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October 2009


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Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Laura Dysart <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:57:28 -0400
text/plain (110 lines)
Brian- while I thought our new young team finally had one consistent  
mission down (which the team is ok with as a goal)- we had to change
the batteries and it's like a completely different robot. i really
feel like now we are at point when we could desperately use two more
weeks- I actually read the second paragraph in the "advice for
coaches" on page 8 of the coaches manual- for "rookie teams" to them
today- and I have reminded them that whatever happens Saturday- they
have worked hard and learned a lot- when I look at the rubric, I feel
the same way- but it's kind of too late now- I think as a second year
team we'll be able to work on more- I told them I'd be willing to meet
with them once a month or so just to "play around with the
Mindstorms." I think those of us who have Rookie Teams should feel
good about giving them this experience and reminding them to learn at
this tournament- I reminded them there would be some teams that would
be able to accomplish a lot of missions- but we are a new team. Our
team work is not quite fully developed as I would like, and again, not
enough time- but I'm proud of them. You're not alone. Laura
On Oct 30, 2009, at 1:08 PM, Brian Nussbaum wrote:

> Hello VDACFLL,
> (My thoughts with a question at the end)
> I am a first-year coach with a very young team of 5th graders.
> Earlier in
> this listserv there was some conversation about coaches who do not
> feel that
> they are ready for the competition.
> We have a week until our day at JMU, and I can definitely say that
> ateam and
> bteam from Thomas Harrison Middle School will be bringing up the
> rear. It
> will be quite amazing if our group is able to complete one task on the
> table, and have any sort of powerpoint with a linear thought
> process. We
> have not completed any of the requirements on the rubric for our
> research.
> HOWEVER, as coaches we are looking at the process rather than the end
> result. Learning has happened on the part of both the students and the
> coaches (for example, some of our students are learning that it is
> not a
> good idea to completely dismantle the robot a week before the
> competition).
> On the whole, it is a good example of how this particular group of 5th
> graders has some significant growing to do in the thought-process and
> maturity departments.
> As coaches, we have done significant scaffolding for them to try to
> break
> down the problem into smaller chunks, but we will just call our
> students
> 'creative thinkers' rather than linear or result-oriented thinkers.
> But this is OK, because we have made progress, even though very
> little of it
> will appear on Saturday. We are trusting that this will be a learning
> experience for this very young team. At this point they don't even
> realize
> what they don't know. Seeing other teams will be a good opportunity
> for
> them to realize their potential for the future.
> If we work together a few times in the spring to go back and solve a
> few of
> this year's tasks, and then get an earlier start next fall, we may
> be more
> in the middle of the pack next year (I'm thinking optimistically).
> This is to assure all of you that are feeling worried--it's OK.
> Question: will there be an opportunity for my teams to watch other
> groups'
> research presentations? I think they never really got a full
> understanding
> of what we were going for on the research end of things. Seeing a
> successful group could be helpful for them.
> Thanks.
> --
> Mr. Brian Nussbaum
> Mathematics Teacher
> Thomas Harrison Middle School
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