Monday, November 12, 2012

Worksessions - This Week & Next Week

We are cancelling a couple of the worksessions for this week and next week. Here is the updated schedule.

M, 11/12 @ 2:45 pm
T, 11/13 @ 6:00 pm

M, 11/19 @ 2:45 pm
T, 11/20 - CANCELLED

There will be two more weeks of worksessions after Thanksgiving break as we prepare for the final two tourneys of the semester. Remember that novice students are assigned 6 hours of time (360 minutes) and varsity students are assigned 8 hours of time (480 minutes). Each worksession minute of time equates to .5 points.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Team & Class Updates for 11/9/12

Quite a few updates for today, both team-related and class-related. I'll start with team stuff first, then detail updates for each class.


Applebee's Pancake Breakfast!
Next Saturday, November 17, is our Applebee's all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Today, students were given two tickets to sell by next Friday. Each ticket is only $6, making their initial responsibility only $12. If students want or need extra fundraising time requirements, they may sell extra tickets. Each additional ticket beyond the two required will count as five minutes of fundraising time.

Two Tourneys Remaining This Semester
Believe it or not, but our first semester of competition will be coming to a close sooner than we realize! After this weekend, there are two tourneys remaining for the fall semester. They are William Chrisman/Truman on Nov 30-Dec 1 and Raytown/Raytown South on Dec 7-8. Both a novice and varsity division will be offered each weekend. Sign-up sheets are available in the classroom, and the deadline to sign up for WC/TRU is Nov 16 (Next Friday).


Debate I

Novice debaters were assigned homework for the weekend related to Extemporaneous Speaking. Extemp is an individual event in which many students on our team will compete, and all students are strongly encouraged to participate, at least a few times, in it. The reading is fairly short and easy to go through. Students need to have this read by Monday's class so that we can go over all the rules, regulations, and how-to prep info in class.

Today (Friday, 11/9), students were to turn in two items to the tub or to me. The first is the Review of Policy Debate, which we went over in class this week and last. The second item is a CX Affirmative Case Review activity, which asked students to take an in-depth look at their affirmative policy debate case and analyze its structure along with its potential flaws. After today, these assignments are late. Students have been given the past two weeks to complete both of these activities, including class time, worksession time, and homework time.

Debate II

Students are continuing their work for future tournaments. It is expected of advanced students to continually be revising their work and submitting (or resubmitting) items via Google Drive. Eventually, they will need to turn in a paper copy of a final draft case and a final draft speech or script. Students should also be keeping thier portfolio folders (progress through the semester) updated with tournament items, work items, class evaluations and rehearsal notes, etc.

Next week, students wishing to learn more about how to strategically compete in public forum debate will find the in-class sessions helpful. For students not competing in public forum, there will be a structured research activity to help guide them in finding better, more updated evidence than what they currently possess.


Students are trying out new individual events this weekend at Ray-Pec, and will gain valuable insight as to how to improve the quality of their pieces, blocking, and overall performance. This feedback will be used as we continue striving for progress. Students will eventually turn in a fully blocked script with an introduction for a grade, and should be keeping their portfolio folders updated with tournament items, rough drafts, class rehearsal notes and critiques, etc.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Update 10/29/12

1. Nov 9-10 Tourney Sign-up Deadline!
Students wishing to attend the Grandview or Ray-Pec tourneys on Nov 9-10 MUST SIGN UP BY 2:30 PM, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30. Sign-ups are now posted on Google Drive ( Students must log in with their R7 account, then click on "shared with me." Once there, they need to click on the "Admin-Tourney Sign-ups" folder and click on the appropriate tourney. Students should only add their name if they meet the following requirements: a) they can commit to the entire weekend, b) they have secured a partner if needed for CX, PF, or DUO, and c) they can be prepared for the tourney in time, including submitting all needed documents via Google Drive. Students should type in their names using the appropriate format (ex: NSmith).

