Mind over chatter.
of the Kentucky High School Speech League
If your school will allow this, create one blanket permission slip which includes medical info and parental permission to attend all events for the year and get these signed and returned (beats the heck out of doing it for every tournament – and I’ll bet the football coach doesn’t have to get a permission slip for each game – model after the athletic ones if need be). Here's the old Danville 4n6 one if it helps you get started.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR FRIEND!
You definitely want to get the word out about your team.
You can see the links to the KHSSL Social Media below, and
very soon we are going on a week-long social media blitz to
get people excited about the start of the speech and debate
season. If you have a Twitter account or a Facebook page, let me know here at KHSSL -- we'll follow you (our Facebook page isn't following any of you yet, so definitely hit us up).
If you are a team without a social media presence, I strongly encourage you to get one to keep your parents and supporters updated on tournament results and other team news. You can have a responsible kid or two manage it (just make sure you maintain access too so you can edit as needed).
Here's a commercial we used at the Hell or High Water for Broadcasting practice.
And while we're at it,
here's the Broadcasting Unit plan you can use with your students to train them how to prepare and practice for each round.
STORYTELLING -- WHERE DO I FIND SCRIPTS?
Your very best bet is CHILDREN'S LIBRARIANS -- in elementary schools, in the public libraries. They know which books make the best read-alouds. Those also make great performances!
You should also just turn the kids loose on the public library, the bookstores, in the kids' sections. These are by far the most fun scripts to hunt for! And if they have favorite books from childhood, those are a great place to start.
Sometimes students find kids' books they LOVE that are too short to use for high school competition (where folks tend to push more toward the ten minute mark). Here's a thought -- let that story be the anchor piece for a POI they want to construct! Figure out the social issue the book argues for (they almost all have one, even if it's a basic one) and let that be the through-line of the constructed performance!
Here's a link to Bria Stacy's presentation about Storytelling from digital SPEAK a couple of years ago. I hope these ideas help you and yours!
in round 3
WHERE TO FIND EXTEMP QUESTIONS
I am a bit biased here as Logan Scisco was my student at Danville and the first student of mine to advance to NSDA National Finals (3rd place US Extemp 2003) among many many other awards he won while in school. I have traveled the nation with him as my student and later as my assistant coach. He does an amazing job putting together new questions for practice each week, and he also has fun tracking extempers around the country in his national points race. Logan has taught at several schools in Kentucky and also was the Extemp coach for WKU 4n6 for a time (his student won college nationals while he was coaching there). He now works for Beechwood High School and coaches there.
I strongly encourage you to use his site for practice questions for four reasons (this is coach advice):
a. He writes excellent questions for practice each week that will force you to stay up to date on current topics.
b. Many tournaments pull his questions to use at his contests, so you might pull one at a tournament you have spoken on before.
c. He writes questions for many tournaments (KESDA, for example) and has been known to pull out his own questions to fill out a round.
d. While I write the questions for KHSSL contests, I'm not above looking at his for inspiration if I'm on question 8 of 12 I need to write for International Economics or something and finding inspiration from his for the remaining four.
He also writes quizzes you can use with your students each week to help them keep up on the news, though I encourage you to make it more of a game than like schoolwork.
The Extemper's Bible
This is a very similar site. Most KY folk know Logan's site better, but I've been pleased with what I've seen of this site, and they seem to be working together with Logan for the good of all things (and people) Extemp.
BLACK BOOK EVENTS
While students are allowed to use whatever type of manuscript they like in Prose/Poetry/POI competitions, the "unwritten rule" is that they use small black binders to do so (with the idea that these will be the least distracting and allow audiences to focus on the performer). But while you can sometimes find these in stores, they often have to be specially ordered.
A forensics-specific source for these books is the Black Book Depot. Check them out at the link above. Not an endorsement or a paid promotion -- just a recognition of good people selling a good product.
RECORD THOSE NSDA (NFL) POINTS
This note is from the November KY NSDA Newsletter from KY District Chair Rachel Page (Ryle HS):
The point system employed by NSDA serves a number of purposes. First and foremost, it provides your students levels of recognition in the honor society. Any time students compete at a tournament, they earn points based on how well they did. Students can also earn points for service (public speaking, drama performances, middle school coaching, or volunteering). Reaching different levels (degrees) is a cause for celebration! Students can have seals on their diplomas corresponding to their highest level of recognition, as well as degree seals on their membership certificates. When students earn 750 points, they can be eligible for the Academic All-American Award, another high recognition (and a letter gets sent to your principal -- free publicity for your team!). NSDA points are also essential for competition at tournaments -- a student must earn 25 points to become a member, and only members may compete at the district tournament.
Points are also important on a larger level because they indicate school and district health. For a school to be considered a charter chapter, it must earn 50 degrees in a three-year period. The degrees are the levels that students (and thus coaches) reach. Why is it important to be a charter school? First of all, it's school recognition. Secondly, one of the ways our district is evaluated is by the number of charter chapters. If we have 24 active charter chapters in a school year, we can send the maximum number of students to nationals the following year. We want as many students as possible to represent Team Kentucky! This is only possible if you record points and earn/maintain charter status. Of course, not all schools can be charter chapters. But all schools can work to send as many students as they can to the district tournament to try to qualify for nationals. The number of entries you can have at the district tournament is dependent on how many degrees you have. Thus, the more points you enter, the more students you can send to the district tournament.
Recording points is easy! When you link your NSDA roster to Tabroom.com, you only have to click a few buttons after a tournament has ended to record your team's points. Log into your NSDA account and click "Enter Points" on the left side menu. The tournament will be imported and you can review and add points. This is also where you can easily add points manually -- service points or tournament experiences that didn't link.
Get the most out of your NSDA membership -- record your points!