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> State of your team, Let's hear about how you're doing
mrrrg
post Feb 14 2014, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE (Stanley Tree @ Feb 14 2014, 05:29 PM) *
There is the possibility, however, that people can be working for all the wrong things and all the wrong reasons. My junior year, we worked our butt off and placed 11th. So how did it change? We all went in one direction together- energy all going in the same direction instead of in different directions. If the team is unified in their work, what they are doing and how they are doing it, that is when it really starts to come together.

The regimen is very important- which is why we see the same teams at the top of Texas and California every year. The way the coaches have been able to direct work is good enough for Granada Hills, Marshall, El Camino, Rockwall, Pearland, Nimitz, Friendswood, HP, Canyon del Oro, Mountain View, Red Mountain, Whitney Young to have consistently good teams, even when maybe their students aren't the highest caliber they have had. I remember being around in '10 and '11 for Pearland where there were some major holes (especially in varsity), and yet they still ended in the top 5 at state. That's because even when the varsities were not as strong as they could be, they were still part of a group that worked really hard and in the same direction.



I'll stipulate to all of that, but I still want a blood sample from Gear; I want to know if he has some secret lab producing amiable clones who infiltrate the genpop and do everything he says....I want him checked for neuronal implants...I want to know if he can tell me where he gets his HGH from....I want him to give a ppt presentation at the next "Training Day" (what an oxymoron) that TAD offers.....and I want to wish all of the Texas teams well as they compete at state (okay, I'll wish all of the other state teams good luck too).
And I'll leave with one question, why are the other 14 states not involved in AD still not involved? This is perhaps one of the great indictments of the failure of this program to grow as it should. Some states have 50 + teams, some states two.....are you telling me that no one in IDAHO or wherever the NATIONAL BOARD sits on their collective behinds can't get this program going (even minimally) in 14 other states?????
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Feb 14 2014, 05:49 PM
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Melanie, my team is good, but nowhere close to the level of Rockwall or Pearland. We scored 45,500 at regionals, which puts us in the top 20 in the US. Here are my answers to your questions.

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How much to work in the summer?


My goal is to simply have all the kids read all the guides once during the summer. We have informal meetings, organized by students, at a local café or bookstore. The kids who want to make the team, and who understand the value of reading the resources more than once, do the reading.

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How to teach math?


Practice, practice, and more practice. Take every question from the Practice Test Booklet and teach them how do to it, quickly. Make sure they understand when and when not to use the calculator. We're spending 45 minutes every afternoon on math between regionals and state because we sucked at math. Rockwall, who blew everyone else away, spend a long time reviewing the kinds of problems that appeared on the PTB, and it benefitted them immensely.



QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How much time to spend on essay?

The essay is really different this year. I feel that students who know the curriculum well, will write the sort of essay that USAD is looking for. The Decademy Micro Tests have short essay questions in each section. I feel these have been very valuable in having students think about the kinds of prompts they might see.

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How often should we meet outside of class time?


How productive is your time when you meet together? Nothing replaces quiet study. I've actually reduced the amount of hours that we meet together, because I feel the solo study is more effective. Just make sure you have a way to hold them accountable. I use DemiDec Section Exams to make sure they've been doing their daily work. Having said that, we meet after school for an hour from November through the end of our competition year. We often meet on Saturdays for three hours to practice math and subjectives, and to take practice tests.



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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Feb 14 2014, 05:53 PM
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QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How often should we meet during breaks (esp. Christmas break)?


We met 8 times over Christmas break, for three hours each time. At the end of each meeting I gave them a comprehensive exam on a different subject. One of those times was just for speech and interview practice.

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
What sort of speech topics to avoid? Which ones will score best?



There is no set answer to this. I tell my students to choose something that they can be passionate about but to avoid controversial topics.

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
How many scrimmages to do?


As many as you possibly can. I would go to more, if I could. There is NOTHING as valuable as competition practice. The study that happens as students ramp up for a scrimmage is always time well spent. Feedback on subjectives usually help students improve. Do ALL the scrimmages. smile.gif

QUOTE (melanie98 @ Feb 14 2014, 09:47 AM) *
Even now...I am dealing with a team that says it studies better individually...so what do I do during class?


