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FLL as a school class?

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  • FLL as a school class?

    Last year was our middle school's first year with FLL (6th, 7th and 8th graders). We are tossing around the idea of making FLL a class this fall. Students in the class will be on the team. The class will meet every day for one hour. We will also have two-hour practices after school, three days a week. We haven't fully worked out the curriculum for the class (will it be just robotics, or will it also be core values and project???) We also have not worked out exams and graded work. In other words, we haven't done anything except talk about it as a crazy idea that just might work.

    I'd love to hear from other teachers/coaches that have tried incorporating FLL as a school course. I have a ton of questions but I don't even really know where to start.
    Regards,
    Skip Morrow

    2017 Hydrodynamics
    2016 Animal Allies
    2015 Trash Trek
    2014 World Class Learning

  • #2
    Re: FLL as a school class?

    Quite a few schools in this region have a fall-season (or all-year) robotics course, and participation on a LEGO League team is part of the curriculum.

    Due to FIRST's "10 kids per team" limit, a school class is going to have to sponsor multiple teams. I see that quite a lot at tournament - kids from the same school on multiple teams, all with the same color t-shirts.
    FIRST Tech Challenge Judge: 2010, Referee: 2017
    FIRST LEGO League Mentor, Instructor, and/or Referee/Head Referee since 2011
    FIRST Robotics Competition judge (Chairman's Award): 2014
    Dean says I'm an "Oompa Loompa of Science"

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    • #3
      I have an Advanced Lego Projects class for my 7th and 8th graders, and part of that class has all of my FLL team members. The FLL students just work on everything to get ready for the competition. I don't worry about any grading for those kids (they all get A's). They are working far harder than any of my students in any other class anyways. My other students in the class work on the curriculum for the class. At the beginning of the semester, all students work on some advanced programming topics like My Blocks, variables, using the gyro to drive straight, etc. When the game goes live, then my FLL kids get cracking on what they need to do. During that time, we will occasionally all come together to discuss topics like attachment construction or other programming techniques.This allows for at least one hour of practice a day. I also have the class during the last period of the day. That way the kids can continue working after school without interruption in what they were doing during class. It usually results in 2-3 hours of practice a day and add in the occasional Saturday. This is our 3rd season of running my advanced class like this and the results have been fantastic. Obviously, that kind of time availability makes for well prepared teams.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
        Due to FIRST's "10 kids per team" limit, a school class is going to have to sponsor multiple teams. I see that quite a lot at tournament - kids from the same school on multiple teams, all with the same color t-shirts.
        Our teams aren't part of a class, but we do have multiple teams wearing the same tee shirts which have all the shool's FLL & FLL Jr. teams on the back. There certainly are possible issues. We had one year where we're pretty sure our best team did not get an award because the judges got them confused with a team of younger kids that didn't behave well, and tanked the Core Values session. We also had a different year where our team that argued with each other all year got a CV award at the regional championship, when we had another team that probably should have won an award did not. Of course, we're not in the judging rooms so we don't know for sure, but the rubrics we got back didn't really match the award (or lack thereof in the first case).

        My recommendation -- get different colored shirts for each team, unless the extra expense makes it not viable.
        Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
        KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

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