As you prepare your teams for the State tournament, consider holding a meeting just for Instant Challenge practice. More than a dozen performance-based, task-based and Rising Stars! Instant Challenges were recently added to cre8iowa’s Instant Challenge Library. If you have not visited it recently, the new ones are identified with the word NEW! after them.
The Instant Challenges in our library were written, for the most part, for an intermediate level of difficulty. You can increase the difficulty of most Instant Challenges by:
- swapping out the materials
- decreasing the number of materials
- decreasing the amount of time
- adding another requirement or step
- making the Challenge non-verbal
Check the “Notes to the Appraisers” section in an Instant Challenge for suggestions on how to make the Challenge more difficult. You can also make an Instant Challenge easier for your team by:
- swapping out the materials
- increasing the number of materials
- increasing the amount of time
- removing a requirement or step
- changing a non-verbal requirement to verbal
Whether you use the Instant Challenges as written or revise its level of difficulty, make sure you practice multiple types of Instant Challenges, task-based, performance-based, or combination. There is no way to predict which type of Instant Challenge your team will receive at competition.
Why the emphasis on Instant Challenge? The best teams frequently cluster at the top of the scoring range for Central Challenge. A great Instant Challenge score can make a difference, advancing your team’s placement at tournament.
Team Managers can help their teams prepare for Instant Challenge at tournament by encouraging them to think like an Appraiser. What does that mean?
- Appraisers look for an impromptu solution that showcases teamwork, demonstrates creative problem solving, and is presented as a performance and/or some form of materials manipulation.
- Appraisers appreciate a team’s collective creative thinking, which they observe through the team’s use of many, varied, and unusual or original possibilities, and their use of details to expand or enrich those possibilities while they brainstorm their solution.
- Successful teams go with the FFLOE: Fluency (they quickly think of many possibilities); FLexibility (varied possibilities), Originality (unusual/original possibilities), and Elaboration (use of details to expand or enrich possibilities).
- Successful teams are good managers of time, materials, and details. They incorporate a Plan B. They are effective decision-makers. They communicate well with each other.
All of this takes time and practice. If your team has not practiced Instant Challenge over the entire season, it is difficult to build a library of experiences out of thin air. A library of experiences gives your team a pool of possibilities from which they can draw, extrapolate, modify, enhance and invent. Appraisers can definitely tell which teams have practiced Instant Challenge.
The most successful teams, however, have fun while they are solving an Instant Challenge, which puts not only team members at ease, but also the Appraisers. Appraisers want to have fun, too.
Remember: Nothing is impossible! Anything is possible! Good luck with your Instant Challenge at tournament.