"I wanted to start the debate team because I am one of those students who doesn't excel in sports but excels academically," once student said. "I wanted to enhance my education and see if others had the same passion as I do."
After forming the team, the President's vision proved to be a great one. Composed of freshmen, the students pack Ms. Morgan's classroom with a total of twenty members. "When he approached me with the idea of forming a debate team, I didn't expect the number of students who would be interested," Ms. Morgan expressed. "What is more exciting than the number is the types of students who joined. Exceptional students joined, but also the most unlikely students signed up," Ms. Morgan continued. "The team isn't just composed of the students with the highest GPAs. Students who sometimes struggle or who have trouble managing their behavior are excelling in the club, as well."
The skills students are learning are numerous. Not only do they develop public speaking skills, they have much work to do to prepare what they plan to say. The process results in increased confidence, respect for others, and research and writing skills. They also develop skills such as learning objectivity, listening, speaking, staking a claim and supporting it with evidence, considering multiple perspectives, weighing the importance of presented evidence related to an issue, responding to counter objections, and remaining composed while in the spotlight.
"What students don't realize is that everything they are learning through the process of preparing and delivering an argumentative speech encompasses a multitude of Common Core Standards," Ms. Morgan explained. "Interacting with the debate process results in high levels of critical thinking, which is the goal of Common Core."
Independence High School State Literary Rally Participants
These students - all freshmen- represented Independence High at the State Rally at LSU.
Not pictured are two other seniors who also competed - One of them placed 4th in Environmental Science.
The Independence High School administration, faculty, staff and students are proud of these terrific Tigers!
name is Kelly Nicholson. I am a Biology and Chemistry teacher at Saratoga High
School in California. Students in the Media Arts class at our school create a
video every week to make announcements on Friday during 5th period. The video
is posted on YouTube. Early this school year my 5th period Chemistry class had
watched our announcements. When they were over, other videos popped up as
suggestions to watch from that same YouTube channel. We saw a picture of an
animated pig and the kids begged me to click on it.
I did and we fell in love. Your students are so very cute and my 5th period students are the most tender-hearted kids I have had for many, many years. From the first viewing my students loved to see what the students at your school were up to that week. My kids all stood up, without me asking and because the pig had asked them, to make the Pledge of Allegiance. Every Friday, it was a small diversion they looked forward to.
By December we had drafted a sing-a-long sheet so everyone could participate. Students decided that it would be awesome to send you a video that showed you how they felt. As 15 and 16 year olds tend to be, organizing the students to get together outside of class to work on the video was like herding cats. I tried to stay out of it...it was their idea. We finally did some background research and found out that your school year ends before Memorial Day. That lit a fire under all of us.
Long story short, we have hobbled together a video (I am 50 years old and am a technological basket-case). It’s not our best effort…and it breaks a million copyright laws, I am sure (we even stole from you guys!), but the kids are soooo excited. It should be completed this weekend, but the kids have informed me that they have no idea where to send it.
I have no idea how to send it. Some students say I should post it to YouTube and send you the link. Other kids say I should compress it (whatever that may mean) and send it to the school.
I’m not sure you’re even interested in receiving it, but if you have any ideas or addresses, we would certainly love to show you what we made for you. It’s a busy time of year, I know, but any input would be greatly appreciated.
Eleven more school days for you! ☺
Enjoy your summer,
Kelly Nicholson and Her 5th Period Chemistry Class