Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vote now! No, really right now!

Update! The contest voting link was not posted on our website as it should have been, but is available now. Please visit to vote for your favorite entries. We apologize for the oversight.

This post was contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, Nebraska

While you're enjoying the holiday season, take a minute to influence the future of FCCLA by voting for your favorite ideas in the Fall 2010 FCCLA Contests.

Contests that are open for voting include:

  • What to Wear? Contest
  • National Cluster Meeting Theme Contest
  • FCCLA T-shirt Design Contest

We have some excellent entries this year so take a minute and go vote at Voting is available until January 15. Good luck to all of our contestants!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FACS Knowledge Bowl: Motivating Students

This week's entry is from Tricia DiGioia-Laird, State Adviser, New Jersey.

My members gravitate to competitions.  I think of the sports journalist who anchored ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  During the introduction to the program, Jim McCay would say the following:

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!”

I think competition is also part of the “wide world of FCCLA”; the excitement of competition motivates students to reach beyond what they thought was possible and achieve the impossible.  My students achieve what we thought was the impossible and became the 2010 National Knowledge Bowl Champions. 

Knowledge Bowl is part of the constant variety of competitive opportunities in FCCLA.  If your students like game shows and enjoy facts, then this is the competition for them.  My students think they are “in it to win it” but I want them involved because it stimulates learning and teamwork.  Knowledge Bowl motivates students to become “experts” in the diverse areas of Family and Consumer Sciences.  They see the scope and sequence of the subject matter and develop respect for the discipline.  One of the students commented to me, “FCS teachers need to know so much about so much.”   The team members also tell me that the information they are learning is extremely relevant to all aspects of their life.

Knowledge Bowl team members need to be willing to knuckle down and study the material.  Reading and research are important in preparing for the competition.  Members need to be quick at the buzzer and tenacious.  Most importantly, they must be will to blow off the “agony of defeat” when they miss a question and keep their head in the game.   The competition is fast paced and exciting.   

This year I have another Knowledge Bowl team who is excited about this competitive opportunity.  We traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to participate.  They are all excited that they made it through the third level of competition.  They all plan to move on and face their fellow competitors in Anaheim, California. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guiding Students to the Future Through Career STAR Events

This week's entry is from Lori Henry, National Executive Council Adviser, Minnesota.

If you have members interested in competing in one of the Career Star Events, here are some things that might help you as you guide your students through the process. Students in these events probably have a strong background and interest in one of these areas and may even be thinking of pursuing this as their career choice. Sometimes the STAR Event process in these topics can be overwhelming to students, so one good thing to do is to meet with the student and dialogue with them. Find out what interests them in doing the STAR Event, what school and community things have they done, personal accomplishments, etc. that would enhance this project. What knowledge did they gain from being in the Family and Consumer Sciences classes, and taking this information and knowledge that they have gained and developing all these things into a strong STAR Event? These skills may be helpful in the oral presentation, display or portfolio.

If the STAR Event involves a portfolio, have the student look at the different requirements and many times the students have done things in their Family and Consumer Sciences classes or other related courses that they can use in their portfolio. Encourage the student to find these papers, projects, etc. and then see how they will fit in or work with their STAR Event to make it stronger and perhaps more professional. Another helpful thing is to have students collaborate with other professionals in the career.

Two years ago I had a student compete in Interior Design and she took classes at a local college that offered mini-sessions related to principles and elements of design. She not only strengthened her skills, but she met people that served as excellent resources. The student was able to connect with a gentleman that owned his own design business. The student spent a morning with this gentleman to share her plans for the color scheme, textiles, wall coverings, etc. The gentleman was able to offer suggestions and swatches that she was able to use on her design boards. This was an exciting experience for the student and it gave her help that she never expected.

Last year I had a member compete and advance to national competition in Fashion Construction. Since I don’t teach a fashion course, the student took an independent study course to fulfill the course of study requirement. If this opportunity is possible in your school it is another great way for students to compete in something they have a passion for. For the independent study course, supply the student with a variety of resources for them to succeed and guidelines for them as they work alone to achieve their goal.

It’s helpful to set deadlines for the student, so you can see what process they are making in learning about the topic and provide useful assessments that will help them create their final project. For your members who have chosen a STAR Event in the Career category, I encourage you to help provide reliable and valid resources for them and guide them to success!

“Don’t tell students what you want them to do, but encourage them to do their best!”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Practice Leadership Skills through Leadership STAR Events

This week's post has been contributed by Juanelle Garretson, National Executive Council Adviser from Kansas.

Margaret Mead, said” A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” This is my belief about how important our role is as FCCLA advisers. We share the passion for our field with our students and help show them that they are an inspiration for change and hope in a time in education that is filled with test scores as one of the only measure of success.  

Not only does Chapter Service Project fall into the Leadership Category of STAR Events first alphabetically, I believe it’s the true base for all FCCLA projects. Without service to others, a person cannot truly grow to their full potential. In each of my comprehensive classrooms, students use the FCCLA planning process at the beginning of the semester to identify concerns in our school and community that can be addressed through our coursework and a group project goal is set. Students then form a plan to act out their project and when it is complete, the students follow up with a discussion to share their highs and lows about what happened. Students at both the junior and senior level carry out service projects and can enter them in the display or manual event annually. The community recognizes the importance of FCCLA by its giving spirit as well.

National Programs in Action is also a natural fit for so many service projects as you can incorporate specific themed projects from foods and nutrition to traffic safety to families through this STAR Event.

For your students who have a difficult time, narrowing down their options because they love everything about FCCLA, Chapter Showcase Display and Manual are the perfect events for them, as they get to share their personal FCCLA story with a clever theme from the entire year. I have found that my officer teams, usually make the best Showcase members.

Leadership STAR Events are the most general for the comprehensive FACS program. Your students will pick up on your dedication to FCCLA and will without a doubt want to compete in.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Creating a Foundation for STAR Events

This entry has been contributed by Kaye Bluntzer, National Executive Council Adviser, Texas.

Using STAR Events in class sure is a great way to get students involved and motivated to become an active member in FCCLA.  All of the STAR Events can be used as a project within any of the Family and Consumer Sciences courses.  I assign my entire class one of the Foundational STAR Events to complete as a project.  One of my favorite Foundational STAR Events to use in any of my classes is Illustrated Talk.  I hold class in the computer room or library in order for students to be able to research and type up their documents for the project.  This is a wonderful way to become familiar with the planning process and how to use it for its intended purpose.  Students are also allowed to help each other and ask questions about any part of the project which allows for great peer-to-peer interaction.  Once projects are complete there is a rubric to help make grading easy and precise.

The Foundational STAR Events, as stated earlier, seem to me as the basics.  Focus Children, Interpersonal Communication, Job Interview, Life Event Planning to name a few are the core of most FACS courses and can be used as a class project.  As teacher and adviser, using these events as a class project promotes a great way for members and advisers to learn and understand the events better.  I use the Foundational STAR Events as a way to model to the students how they can complete and be successful in any one of the events.