2. Worksessions this Week
We will offer all three worksessions this week. All worksessions are two hours in length.
Mon @ 2:45 pm
Tue @ 6:00 pm
Thu @ 2:45 pm

3. LSW/LSN Tourney Info
We have quite a few students signed up and confirmed for the tourney this weekend (Nov 2-3). An itinerary will be sent out either Tuesday evening or Wednesday with dismissal times, report times, etc. Remember that transportation is not provided via bus for an in-town tourney. Students may drive themselves or find a ride to the appropriate school. LSW is the novice tourney, and LSN is the varsity tourney.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Technology Uses for Debate

After discussing some options for collaboration and efficient student work with our district technology staff, we have taken the initiative to create a Google Drive account for LSDF. All students in the debate program will be able to access the information in the drive account; however, they must log in to Google Drive via their school email address.

What types of items are located in the drive account?
* Debate files created by students
* Oratory manuscripts
* Extemp speech/question listing, annotations, research summaries, etc.
* Congress research analyses/briefs.
* Drama scripts with introductions, literature analyses, etc.
* Instructional and administrative forms.


What will Google Drive be used for?
* Sharing, collaborating, and critiquing other students' work in real time.
* Signing up for future tournaments.
* Keeping updated on current research, ideas, etc.
* The potential is virtually limitless. We will add things and change things as we go.

Students experimented this week uploading and creating items in Google Drive. Novice debaters created their third research brief via Google Drive, and Varsity debaters uploaded their original research brief via Drive. Dramatics students began analyzing new scripts. All students were granted access to the signup sheets for the Nov 9-10 tourneys (Grandview and Ray-Pec).

There are several benefits to using Google Drive. First, students can access the items at any time, from any computer/device connected to the internet. Second, students can upload, create, change, etc., in real time, in addition to collaborating with other students and coaches. All changes made are saved automatically, and since the documents are stored online, they are always accessible. Another major benefit to Drive is that we can begin to save a lot of paper (physically and financially) as students turn in their work online instead of in paper form.

Students in policy debate (all novices and some varsity) may choose to use their own personal laptop or tablet to store files. Computer devices can be used in debate rounds (not cell phones, though), so if students want to store all their files electronically, they can. If they would rather purchase a tub and some file folders, etc., and keep a paper file system, that is also fine. Students using their computers can bring them to school, but they will not be able to access the wi-fi network during the school day.

More updates coming soon!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Instructional Update 10/22/12

As competition season gets into full swing, students should expect much more homework from debate/drama courses. There is obviously only so much time in class to get through a large amount of information, so students should be blocking off a good portion of time at home to read, reread, take notes, and conduct further research on the various topics they are studying. On average, a students should plan to spend at least 30 minutes per night reviewing, reading, researching, rehearsing, etc. This is only an average of time well spent preparing for tournament competitions. Remember that, just like any other activity, debate/drama is a competition, and in order to be great, one must be willing to put in the time and energy to keep improving.

This week's goals:

Debate 1
Create 3 Negative CX Briefs on different case areas. This is nowhere near the total amount of briefs or research that is needed to continually win rounds of debate, but it is a good start. Mixed with a student's consistent reading and rereading of materials from the NDCA website (see the CX Resources page tab), these briefs can be a great addition to the growing tub of research available. This week, students are receiving back their rough drafts of affirmative cases, which should be revised at the student's earliest convenience.


Debate II
Students will be assigned a Briefs Assignment for one of their events. This brief assignment can be modified for any type of debate or speech event. On Friday, students will submit a copy of thier brief for the grade.


Students are selecting new scripts for potential use in HI/DI. The first step, once a script is selected, is to conduct a mini-analysis. Forms are available in the classroom if students lose their originals. Once the analysis is completed, students should work to memorize as much of their script as possible. On Friday, students will perform a read-through in class, along with a discussion of their mini-analysis. A copy of the script must accompany the mini-analysis, which will be turned in for a grade.