Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome to the First Ever Strategy Tuesday!


Background

NOV-2010

You survived Black Friday.  You conquered Cyber Monday. 

It’s now time for the first ever STRATEGY TUESDAY.

Yes, we’re starting a new post-Thanksgiving tradition here at America Learns.  From today forward, on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, we’ll be sharing five of the best strategies that have been contributed by superstars at the amazing education and human development organizations that we have an opportunity to serve.

The line-up for today is below.  The strategies will be posted throughout the day.

  1. One-on-One Game Debrief – Check this out below!
    By Shannon Burns, a coach and AmeriCorps member serving at America SCORES Bay Area through Coach Across America


  2. Reflecting to Recapture Focus & Positive Energy (Learning to Turn a Day Around)
    By Sara Smith, a tutor and AmeriCorps member with Girls Inc. of Alameda County

  3. Dream Mandala (Identifying One’s Present and Envisioning One’s Future)
    By Danica Ancell, a service learning student and mentor with Long Beach BLAST

  4. Learning to Express Regret
    By Alexandria Murnan, an ESL tutor and AmeriCorps member with Literacy AmeriCorps Palm Beach County

  5. Discussing How Race & Ethnic Issues are Portrayed in Media
    By Graig Meyer, the program coordinator of Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate

Strategy #1!

One-on-One Game Debrief

Created by: Shannon Burns, Coach & AmeriCorps Member at America SCORES Bay Area through Coach Across America
(America Learns Network member since 2009)
caa
Topics: Giving Feedback
Engagement & Motivation
 
Grade Levels: Third - Fifth  
Arrangements: Small Group; Large Group  

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Situation:

Because the children are quick to disperse after games, I wanted to make sure I was giving each girl feedback on how they played: their strengths and improvements as well as areas of growth that we would focus on in the future. 

By taking time over the weekend to do a quick write-up for each girl and then meeting with each one briefly on Monday to go over what I wrote, they see that I am paying attention to them and care how they are performing and learning.  Having documentation of how they've improved throughout the season also helps me cater practice to meet their needs.

   
Step 1:

Take some time after each game to jot down some notes for each player.

Make sure to highlight some things they did well or that you noticed improvement in, along with a couple things you see they could continue to work on.  Also think about about how each player affected the overall team’s performance and attitude/energy.

   
Step 2:

During the first practice after a game, have a brief meeting with each player to go over what you noticed. 

My players are thrilled to see that I pay attention to their individual performance.  By mentioning the positive things I recognized first, any improvements I suggest are more aptly received than they sometimes are out on the field.

   
Step 3:

Date the notes you jot down about your athletes, and keep track of them. 

This way, you can mark their progress and continue to see where the team as a whole could use the most growth.  This can help you plan out future practices or coaching strategies during the games.

   
Step 4:

Take advantage of this one-on-one time by allowing each child to give you any feedback, as well. 

They may have valuable insight into the game or the team dynamic that you didn't catch, so ask questions like:

  • What did you do well last game? 
  • Based on last game, what do you want to improve at? 
  • What did the team as a whole do well?  Were you able to contribute to that effort?  How?
  • How does the team as a whole need to get better?  How can you help the team get better?

As you talk, be sure to ask each athlete if they can share specific examples to back up their observations (and jog your memory!). 

This is a great way to get to build stronger relationships with each athlete.  Your athletes will really appreciate knowing that you’re watching and care about their progress, that they are being heard, and that the have a say in what they are learning.

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