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October 2008


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First Lego League Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 10:44:20 -0400
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
Michael Blanpied <[log in to unmask]>
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I like Stephanie's idea of having top-rated teams demonstrate their 
prowess during the closing ceremony. It would be both fun and 
educational for the other teams, and would give the performing teams 
(and their coaches and parents) some extra strokes for their months 
of hard work.

Cynthia is right that the big tournaments are long and draining, but 
I've found that the closing ceremony is more refreshing than 
exhausting. It's the first time in the day that the teams get to 
relax, sit down, and not be rushing to adjust a program or rushing 
off to meet judges. Yes, it would take more (even more) volunteer 
effort to identify, contact and organize the teams chosen to perform, 
but we're only talking about a 5-minute performance, a 2.5-minute 
robot routine, and perhaps a 3-minute talk about robot design, so the 
added time would be small.

I've taken two teams to the Ashburn tournament. It's a terrific 
event, very well run. But the day is just so darned full and 
busy--with four robot events and three judging events plus opening 
and closing ceremonies plus robot practice time--that none of us have 
seen a single other team compete. The team is so intent on their own 
robot that they don't even watch the robot on the adjoining table. 
And the awards ceremony conveys no information about -why- each team 
got the award they did. I've used photographs and YouTube videos to 
demonstrate to the team the breadth of strategies and approaches that 
have been taken in past years, but haven't gotten much traction. 
Catching their attention in the heat of the moment, when their brains 
are still perking about the competition, would be more useful.

Something to consider, at least?


At 8:40 AM -0400 10/16/08, Burke, Stephanie wrote:
>One idea I think would be useful is to have the top teams demonstrate
>their work at the end of the tournament during the awards ceremony.
>Have the team with the top challenge score re-run their 2.5 min missions
>when everyone can watch it.  Then the team with the top
>design/programming score show their robot and describe a few of their
>unique features, and the team with the winning project presentation
>re-run their presentation.  This way, all the teams have a chance to see
>what a really good team (of kids just like them) can do, and what is
>possible.  In my experience, they are so busy during the day, they have
>little time to really see what the others teams did, and don't really
>know which of the teams they do see are the best.  I think that most of
>the teams can then see how their results compare to the best at the
>competition without worrying about a specific score, and that gives them
>a very good understanding of what they could work on for next year.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: First Lego League Discussion
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Robert Haskins
>Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:25 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] food for thought about scores
>Speaking as a coach, *any* feedback would be better than what we get
>now, which is basically a score (with the recent discussion, per the
>FLL the score means "almost nothing"). Noting the rubric with how the
>team could improve on specific rubric items would be great.
>On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 6:15 AM, Steve Scherr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>  John--an alternative might be a feedback guide, helping judges
>understand what types of
>>  feedback you and others find useful.
>>  In my experience as a judge (in another state), I made it a point
>always to write some comments
>>  down.  Very often they were of the form "Great job on XXX!  Think
>about working on YYY in the
>>  future."  It was hard to give more detailed feedback because of the
>time constraints.  The things I
>>  emphasized varied based on the type of judging I was doing, of course.
>>  Would Listserv readers consider this type of feedback helpful, or do
>coaches think that a variety of
>>  more generic but wider-sweeping areas are better?  Examples:
>enthusiasm, eye contact, right
>>  volume, team member involvement, etc.?
>>  Steve Scherr
>  > Judge

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