3 Coaching SpontaneousTools and techniques for coaching Odyssey of the Mind teams in Spontaneous Problem solving"Creativity is not like the weather: you can do something about it." - John Kao"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." - Thomas Alva EdisonShow both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
4 Agenda Introductions Housekeeping Outside Assistance? What is a Spontaneous Problem?BehaviorInteractionsUnderstanding the problemBreakProblem solving strategiesResource recommendationsWrap-upDo a real Spontaneous Problem!Show both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
5 Introductions Karen McCombs – Region 10 Coordinator Peg Edvenson – Region 4 CoordinatorClark McCombs – Region 10 Spontaneous Problem CaptainWho are you?Who has worked with an OotM team before?Show both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
6 Housekeeping Training will last 2 hours Water and coffee Rest rooms LecturebreakInteractive demonstrationWater and coffeeRest roomsTurn off cell phones, pleaseHold your questions, pleaseWrite them down, we’ll cover them at the end of each sectionShow both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
7 Is This Outside Assistance? NoYou can’t sew the costumesBut you can teach the team to sewYou can’t build the setBut you can teach the team to saw, hammer, and drillYou can’t show them how to solve a specific spontaneous problemBut you can teach them problem solving techniquesShow both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
8 What is a Spontaneous Problem? A problem that is presented to the team members only on the day of competitionProblems are secret until the team actually competesOnly team members competeNo coaches, parents, siblingsOnly team members are permitted in the Spontaneous AreaException – Holding RoomOne coach or designated guardian permitted to accompany team into Holding RoomA maximum of 5 team members may solve the problemThe others must sit quietly and not participate in any wayNo talking, no cheering, no groaning, no faces, etc.If they cannot sit quietly, they may be asked to leave the room and sit outside the doorShow both publicationsProgram Guide member areaExplain PG & CM notations
9 Spontaneous Problem Types Spontaneous problems come in three types:Verbal - problems require verbal responses. They may incorporate improvisation or dramatization. Teams are scored for common and creative responses.Hands-on - problems require teams to physically create a tangible solution. Each problem has its own specific scoring categories.Verbal/Hands-on (Hybrid) – problems require team to create a tangible solution and include some type of verbal component. Teams are scored on both tangible solution and verbal presentation.
10 How important is Spontaneous? 100 Points29%Long-Term (LT)200 Points57%Style50 Points14%
11 How does spontaneous work? Check-inArrive 15 minutes before scheduled Spontaneous problem timeCheck in at the check-in tableCollect all cell-phones, back packs, extra clothingGo to the Holding roomHolding RoomLast minute instructions, encouragement, focusing…When team is called, confirm team identity with the “runner” using ticketSay good-bye and proceed to the pick-up areaTeam goes off with the runner to spontaneous room
12 How does spontaneous work? Cont. Spontaneous RoomIntroductionsConfirm team identifyAnnounce problem type5 competitors immediately selectedNon-competing team members sit downRead problemJudge reads problemTeam has copies to follow alongProblem startsDuration of problem announced when problem is readTime keeper manages the only official clock in the room
13 How does spontaneous work? Cont. Team attempts to solve problemProblem stopsTeam finishes or Time keeper calls “Time”If team member is in middle of verbal response, they may complete itThank you’s all aroundTeam will NOT be told score or how well they didScores will be posted on-line after the competitionRunner escorts team to Pickup AreaOther judges reset the room for the next team
14 Team Behavior Prompt Polite Positive, supportive, encouraging Confident, but not cockyDO NOTCriticizeArgueWith each other or with the judgesDisrupt or behave inappropriatelyDOHave funYour best
15 Spontaneous Judge Behavior PoliteNeutralConsistent in all thingsTrainedThey want to see the teams do wellBut they might not show it…
16 Interacting with Judges PoliteAttentiveListen carefully and follow instructions promptlyLook at the judges when talking to themSpeak loudly and clearlyDo NOT mumble or rush your wordsIntroduce your teamBe sensible, time is limitedState school, membership number, long term problem, divisionBe sure to thank them when you’re done
17 Understanding the Problem Read the problemStatement of what needs to be done“I repeat…” stresses the most important partsScoringHow are points awardedCreativity of the solutionMay include “how well the team works together”Try to identify the portion of the scoring that will produce the highest score – ruthlessly exploit it!
18 Understanding the Problem Cont. Time limitsX minutes for Part 1 (think time), Y minutes for Part 2 (response time)Z minutes for entire solution periodRecently introduced, can trip up novice teamsCan we talk?Can always ask the judges questionsBut only once time has startedUsually Yes when brainstormingUsually Yes in Hands-On or Verbal/Hands-OnUsually No in VerbalIf talking is permitted, encourage it!
