rookie team
>
>   Tell the parents to calm down (I know, this is the subtext of your
> message already).
>
> The Capital Girls realized early on that the competition wasn’t really
> against the other teams: it’s against themselves and their robot. So they
> never really cared how other teams did, just whether THEY felt that THEY’D
> done their best. Essentially, the FLL Challenge is a mountain that nobody
> is supposed to climb all the way. Some teams are GT 8th graders with no
> extracurriculars who live in the same neighborhood and spend many many
> hours every day; other teams are full of busy 5th graders who meet once a
> week for an hour. And everything in between (and being older isn’t
> necessarily an advantage, but I’m sure the kids THINK it is).
>
> So sure, there might be some “keener” team at a tournament clicking off
> high table scores. But that’s only 25% of the overall evaluation. I’ve seen
> teams advance to State who did poorly on the table; I’ve seen teams NOT
> advance who did GREAT on the table.
>
> And I have yet to see a team NOT have fun at a tournament. I like to tell
> the story of having only ever seen ONE kid crying in eleven years of
> coaching and judging, and there was clearly a lot more going on there than
> just unhappiness over performance. Compare that to ANY sport your kids have
> participated in.
>
> So…worry not. Tell them to do their best, and enjoy the ride. And when
> they get together this week and complain that NOTHING IS WORKING AND WE
> AREN’T READY AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO THERE’S NO POINT… -- deep breath,
> help them figure out what DOES work, and don’t even let them THINK about
> not coming. They’ll have a blast!
> --
> Phil Smith III
>
> Coach, The Capital Girls (retired)
> Team 1900 (2002)
> Team 2497 (2003)
> Team 2355 (2004)
> Team 1945 (2005)
>
> *From:* First Lego League in Virginia and DC [
> mailto:[log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Linda Budiman
> *Sent:* Friday, October 25, 2013 2:24 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* [VADCFLL-L] Rookie team
>
>  Hi Everyone,
>
>  We are a new rookie team (joined FLL in September -- enjoying it very
> much - especially everyone's support) and as we approach the finish line
> parents are worried about the kids feeling really bad if they don't perform
> up to the other teams.
>
>  Our hearts are torn because we know in our minds it's about teaching the
> FLL Core Values.   We are thinking of the core values -- "We are a
> team", "What we discover if more important".    At the same time, we
> respect the parents who feel strongly that the kids may feel bad in
> the end.    Has anyone ever been here walking in these shoes that could
> offer advice. W
>
>  We would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
>
>  Best Regards
>  Linda Budiman
>
>  ·  We are a team.
> ·  We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and
> mentors.
> ·  We know our coaches and mentors don't have all the answers; we learn
> together.
> ·  We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
> ·  What we discover is more important than what we win.
> ·  We share our experiences with others.
> ·  We display Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® in everything
> we do.
> ·  We have FUN!
>  ------------------------------
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