Debate class is designed to advance your critical thinking skills in argumentation and expose you to several speech-delivery strategies. Our goal is to enable you to communicate orally in an intelligent, logical, and convincing way in any situation, with or without time for preparation. If you do not cut corners and devote your best effort each day, you will develop your self-confidence and find a voice you never knew you had.
Most units will introduce a focus on a particular debate skill or "muscle" that we will target and develop in strength. There will be a short lecture of explanation and/or an example to clarify the concepts and requirements of the activity. Students will then be given time in class to practice or apply the skill. Once you have learned and practiced the Parliamentary debate process, we will run cases. Students will generally have little time to research, prepare, and practice, so thinking on your feet is paramount. Audience members are expected to provide specific, supportive feedback and constructive criticism to each debater both orally and in writing. Candid self-reflection is also an important part of students' growth.
You are expected to use common sense as well as abide by the following:
Listen attentively when the teacher or a peer is speaking. No side chatter.
Raise your hand when you wish to ask a question during class.
Be kind and respectful at all times.
Arrive to class early and begin any bell-work and SSR. When I arrive, I expect to enter to room of quiet students taking personal responsibility for their own learning.
Remove your cap for the pledge of allegiance and during tests or quizzes.
Put your cellphone away. If you leave it on your desk, this distraction will be confiscated.
Do not ask to go to the bathroom or to get a drink during class.
Do not ask to go to the nurse except in the case of emergency. Keep some extra cough drops, tissues, Advil, etc. in you backpack. The nurse will not administer these.
You may eat a light snack during class if you do so discreetly.
You may drink water from a plastic water bottle.
DO work hard--not just to get a good grades but to learn the material you need to gain the knowledge, wisdom, and skills you deserve for your efforts.
Argument: How well the debaters show their understanding of the basics of the case.
For Government: The explanation of the link, case topic, and definitions.
For Opposition: The introduction, in which they comment on the link, accept or reject definitions, and present a negative philosophy or counter contention. For the members on each side, it's the consistent follow-up and development of these points that matters most.
Refutation: How well the debater contradicts or denies what the opponents say.
Content: Substance of the contentions, support, and responses.
Organization: Order and structure of cases and use of time.
Delivery: Platform skills, such as eye contact, vocal variety, speech rate, volume, posture, gestures, etc. Style: Approach, tone, use of language, comfort level, wit
There are non-negotiable, automatic penalties for late work. Ten points per day will be deducted for late major work. Late homework is not accepted.
Lastly, it is your personal responsibility to have your work submitted properly to Google Classroom, otherwise it will be counted late in the manner specified above.
Unless you have been absent for an extended time, you have no reason to email me. I do not check my email nightly and do not respond to questions that could have been addressed in person. If you have a question about an assignment, ask it before the end of class.
I expect you to work hard to ensure your work is not average. Homework is graded using a six-point system:
6= "Far Above and Beyond" (A) These responses are well proofread and contain consistently thoughtful elaboration, personal connections, and textual support. As such, they are typically longer than those of a 5 response. For example, for a five-question homework assignment, the student would produce five detailed paragraphs.
5= "Well Done" (B) These responses are also well proofread and contain thoughtful elaboration, personal connections, and specific textual support but less consistently so than that of a 6 response. For example, for a five-question homework assignment, the student would produce five detailed paragraphs of varying detail.
4= "Meh..." (D) Frequently, these are poorly proofread or underdeveloped responses. For example, questions are answered in one or two sentences and lack elaboration, personal connections with the text, or specific textual support. If you are receiving 4s on your homework, you can do much better if you simply allow yourself adequate time to think, respond, reread, rethink, and elaborate more fully.
Short-term homework prevents you from falling behind in daily assignments and readings as well as prepares you for longer assignments and tests. Homework must be fully completed on time to receive credit. NO credit will be awarded for late homework during the school day.
Note: Long-term assessments completed at home will also be assigned but will typically count as a quiz grade. Taking independent active reading notes while reading a novel is an example of an important long-term homework assignment.
Do not accept average performance from yourself.