19 Understanding the Problem Cont. Team RolesScoring analystUnderstand the scoreTime minderYou can ask for more frequent notificationsModeratorNOT the boss, but one who leads the brainstormingMaterials analystFor Hands-On, know how to use materials effectivelyBrainstorming – everybody
20 What the Coach can do Train the team on problem solving processes Problem typesTeam rolesTeam behaviorInteracting with the judgesStrategyHow best to solve the problem typesThis is NOT Outside AssistanceTrain them on the techniques, not the specific solutions!
21 What the Coach can do Cont. Practice with them“Practice is the best of all instructors." – PubliliusEvery team meetingMultiple problemsSimulate actual competition conditionsTeam entry into Spontaneous RoomBehaviorSelecting competitors (only 5)Team should decide who, not the coachTeam thanks and exitDo at the start of meetings and enlist parents to help judge
22 What the Coach can do Cont. Practice with them cont.Deconstruct the solutionWhat was done well?What was done poorly?What can be done better?Repeat the same problems to learn from mistakes and refine/reinforce good parts“Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.” - Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac
23 Exercises Verbal Hands-On Name something GREEN Creative vs. Common PaperCut a holeHold a golf ball
24 Break Five minutes, please We will discuss Problem Solving Strategies next…
25 Problem Solving Strategies “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”Dwight David Eisenhower
26 Verbal Strategies Time Talking How much? Permitted or not Think time Response timeTalkingPermitted or not
27 Verbal Strategies Cont. ScoringNumber of responses per team memberPoint difference between Common and CreativeResponses limited (5 per member) and high point difference (1 for Common 5 for Creative)Take enough time to make responses creative without running out of time for using all responsesResponses unlimited and small point difference (1 for Common and 3 for Creative)Give as many responses as possible regardless of creativity
28 Verbal Strategies Think time Brainstorming If talking is permitted, use Think time to brainstormIf not permitted, each team member silently brainstormThink of as many responses as possible“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”Dr. Linus Pauling
29 Verbal Strategies Cont. Response timeGetting un-stuckRelaxTry to remember brainstorm ideasBuild-on previous responseAdd more detail, or another aspect to itFollow-on previous responseGive another response similar to previous oneRepeat previous responseOnly worth value of Common response (usually 1 point)
30 Verbal Strategies Cont. PracticeAs many types of verbal problems as possibleStress the creativity of responsesHumorousWord playRhymingJuxtaposition of ideasUse of words in novel or unexpected waysIntentional misuse of a word or phrase for effectUse of tone or inflectionIdentify strong versus weak team membersWho has limited verbal skillsWho gets tongue-tiedWho is quick-witted, funny, original
31 Hands-On Strategies Hands-on types Time Talking Build something to meet a specific criteriaA tower that will hold itemsA bridge that will span a distanceMultiple items to achieve a specific goalUse materials to manipulate objectsPlace objects in scoring locationsMove objects for as long/as far as possibleTimeHow much time?Think/assemble/test timeResponse timeTalkingAlmost always permitted
32 Hands-On Strategies Cont. ScoringUnderstand scoring requirementsIdentify what has to be done to maximize scoreWork to achieve maximum scoreBalance success with creativityIf “how well team works together” is a scoring element, be on good behaviorUsually worth 1 to 10 pointsIf “creativity of solution” is a scoring element, stress use of materials in unusual ways or combinationsUsually worth 1 to 15 pointsBeware point difference between “creativity” element and maximum scoring potentialIf potential response score is larger than “creativity” score, make sure focus is on maximizing response score
33 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test timeBrainstorming - Go “around the table”Brainstorm concepts5 seconds per team memberModerator prompts each in turnCome to consensus on approachAnalyze scoringIdentify potential maximum scorePrioritize creativity Vs solving the problemALWAYS WORK WELL TOGETHER!
34 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test time, cont.Perform inventoryMaterials to manipulate (can break, cut, tear, etc.)Paper, toothpicks, clay, tape/mailing labels, straws, paperclips, spaghetti, rubber bands, string/yarn, pipe cleaners, paper/plastic cups, unsharpened pencils, tin foil, cotton ballsMaterials to use as tools (cannot be manipulated)Usually marked with Yellow tapeScissors, rulers, containers, markersAsk: Can tools be used as part of the solution?
