Well, so, no pics of this...sorry. Um. Well... So I went to State with FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. I think it used to be Future Homemakers of America. For rules and any info you could possibly want: FCCLA website) to compete in a Star Event. Pretty much you pick an event and fulfill the requirements. I competed in Early Childhood.
Basically there are 2 parts. Portfolio and Performance. The portfolio has a bunch of rules and what needs to be in it, and how many pages, etc. That's completed ahead of time. Then, you have an overall theme for the year. This years was Science. You prepare a box with materials in it. (the box has to be a certain size. Mine is a normal file/storage type box.) My box is really cool cuz I worked on it a lot in the class I took, and have since put a lot of stuff in it as well. The lid itself is a chalkboard and flannel/felt board. Well, in it you put lesson plans, etc. When you get there you sign in. When your time comes, you give them your portfolio. They give you a specific lesson theme and a sheet to fill out. For 30 min. you prepare while they look at and grade your portfolio. Then, you go in and present a 15 min. lesson for the judges that you prepared in the 1/2 hour you had.
When I went to area, I had prepared a weather lesson that I really loved and did for the kids, who also loved it. But, when I got there the lesson theme was 'color fun with fruits and vegetables'...which i pulled stuff out of my box and just...kinda winged it.
Well, this time, the specific theme was 'hands on fun with science!' so I got to do an adaption of my weather lesson that was REALLY fun. I had 5 main parts. 1- I went in dressed up in all sorts of weather gear. I introduced the theme of the weatherman being the science guy who tells us what weather we will have and lets us know how we should dress. Then I discussed what type of weather each item of clothing would correspond to with the judges/kids. 2-I read a fun story "The Jacket I Wear in the Snow." It's a cute repeater book that discusses clothing, and since you have to wear appropriate clothing for specific weather it's very important to know, and we get that info from the weatherman. 3-I explained that one way they know what weather we will have is from clouds. I let them feel different materials (and colors of those materials. one was thick and gray another was cotton balls) and asked which weather they thought each cloud might bring. 4-"c-c-clouds" start with the letter C. I had them glue the "c-c-cottonballs" they had just felt onto an outline of the letter c (on blue paper. gotta coordinate.) 5-review by going over what we'd talked about with questions, and having them tell me what each item of clothing went with as I put them back on. Then they asked me questions and I was finished.
Well, then I found the girls from my school and hung out, but I heard we were having call backs. At noon they posted the list. Now you have to understand, most events have different categories. Junior, Senior, and Occupational. Early Childhood-EVERYONE is Occupational. Which means: we all could go to nationals, we've all taken the class, etc. There are 2 sets of grading. One is just a point system. Everyone gets a medal - bronze, silver, gold - according to that point system. Then people place- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Only Gold, 1st place winners can go to nationals. But most events take 3 people (or teams.) However, Early Childhood takes ONE.
At noon, I went back and found I was at the top of the list, and so first to go again. In an hour and a half (waiting almost killed me) I presented my lesson again. They asked me one question I specifically remember. They asked how my experience working with children had prepared me for this star event. I answered by saying that I learned to adapt. Each child takes to a lesson differently and will respond to one another and the environment differently because of differing personalities. For example, when I did my lesson with the kids, I didn't do the cloud craft, because they were really wiggly right after naptime. So instead we had a relay kind of thing. Racing to one side of the room, putting an item of clothes on and naming the weather you'd wear it with, and running to let the next person go.
Then you just wait. We went to dinner and I got to be better friend with Nichole. We shared a HUGE dinner at Cracker Barrel so as to be able to get ice cream for dessert without going over the school's dinner budget they gave us. Then we go back to the conference building for a meeting, they had skits and speakers. I really liked the speaker.
COOL STORY: I really liked the speaker. His name was Kirk Weisler. Look him up. Awesome. Anyways, he talked about a lot of stuff, and I took notes as usual. One thing that made me laugh was that a lot of his tips for success were things I already did. Like where to sit, and to take notes, and to write thank you notes. Well, I was writing notes on sticky notes, but still. I wrote him a quick thank you, explaining that while I try to do a lot of what he said, some was new, and he was very entertaining and I appreciated his way of telling the truth in an interesting way. I told him I appreciated him coming, and really enjoyed his work. I just wrote my first name, but I said what school I was from. (making me a real person, but not identifiable.) WELL! I hurried out of there, and actually went back to the hotel to help a friend, and to make sure I wouldn't be locked out as one friend with a key was at Sterling Scholar for the state (yeah, she won! WOOTS) and the other had to leave, and so I would be left without a key. However, before the dance, my teachers came and found me. He had AUTOGRAPHED 2 books for me, and sent them to my school advisors. ISN'T THAT NIFTY!? They're really cute books too. Motivational Picture books! The Dog Poop Initiative and The Cookie Thief. I really enjoyed them.
Then we went to the dance. It was kinda crazy as it was estimated that there were 50 girls to each boy. But there was a LOT of actual dancing. I danced with some friends for a while, then I went off with Callie to a quieter place. She was still kinda dazed having won Sterling Scholar and just getting back. I also got to know a new friend a lot better, and that was a lot of fun. Michaela is like a cute blond mini-me. She is also an Early Childhood competer, likes computers, musicals, and even kinda talks like me! hehe. Then we went to the hotel and stayed up talking way late (she was stoked. I don't blame her.) until we passed out.
The next morning we got up early and got ready, packed everything up and checked out. We went to the meeting center and had 'closing ceremonies'. Then we were presented with our awards. I got GOLD, which I was very excited about as that's what I wanted. Then I got FIRST! I wasn't expecting it, but it was really exciting. So, I now have the chance to go to nationals!
The trip home was fun, as Michaela and Callie were on the bus with me. We got back as school ended on Thursday. I caught a ride home and took a NAP. It was exhausting.
Update- although I'm going to miss Girls Camp (extremely sad, as it's my favorite place in the world) I'm going to nationals in Nashville Tennessee this July! Also, by winning 1st I get to letter in FACS without having to fill out all the paperwork, and I might get a pride of the pack hat (a new award my school has where the principal puts you on school video announcements to talk about something you did that shows our school is awesome, and you get a "pride of the pack" hat.) SO! Overall, VERY exciting!