Give them tests. Make it a competition. Give prizes for the highest scores. Discuss wrong answers. Have them compare the practice exams with the ones they saw at Round 1 and at Regionals. Then test them again.

I hope this helps. Coaches that are better than I probably have different suggestions. Many different things will work.


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Stanley Tree
post Feb 14 2014, 06:41 PM
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For speeches, they key is that it has to apply to something bigger- my first speech senior year was about my family, but it didn't have any greater meaning. It has to have some sort of universal appeal- I changed it to how tech is hurting communication, and it went over much better.

In class, it is definitely best to test and make it a competition. We would post updated rankings every day, and have a projected score up for each individual to see where they are. Most people are competitive, so giving them that public competition helps a lot.

For the summer thing, I read all of music over the summer, but to be honest I don't remember it helping much. I think getting into the book and short stories over the summer helps- lang/lit is the most difficult of the tests (barring math), and any knowledge you can glean on the large concepts of the book over the summer allow you to fill in the details over the year. I read our book ("Red Badge of Courage") about 8 times (it was a small one though), and got a 900 at state- 100 points higher than anyone else in my category. In fact, reading the book twice over the summer might be best, and it gets them ready to study the material more than once. Getting them together a few times really helps get them into the family atmosphere.


--------------------
Academic Decathlon Coach, Dulles High School
2017 Texas Large School State Champion
AP World History teacher
Former Varsity Head Coach, Girls Soccer


Pearland High School '08
2008 Team State champion
2008 Varsity State champion

“It’s all these guys. They’ve been with us for a while. They believe in each other. They put up with me and go out and do it better the next day. They’ve got the courage of a lion.” - Frank Martin
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Research Monkey
post Feb 23 2014, 08:13 PM
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Mountain Pointe is, regrettably, now defunct.

This post has been edited by Research Monkey: Feb 23 2014, 08:14 PM


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AK_WDB
post Feb 23 2014, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Feb 23 2014, 12:13 PM) *
Mountain Pointe is, regrettably, now defunct.

Ouch. sad.gif
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madcap
post Feb 23 2014, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Feb 23 2014, 03:24 PM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Feb 23 2014, 12:13 PM) *
Mountain Pointe is, regrettably, now defunct.

Ouch. sad.gif


Is there any chance someone will come back to coach in a few years?

Last year, DDSIC received some really nice contributions with details on Arizona state scores from 1997, 1998, and 1999. I already knew Mountain Pointe had a great history, but it was amazing to see these numbers! All three MP honors were over 8,550 in 1998 and they took two of the top three spots in 1997. I hope MP can come back someday and pull off more of these feats (like they did in 2013, when they also took two of the top three Honor individual spots in Arizona).


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I really try not to make it sound like a religious experience when I talk about Academic Decathlon, but it isn't easy.
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Research Monkey
post Feb 23 2014, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (madcap @ Feb 23 2014, 01:52 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Feb 23 2014, 03:24 PM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Feb 23 2014, 12:13 PM) *
Mountain Pointe is, regrettably, now defunct.

Ouch. sad.gif


Is there any chance someone will come back to coach in a few years?

Last year, DDSIC received some really nice contributions with details on Arizona state scores from 1997, 1998, and 1999. I already knew Mountain Pointe had a great history, but it was amazing to see these numbers! All three MP honors were over 8,550 in 1998 and they took two of the top three spots in 1997. I hope MP can come back someday and pull off more of these feats (like they did in 2013, when they also took two of the top three Honor individual spots in Arizona).


We pulled that off in 2008 as well smile.gif

I believe the "coming back" phase has more or less already run its course. Mr. Scott had coached from 1993 to 2009, and then assisted another teacher in 2010, myself in 2011, my former teammate in 2012, and then the poster on this board Herohito last year before retiring from teaching last May, and without him, the school has been either unwilling, unable, or both to secure a teacher willing to take on the program.


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Herohito
post Feb 23 2014, 11:55 PM
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QUOTE (madcap @ Feb 23 2014, 01:52 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Feb 23 2014, 03:24 PM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Feb 23 2014, 12:13 PM) *
Mountain Pointe is, regrettably, now defunct.

