Monday, July 8, 2013

state conference 2013

This year I brought nine students to the state conference and all them competed in STAR Events. I am proud to say I had one national qualify and another gold medal winner.  I was looking forward to attending Nationals all year, but I had to make the hard to decision not to go since I would be very pregnant by July.  This was the first year I brought a male student to the conference.  I was a little nervous about this at first but everything was fine.  He decided he wanted to have a room to himself and was willing to pay the whole cost, and although he is autistic, he grew socially, independently, and educationally over the weekend.   

Again, I volunteered to be an event chair for Advocacy.  I am ready to learn a new event in the coming years.  This is one of the best ways to become more comfortable with the events. It is so much fun to talk with students before and after their events.  We were located in a hallway were I was able to stop students heading to their events and ask them questions.  It was fun to give them a little boost of confidence before they headed to their judges.  Because of all the interaction between students, judges, and getting a deep look at many projects, this is the best way to learn about STAR Events and feel more confident in explaining the events and rubrics to potential competitors in future years.  

Luckily, I did not have trouble getting students interested in competing at state. I was pleased with the number of students I had this year. I do not put much pressure on students because it really needs to be their drive that gets a good project done.  I set a deadline before registration was due for them to meet with me with detailed plans for how they would get their project completed. I checked in with all of them about a month later. The week before state, each group presented in front of our members and we used the judge’s rubrics to give them feedback.

As far as recruiting ideas, we will update our display board to be used at “Club Rush” in August.  When we returned from State this spring, it motivated a few new students to consider joining the chapter next year.  I personally encourage those students who really stand out as potential assets to our organization and those who need something positive in their lives.  My biggest advice to newer advisers is to jump right in and get involved at the district and state level because the teachers you will work with are very helpful and the more you learn, the more comfortable you will be in getting your students involved.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Colorado State Conference - 2012

This year, at the Colorado State FCCLA Conference and competition there were some great changes, and some challenges.   The changes that were most noted by myself and my students were the comparative ease of check-in at the hotel, which normally took several hours, and kept most waiting (some until after dinner) but this year the hotel check in at a designated registration table was very organized, and easier to manage in years past.
Another notable change was the way that the events were run.  The use of the spreadsheets for event chairs was an amazing idea, and I hope, one that continues.   My students didn’t mention the same inconsistencies with the judges as in years past, although I think that further judges training may be something to consider.
My students really enjoyed the opening speaker, and ceremony.   They also were very impacted by the speaker from Columbine at one of the workshops.   It was a very powerful message for them. The banquet was lovely, as usual.  My students also noted that the dress code was better enforced than in previous years, which was nice not only for them, but for the advisers as well.   The closing ceremonies were a little less organized however, and if I were to make one suggestion it would be to concentrate on that for next year.
In all, we enjoyed the 2013 Colorado State Conference and Competition and look forward to what next year holds.

--Marilyn Wagner
Pueblo City Schools
Spanish Peaks District

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mobile Apps Make Field Trips More Interactive

Are you looking to spice up your classroom?  Are the videos just not cutting it anymore?  Read the
Mobile Apps Make Field Trips More Interactive article and put some "spice" into your next classroom assignment or field trip!