newbie Question

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PuffTrinket
Kimahri
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newbie Question

Post by PuffTrinket »

Hello-

Please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place. Oh, and please don't be annoyed by my frivolous name. I have a serious interest.

I am a "veteran" English teacher (14 years). I'm thinking of starting a team at my small, rural high school in Michigan. We have no equipment and no current interest among students. However, there are several students I know who could truly benefit from having a focus for their intellectual energies. I want to organize and challenge them. Of course, I eventually want to develop a winning team, and I'll be willing to devote a great deal of time to that.

Where anhd how would you suggest I begin? What can I do this spring to get things started on the right track?

Thanks

jeffburns1
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Post by jeffburns1 »

Start this spring with an interest organizational meeting, maybe have a few fun practices, with pizza or popcorn even. Ask other teachers talk it up and post announcements.

NAQT has an article on starting a team posted at http://www.naqt.com/HowTo/start-a-high-school-team.html

Tegan
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Post by Tegan »

My school isn't rural or small, but when I started coaching, I walked into a similar situation: I only had 5 juniors (All of the seniors wakled away), and they had mostly joined the team for their "college resume".

One of the things that I did first was to try and find ways to make the team fun and unique. I established small awards (pins) for reaching certain toss-up levels....as teh previous writer suggested, practices were part party. As the team got a taste for the competition, I started real back the "party" aspect and focus more on preparation. Before the year was out, we had blossomed to a group of seven, and we have been growing since. This year, my frosh-soph and varsity combined for over 30 (and not only have we been growing in terms of numbers but quality of the player as well).

I know a lot of people advocate hard work and taking this seriously (and if you really want to win, you wil likely have to go that direction....), but starting off too much like that may not attract everyone. Find a balance.

David Riley
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Post by David Riley »

Michigan (as you probably know) has a very active quiz bowl circuit and plays several formats. Get in touch with Tony McHattie at White Cloud High School, he can give you a lot of good advice about quiz bowl in rural schools and he runs an excellent tournament every year in October. Good luck!

PuffTrinket
Kimahri
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Thanks!

Post by PuffTrinket »

Thank you. I will get started!

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cdbarker
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Inexpensive Buzzer Systems

Post by cdbarker »

As a starter, you may want to consider a buzzer system from
http://www.svbz.com/catalog.html

I have found the product to be great for practice and the low price will help you get started as opposed to the $400+ that a buzzer usually costs.

Hope it helps and good luck.

CDB

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Matthew D
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Post by Matthew D »

I was in your shoes about 6 months ago but I had coached at other schools before..
First Make sure that you have clearance with your principal and the board.. I ran into that one and had to miss my first tournament because I didn't know that I needed board approval.
then you have some good suggestions on what to do after that
Matt Dennis
Coach DAR Quizbowl Team

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Howard
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Post by Howard »

Tegan wrote:I know a lot of people advocate hard work and taking this seriously (and if you really want to win, you wil likely have to go that direction....), but starting off too much like that may not attract everyone. Find a balance.
This is an excellent point. I like to think that this activity is a means for students to learn things-- not just facts and trivia, but also about life and themselves.

This isn't a class. There are no requirements to perform at a certain level. The local television show It's Academic had been our primary focus for a number of years. This year they changed their scholarship awards-- they lowered them significantly for all but the championship games. I reviewed the situation with my students to let them decide whether they wished to change their focus.

I believe that ultimately, the students deserve a significant say in what goes on at practice and the direction of the team. Whether they really try or not, they'll learn something by the time they leave. And, at the very least, if you let them set some of their own goals, they'll learn about making realistic goals and achieving them.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred

PuffTrinket
Kimahri
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:12 am

thank you, and more please...

Post by PuffTrinket »

OK. I have started the adminstrative process. I have looked for contact info for Mr. McHattie at White Cloud- I see his team was VERY successful, and in my class (B). However, I cannot find an emial address on the White cloud website, or anywhere else. Does he post here? Or is ther another way to contact him?

I've been reading all kinds of information, including all your posts.

Assuming I get the go-ahead, I think I will try...

This Spring
1. Fix our old, dysfunctional lockout system
2. Decide on specialization areas for recruitment of players (anyone have any suggesitons?)
2. Make cool flyers like" ______ expert wanted" to place in classrooms belonging to appropriate subject area teachers.
3. Have an informational meeting
4. Decide on a format for practices
5. Begin to hold regular practices, establishing a routine and identity for the team

I will need to follow up with decisions about
1. Where and when to attend tournaments next fall- which format to play in, etc.
2. Whether or not to have a captain
3. How to arrange transportation to torunaments
4. Whether or not to visit the state championship at MSU in April.

In the fall, or as soon as there is money
1. Buy new lockout system
2. Purchase new team packet of questions from NAQT or other organization
3. Determine study/motivational tools to provide incentive for weekly player improvement
4.convice kids that they really WANT to practice twice a week.

Am I missing anything crucial? I am sure I am going to learn how much more there is to do as I go along.

Trevkeeper
Tidus
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Post by Trevkeeper »

For question sources, try these (I realize I am biased towards the first two, but they are still quite good):

http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/activitie ... rsity.html
http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/activitie ... /solo.html
http://quizbowl.stanford.edu/archive/
Nick, IU and Aegis Questions

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Matthew D
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Post by Matthew D »

I will agree that those sites are great when you are looking for questions.
Matt Dennis
Coach DAR Quizbowl Team

David Riley
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Post by David Riley »

I will send Tony's address to you.

David

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Stained Diviner
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Your basic plan seems good, but I would hold off on specialists. The need for specialists depends on the make-up of the team and the distribution of questions. A math specialist is necessary in Illinois but not in most states where math is asked less often. Sometimes your two best generalists are good enough in a particular topic that you don't need a specialist in that area. Also, I think it is better for your team if they think of themselves as Quiz Bowlers first rather than individuals who only concentrate on certain questions. If for no other reason, it makes for better practices when everybody has a green light to go after any type of question.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

David Riley
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Post by David Riley »

PuffTrinket: Tony's email is [email protected].

Good luck!

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JohnAndSlation
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Post by JohnAndSlation »

4.convice kids that they really WANT to practice twice a week.
Chances are, if you're getting kids to come, even after the pizza's gone, they'll want to practice MORE than twice a week. Our team complains every weekend we don't have a tournament.

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