Ouch. sad.gif


Is there any chance someone will come back to coach in a few years?

Based on my experiences in its final year, no.
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redhawk2015
post Feb 26 2014, 03:55 AM
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Medium School Rankings:
1. Friendswood - moving up to Large
2. Highland Park - moving up to Large
3. Centennial - 2 returners, neither of whom counted
4. Wakeland - 3 returners, only 1 of whom counted
5. Lubbock - wild card, I know they have at least a few returners but not sure exactly how many
6. Liberty - 8 returners, including at least 2 in each bracket

You can imagine where our motivation comes from. Yes, I am aware Heath is moving down. However, this is still the best opportunity we've had in a long time for a top-3 or even 1st place finish. Lots of enthusiasm for next year among our team. Just have to make sure not to get ahead of ourselves...


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Stanley Tree
post Feb 26 2014, 04:07 PM
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This is what happened to me at Pearland my junior year- we got 11th with 8 juniors, turned that into 1st (including 2 alternates, so 10). Excited to see how y'all do, but I would say that you can't assume those 8 are who are going to make it- we only had four return from those 8 (the 2 alternates made it). Can't stop recruiting.


--------------------
Academic Decathlon Coach, Dulles High School
2017 Texas Large School State Champion
AP World History teacher
Former Varsity Head Coach, Girls Soccer


Pearland High School '08
2008 Team State champion
2008 Varsity State champion

“It’s all these guys. They’ve been with us for a while. They believe in each other. They put up with me and go out and do it better the next day. They’ve got the courage of a lion.” - Frank Martin
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Gear
post Feb 26 2014, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (redhawk2015 @ Feb 25 2014, 09:55 PM) *
Medium School Rankings:
1. Friendswood - moving up to Large
2. Highland Park - moving up to Large
3. Centennial - 2 returners, neither of whom counted
4. Wakeland - 3 returners, only 1 of whom counted
5. Lubbock - wild card, I know they have at least a few returners but not sure exactly how many
6. Liberty - 8 returners, including at least 2 in each bracket

You can imagine where our motivation comes from. Yes, I am aware Heath is moving down. However, this is still the best opportunity we've had in a long time for a top-3 or even 1st place finish. Lots of enthusiasm for next year among our team. Just have to make sure not to get ahead of ourselves...

Will Lone Star be moving up?

I also don't believe that number of returnees predict future success. Rockwall won state last year with only 1 returnee.

This post has been edited by Gear: Feb 26 2014, 05:11 PM


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Stealer of Souls
post Feb 26 2014, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE (Gear @ Feb 26 2014, 08:27 AM) *
QUOTE (redhawk2015 @ Feb 25 2014, 09:55 PM) *
Medium School Rankings:
1. Friendswood - moving up to Large
2. Highland Park - moving up to Large
3. Centennial - 2 returners, neither of whom counted
4. Wakeland - 3 returners, only 1 of whom counted
5. Lubbock - wild card, I know they have at least a few returners but not sure exactly how many
6. Liberty - 8 returners, including at least 2 in each bracket

You can imagine where our motivation comes from. Yes, I am aware Heath is moving down. However, this is still the best opportunity we've had in a long time for a top-3 or even 1st place finish. Lots of enthusiasm for next year among our team. Just have to make sure not to get ahead of ourselves...

Will Lone Star be moving up?

I also don't believe that number of returnees predict future success. Rockwall won state last year with only 1 returnee.


You also have to guard against cockiness. Returners sometimes think they've got everything all figured out-- which usually sees them read less because they think they can read better.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Feb 26 2014, 09:12 PM
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Although we have three seniors on the team, we will be returning 8 next year, including all three of my varsity boys. (This has to do with the way I swap people on the team between regionals and state.) I'm not sure if this will mean anything or not. I do have one very good honors (who is only a sophomore this year) who will most likely be a scholastic next year. That's a good thing. (We call our AP Chemistry class, "The Great Scholasticizer." or varsitizer, if you prefer.)


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TinDefacto
post Feb 26 2014, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (Gear @ Feb 26 2014, 11:27 AM) *
Will Lone Star be moving up?

