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November 2008

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Subject:
From:
"Swayne, Nick" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Swayne, Nick
Date:
Sat, 22 Nov 2008 17:48:35 -0500
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In response to Rusty - the option I went with for third year kids is to go with a smaller team.  It's working...and I think the cockiness has more to do with 7th grade hormones and the narcissism associated with that age group.  Reducing the size of the team means fewer "legends in their own minds" to deal with.


On 11/21/08 4:32 PM, "Rusty West" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We have two middle school teams, boys and girls.

We tried having "tryouts" in the fall at the beginning of the school year.  We had over 40 boys tryout for that team and 15 girls tryout for their team.  Tryouts seemed to go on for weeks as we used some team building experiences and teacher recommendations. However, it turned out that the sixth grade teachers could not do accurate recommendation because they had only known the students a week or so at that point.  The seventh and eighth grade students could go back to their previous years teachers here to get recommendations.

Our solution has been that we start with tryouts each May.  This means only the 6th and 7th graders, at that time, can tryout.  We use the team building events and teacher recommendations.  Then the team begins practice the first week of school, ready to go.  We don't have any sixth graders and that seems to work as they have their hands full getting adjusted to middle school in September.

Each year we start with a clean slate.  If a student made the team the previous year, there is no guarantee they will make the team the following year.  It seems we always have 8 really good candidates and I end up keeping 7 or 8.  I really think when I have a team that has a few kids with experience it is better to have a smaller team so they have to work harder.  It seems to help with the kids getting bored if they are almost over worked. Two years is about the most you can get out kids for FLL. The third year they are way too cocky that they have "been there, done that" and that attitude is not good for the team.


Rusty West
Page Middle School
Gloucester, VA

Pre-engineering
Project Lead The Way /
Gateway To Technology

FIRST Lego League
FIRST Tech Challenge


http://gets.gc.k12.va.us/schools/page/


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