Reading or copying another student's homework is strictly forbidden. Students doing so will face consequences in accordance with the school's academic integrity policy. You are responsible for reading this policy within the first week of school.
You will be provided with a resolution and will develop case topics with a team. These case topics will be the subject of the subsequent debates. Early on, students will be required to type out a full-text version of their constructed speeches. As skills progress, students will use an outline or use note-cards. Extemporaneous or impromptu debates on current events are always a possibility at any time, so be sure to follow the news each day!
What is your policy on passes?
Lav Passes I strongly discourage the use of the lavatory during class time. Frivolous exiting and entering the classroom is a distracting and unnecessary disruption of the learning process. In the unlikely event that you have a true bathroom emergency, ask for permission, then take the magnetic lav pass. You do not need me to sign this pass before leaving. Upon returning, be sure to mark down the time your returned using the electronic device on the teacher's desk.
Arriving Late with a Pass Arriving late to class for any reason is a disruption to be avoided. If you arrive late to class with a pass from a teacher, show it to me so I can change your attendance status, and then slip the pass into the container below the teacher's desk. Do not hand the pass to me. Coffee and other morning beverages are usually acceptable during first period, but only if you arrive on time. If you are late to first period, dump your beverage out before arriving to class. It would be doubly disruptive for you to arrive late and for me to have to interrupt my teaching to tell you to dispose of your coffee.
Advisory Extra Help Pass If you would like to see me during advisory, fill out a pass with your destination (room 211) and the time you will be arriving. I am happy to work with you during this time or after school on Monday or Friday. If you need extra help or have an Aspen question, grab a pass from the teacher's desk or use thisvirtual hall pass to see me during advisory. Alternatively, book an appointment here to see me after school. Bookmark both links now for easy access later.
The handouts contained in Google Classroom and student research are the texts for this course. Other than "A Rulebook for Arguments," your summer reading book, there is no additional textbook for this course.
What is expected of me during classtime?
You are expected to begin your bell-work quietly and immediately upon entering the classroom. You are expected always to take a voluntary, thoughtful, and active role in your own learning, challenging yourself daily to learn the material and improve your writing. Through participation and inquiry, you should consistently demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and share ideas candidly. You are expected to initiate discussions, ask peers significant questions, make space for others to share, draw others in, and otherwise act as an official or unofficial leader within your group. You are expected to take responsible risks, to assert and support your opinions and peer critiques, as well as to listen actively to others. You are expected to be well prepared to contribute to the class as a result of having thoughtfully completed assignments. The thoroughness of your work should demonstrate the high regard you hold for your learning and that of your peers (Adapted from Linbar Consulting).
If you are ever unclear or frustrated with an assignment, do not hesitate to schedule some time with me so we can work through your problem. I AM HAPPY TO MEET WITH STUDENTS WHO NEED EXTRA HELP. Be sure not to wait until the last minute, however, as rushing through an assignment can seriously limit the quality of your work and is insulting to your teacher. I wish you the best of luck throughout this course and your entire academic career. I am sincerely looking forward to working with you.
Please feel free to drop by my classroom unannounced if you have a quick question or to arrange a meeting for extra help. I am typically available Mondays and Fridays after school at 2:30 and during advisory periods. Book an appointment using the button on our website.
"Thiscourseisdesignedtosupportandimprovestudents’skillsinspeaking,listening,composing and reasoning through the practical application of debate. Students will learn parliamentary procedure,thetechniquesofpersuasion,meansofdetectingpropagandaandfallacies,andthe refinementofvoice,diction,bodylanguage,andenunciation.Thecoursewillemphasize competitive Parliamentary Style debate, which will necessitate oral performances such as single speech, dual speech and partnered debate procedure. Students will learn all necessary skills to compete and judge Parliamentary Style Debate as set out by the Rhode Island Forensic League. Studentswillbeassessedonanumberofpreparedandimpromptuspeeches,aswellaswitha varietyofotherassessmenttechniques,includingquizzes,groupwork,andformalessays.School-wideandCommonCorerubricsfortheareasofspeakingandlisteningandwritingwillbeused wheneverapplicable."
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