35 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test time, cont.Miscellaneous materialsToysGolf clubsDollsModel cars/planesBalls, all kindsBroomsYardsticks/rulers/sticks of balsa woodKitchen utensils/pots & pansEtc., etc., etc.Look for opportunities to use materials in creative ways
36 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test time, cont.AssembleIf multiple items required, analyze componentsAssign assembly teams for componentsSHARE COMMON MATERIALS!!!Avoid “futzing”Once crumpled, tin foil doesn’t reflatten easilyOnce pulled up, tape doesn’t restick wellAllow sufficient time during build to merge all components into final productAllow sufficient time to safely transport creation to presentation area, if required
37 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test time, cont.Beware “throw-away” materialsSome items will always be included that look useful, but serve no real functional purpose in solving the problemBalance functionality with creativityAvoid creating a beautiful/elegant solution that doesn’t workTEST THE SOLUTION!!!ALWAYS test the solution before it has to be used for score!!!
38 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Response timeDemonstrate the solutionWork as a teamGood behavior!PracticeAs many types of hands-on problems as possibleStress understanding material characteristics/propertiesPrimary usesSecondary usesTensile vs compressive strength (can you pull on it or stand on it)Strength to weight (will it fail under its own weight)Brittleness vs plasticity (does it snap or can it be bent)Rigid vs malleable (does it retain its shape or can it be molded)Slippery vs sticky
39 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Material characteristics/propertiesDemonstration
40 Hands-On Strategies Cont. Identify strong versus weak team membersWho has good hand/eye coordinationWho has good materials manipulation skillsFoldingCuttingTapingConstructingWho can work quicklyWho doesn’t “futz”
41 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies TimeHow much time?Think timeResponse timeTalkingPermitted or not
42 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. ScoringNumber of responses per team memberPoint difference between Common and CreativeResponses limited (5 per member) and high point difference (1 for Common 5 for Creative)Take enough time to make responses creative without running out of time for using all responsesResponses unlimited and small point difference (1 for Common and 3 for Creative)Give as many responses as possible regardless of creativityIf “how well team works together” is a scoring element, be on good behaviorIf “creativity of solution” is a scoring element, stress use of materials in unusual ways or combinationsBeware point difference between “works well/creativity” elements and maximum scoring potentialIf potential response score is larger than “works well/creativity” score, make sure focus is on maximizing response score
43 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test timeBrainstormingThink of as many responses as possibleIf talking not permitted, each team member to silently brainstormIf talking permitted, use think time to brainstormGo around the tableThink of a theme or story lineOpen ended general idea is usually better than a detailed tightly defined storyLeaves more room for improvisationLeaves more room for unexpected plot twists and turns
44 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. Think/assemble/test time , cont.Build the “prop”Perform inventoryAnalyze material propertiesOpportunities to use materials in creative waysAnalyze prop componentsAssign assembly teams for componentsSHARE COMMON MATERIALS!!!Avoid “futzing”Allow sufficient time during build to merge all components into final productAllow sufficient time during build to safely transport creation to presentation area, if required
45 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. Response timeGetting un-stuckRelaxTry to remember brainstorm ideasBuild-on previous responseAdd more detail, or another aspect to it, or take story in new directionCounts as Creative response if story with continuity is required by the problemFollow-on previous responseGive another response similar to previous oneRepeat previous responseOnly worth value of Common response
46 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. PracticeAs many types of verbal/hands-on problems as possibleStress the creativity of responsesHumorousWord playRhymingJuxtaposition of ideasUse of words in novel or unexpected waysIntentional misuse of a word or phrase for effectUse of tone or inflectionUnexpected plot twists in the story line
47 Verbal/Hands-On Strategies Cont. Identify strong versus weak team membersWho has limited verbal skillsWho gets tongue-tiedWho is quick witted, funny, originalWho has good hand/eye coordinationWho has good materials manipulation skillsFoldingCuttingTapingConstructingWho can work quicklyWho doesn’t “futz”
48 General Strategies If they don’t say you can’t do it, ask, or try! “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”Ralph Waldo EmersonScore, score, scoreUnderstand what the scoring requirements areExploit them ruthlesslyDo pay attention to “works well together and creativity”Be relaxed, have fun with the unexpectedUse Spontaneous practice as team building opportunitiesLearn your team’s dynamicsHelp the team to learn to work together betterIf they don’t say you can’t do it, ask, or try!
50 Resources Spontaneous Kits Internet Spontaneous Nights Michigan kits -Creative Competitions, Inc.CCI web site -KitsSpontaneous Problem BooksInternetVarious lists of past Spontaneous and Spontaneous-type problemsSpontaneous NightsUsually organized at school district levelParticipate if the opportunity comes upOrganize one yourself if the opportunity does not come up
51 Contact Us For more information, or to register: Michigan website: International siteOdyssey of the Mind Headquartersc/o Creative Competitions, Inc Ganttown Road Sewell, NJ 08080Tel: (856)Fax: (856)
52 Wrap UpThank you for volunteering to coachThank you for coming to learn how to coach your team in the Spontaneous ProblemAny Questions?“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”Pablo Picasso