Nope; they'll be staying Small for a while. Edit: looks like I'm wrong. However, since we're still not exactly sure what the TAD enrollment cutoffs will be, I don't think we can count on any movements for now (not even Friendswood or Highland Park moving up).

Also, Frisco Independence High School opens up next year. They'll be Medium, and they're taking some 8th-10th graders who would otherwise be going to Liberty, Centennial, & Heritage next year. No one on Liberty's team is being affected by this.

This post has been edited by TinDefacto: Feb 26 2014, 09:35 PM


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Herohito
post Feb 26 2014, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Feb 26 2014, 02:12 PM) *
(We call our AP Chemistry class, "The Great Scholasticizer." or varsitizer, if you prefer.)

Calculus (and precalculus) and chemistry are the two that generally do that for our school.
The best kind of varsity is the one that gets A's in everything except those two classes.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Feb 26 2014, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Herohito @ Feb 26 2014, 03:28 PM) *
QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Feb 26 2014, 02:12 PM) *
(We call our AP Chemistry class, "The Great Scholasticizer." or varsitizer, if you prefer.)

Calculus (and precalculus) and chemistry are the two that generally do that for our school.
The best kind of varsity is the one that gets A's in everything except those two classes.


At our school, AP Chem is a sophomore class, and it's two class periods. If you get a B or a C, it's really two Bs or two Cs. Works like a charm. smile.gif


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redhawk2015
post Feb 27 2014, 04:50 AM
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QUOTE (Gear @ Feb 26 2014, 10:27 AM) *
I also don't believe that number of returnees predict future success. Rockwall won state last year with only 1 returnee.

I definitely agree that being a returner doesn't magically make you better. However, I think there is something to be said for having the experience - you have some idea of what the tests focus on, and know what to expect in speech/interview. While this doesn't guarantee anything, it does contribute a lot to overall attitude.

Centennial came in this year in a similar situation - 8 returners. They ended up scoring 45k and placing 3rd, behind only FWood and HP. However, from talking to a lot of them, I'm fairly certain the main reason for their success was simply added motivation. They felt like this was their big chance, and they studied harder not wanting to let that go to waste. I'm hoping that if my team thinks this is their window of opportunity, they'll want to seize the moment.

QUOTE (Stealer of Souls @ Feb 26 2014, 12:26 PM) *
You also have to guard against cockiness. Returners sometimes think they've got everything all figured out-- which usually sees them read less because they think they can read better.

Hopefully - hopefully - this shouldn't be a major problem. A lot of my teammates didn't perform as well as they could have, and they know it. Talking to them, I think they still feel like they have something to prove. Just have to make sure that mindset carries through the season.

This post has been edited by redhawk2015: Feb 27 2014, 04:50 AM


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Stealer of Souls
post Feb 27 2014, 07:49 PM
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As one of the early adopters of the College Board's push to get more kids in AP we have seen a big explosion of enrollment in AP classes. Often, many of those enrolled don't want to be in the class, others have good academic records in regular classes, and then there are those go getters. The problem has been, to keep the bottom end from flat lining, a lot of our teachers give out extra credit like candy. What results is that kids who should be scholastics end up as honors, varsities become scholastics, etc. Grade inflation has made it really challenging to get good kids into our program because they aren't used to having to work very hard. When they come up against something that takes time or effort, "it's too hard," or "it takes too much time."
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Herohito
post Feb 27 2014, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (Stealer of Souls @ Feb 27 2014, 12:49 PM) *
As one of the early adopters of the College Board's push to get more kids in AP we have seen a big explosion of enrollment in AP classes. Often, many of those enrolled don't want to be in the class, others have good academic records in regular classes, and then there are those go getters. The problem has been, to keep the bottom end from flat lining, a lot of our teachers give out extra credit like candy. What results is that kids who should be scholastics end up as honors, varsities become scholastics, etc. Grade inflation has made it really challenging to get good kids into our program because they aren't used to having to work very hard. When they come up against something that takes time or effort, "it's too hard," or "it takes too much time."

That's why I believe it's important for people to start as freshmen.
Sometimes they'll come around if they're like that.
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