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 Odyssey of the Mind 
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After watching the video last night on the debate team, I was wondering if OM and Battle of the Books were our school's equivalent to a debate team. (I dont know much about them.) What are the requirements for being on the OM or Battle of the Books teams? Do you think they have the same effect on our students as a debate team would?

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Deborah Hess


Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:29 am
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I think that both of these programs are a good opportunity. However, I don't think that children from wide ranges of abilities are asked to participate or participate even if given the chance. Most of the students that I have seen that participate in these programs attend the AIG classes or are identified as advanced learners. I wish we could have something for those who don't have these abilities.
Nevertheless, one of the avenues for the low ability kids is the guitar, banjo, and fiddle classes offered through the 4H program. These are good opportunities.

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Julie Little
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Blue Ridge Elementary


Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:15 pm
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The video was an eye-opener. I think English Language Learners could really benefit from debate. I find that a lot of these kids are oral learners and enjoy expressing their opinions. They construct meaning through talking. Debating would give them a voice and an avenue for articulating new knowledge and ideas, but it would also require them to read and research for a purpose. It would challenge them not only to take a stand but also to argue an issue from both sides. From a cultural standpoint, debate could make Latino kids uncomfortable because - from my experience - they tend towards consensus and harmony and steer away from conflict and disagreement. Debating would allow them to push against cultural boundaries, expose them to new discourses, and give them an opportunity to "code switch."

Cindy

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Cindy Fowler

"Read it and weep!"


Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:17 pm
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I agree with Julie. From the OM kids I know, the vast majority are the ones that I would expect to be self-motivated and participate in this endeavor. I can say from the ones I had last year, most are straight A students, and the kids that I predicted would be in AIG. I also agree that 4h has some great oppportunities for kids of differing ability levels to participate, and not just at Blue Ridge. I worked with the middle school program when I was in high school, and the projects the kids could be involved in were amazing - everything from the enrichment of cooking to making cards and taking them to a retirement home - in short, the kinds of activities I would love to do as a teacher, but do not have time to do because of testing pressures.


Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:04 pm
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Although some programs are unfortunately offered only to a select few students, the majority of support is given by the parents. Many students who need to participate in these activities often do not have the parent support to pick them up, assist with projects, etc. I believe this is why it seems that only AIG students, etc. are offered these opportunities.

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Penny Barnes


Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:59 am
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It is really a shame that many of the students involved are AIG. We really do need something extra special for those extra special kids!! I was wondering about OM and Battle of the Books. Do you think that children that are not AIG would be successful at these activities if given the chance and had the transportation figured out?

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Deborah Hess


Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:18 pm
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Deborah,

Maybe it could be done through the afterschool program. A lot of the kids attending afterschool would blossom if they received enriched programs like OM or Battle of the Books - or a modified Battle of the Books - choosing high interest novels with rich content that's on their level. It would require someone willing to take something like this on but seems like it could be done. Look at the officer who worked with the debate team. Talk about commitment!

Cindy

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Cindy Fowler

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Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:07 pm
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When Tanner was in sixth grade he wanted to be in Battle of the Books. He was not allowed to be in it becasue he was not AIG. Talk about crushing a kid's self-esteem. Luckily, he got over it after he saw how much studying and time the kids who were in it had to put in. I did have him check out books from battle of the books he was interested in and he and I made a point to read some of them together. We kind of had our own book talk set up. We would each have our own copy of the same book and we would talk about the book and our thoughts on it at least once or twice a week. His favorite book ended up being The Giver.
My point is: WE NEED TO GIVE ALL THE STUDENTS THE CREAM, NOT JUST THE AIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I took this from Dr. Knight and it holds true in everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Teresa Goodman

ALL STUDENTS DESERVE THE CREAM!


Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:09 pm
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