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October 2008


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John Barrett <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 15:39:41 -0400
text/plain (142 lines)
Tournament day is long and tiring.  I agree.  And personally, I would 
love to see what other teams have done for their project but by the end 
of the day, my concentration is gone.  I do, however, like the idea of 
sharing project presentations.  I suggest that we, the coaches of the 
teams here in VA, take it upon ourselves to self-publish our team's 
project presentations via YouTube.  OK, so I'm partial to that medium 
since the kids used it last year as a mechanism to share our team's 
project.  The nice thing about doing it via YouTube (or other Web-based 
medium) is that your team members can share their work with friends and 
family everywhere.  One parent told me that her family in India was 
thrilled to see the video.

Last year the kids decided to do a skit and videotape it which made it a 
natural for YouTube.  (   A 
five minute video tape of a presentation, even if it just a practice 
round, would be really helpful to other coaches and teams.  And if your 
team wins an award for their project (or robot design) then show it 
off!  (No, we didn't win an award for our presentation, but I don't 
think the kids really minded since they had such a fun time making the 

When you publish the video, be sure to let the listserv know.

Co-Coach of the Lake Anne Sea Monsters

Michael Blanpied wrote:
> 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?
> Cheers,
> Mike
> 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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John J. Barrett
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