Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pitch Day Logistics

The logistics behind pitch day are extensive. In October, we try to secure our Pitch Committee. We send out e-mails to several teachers, coordinators and administrators to gauge availability and interest. We have experienced great cooperation. Our superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, curriculum coordinators, principals from other buildings and various teachers volunteer to be on the committee. This year, we need between 10-12 committee members.

During the week before Pitch Day, kids prepare their one-minute video commercial to help sell their idea to the committee. That video will kick off their presentation. After the video, they will talk for two minutes about their project and what they plan to learn and accomplish. Following the two-minute talk will be time for the judges to ask questions about the project idea. Those three elements round out each five-minute presentation.

We use three classrooms (in the past we have used two but this year we are tweaking things) for pitches. Four judges will be located in each of the three classrooms (for a total of 12 judges). We create a list for each classroom that we use. This year we will have Pitch Group A, Pitch Group B and Pitch Group C. Each pitch group will be in one of the three classrooms.

The morning of Pitch Day will be bustling with activity. Kids will be waiting in the cafeteria for their name to be called to go pitch. During their stay in the cafeteria, they can put finishing touches on their presentation, practice their talk or relax and catch up on school work. While the kids are housed in the cafeteria, we get the judges settled into the three classrooms that we are using. When the judges are ready, we call for the first presenter in each room. Presentations follow a list that we create for each room. As one student is presenting, the next student on the list is called from the cafeteria to be "on deck", waiting outside the appropriate classroom where they will present next. We expect about fifteen presentations in each classroom for a total of 45 presentations. We are planning on Pitch Day taking the first two class periods of the morning.

Pitch Day is a high-stakes day for the kids. We talk to them about how to enter the room, how to introduce themselves to the committee and how to begin their presentation. The judges have feedback sheets that include presentations skills as well as questions about the projects. The kids usually dress up, have their notes prepared and rock their presentations. We are both nervous and eager to see how Pitch Day this year will turn out. It is such a great day of experiential learning for the kids and we very much value it.

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