Category Archives: Schedule

How Many Hours Have you spent so far?

Here’s a tip for you:  last year in a followup questionnaire, they asked us how many hours we spent on FLL.  We had to guess because we had no idea.  This year, we kept a list on the wall along with our schedule thermometer.  We are up to 86 hours

The Schedule Thermometer

Look at how our schedule has filled up nicely!  We are practicing our presentation, demo, skit and song and trying to get it all under 5 minutes.   The only problem is, we cannot stop laughing — it is so much fun!

We have to finish up our last robot mission, and then start practicing all five runs together, and we are nervous about our table time….. but that is what practice is for, right?

We invited another neighborhood team over for lunch on Monday after Thanksgiving and are hoping to share a lot of ideas with them. We hope they can come. It will be fun!

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Schedule


Do you know how to schedule?

Hey there!

Have you ever had a meeting and no one knew when the next meeting was? Well, this might solve your problem!

Assign a communications secretary.

Within our team we have jobs, if you want to read more you can go find more about in the August 28 jobs post. But my job is to schedule every meeting, figure out what time these meetings are, and coordinate a designated snack person. We are very serious about our snacks. Last meeting, Nate’s mom forgot, and felt so bad that she sent two pizzas to our meeting location.  We were so excited! Those pizzas were gone in about two seconds. Mrs. B, you can forget snack and send pizza again any time you want! Thank you so much!

But, anyway, back to scheduling.
During the first few weeks of the season, each family created a Google Calendar and “shared” it with the others. Everyone is so busy — we have to work around soccer practice, piano lesson, Chinese school, voice lesson, cello lesson, track, boy scouts and girl scouts! In Google Calendar, we blocked off which days we were available to meet.  By overlapping everyone’s calendar, we could see the days that worked best for most of us. That is how we came to set Tuesday and Friday as our meeting days. We often skip Fridays because we like to go to the high school football games or middle school dances, but we tell coach we prefer Saturdays because we get more robot time.  Sometimes we feel like we want to get more accomplished so we even pick a third meeting slot, but that is not our normal! We only had to use the Google Calendar for a little while, as everyone has a pretty consistent weekly schedule.
Once we picked which days were best, we had to come up with a system to let everyone know. The problem with just typing email addresses in by hand is that sometimes you miss someone.  You could go to the trouble of making a distribution list in your email program, but then everyone would have to do that individually.  We decided to use one central mailing list, like a post office. We use Google Groups to setup our email alias.  Everyone who wants to be on the list, joins the Google Group.  Then, anyone in the group can email everyone by just remembering the one email alias.  No more worries about someone missing an email!
As communication secretary, after every meeting I will send out an email informing everyone about the next meeting. This is great for those that miss the meeting and need to know or you just simply forget.
I just want to warn you though. DO NOT DEPEND ON SPELL CHECK. AUTOCORRECT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. ITS YOUR ENEMY!!!Last week, I sent out this email inviting everyone to help with the coach’s yardwork.   Enjoy a laugh at my expense!

Just a friendly reminder that there is aerating tomorrow at Megan’s house from 1-3+.

So start sending those emails!

BNI member/secretary
Kevin F

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Core values, Outreach, Schedule


What do you mean we have homework?

Can you see the three columns on the white board behind us? They are labled: CORE, ROBOT and PROJECT.

It took a while for us to find our research problem, but we finally have it and now are beginning to research it with websites. At the beginning of each meeting, the leader of the day looks at our project schedule to see what tasks are not done yet and makes a TO DO list on the white board.  It is divided into three columns: CORE, ROBOT and PROJECT.  Tasks are listed, and names are assigned. This is how we know what to do each meeting!  At the end of the meeting, we can fill in the check box on the master schedule if we finished the item.

Here is an example of our PROJECT TO DO list from the last meeting:

  1. More researching – go back 1 year instead of two months (Julia)
  2. Potential field trip – talk to Nate’s dad
  3. Update bibliography with website used for research (Julia)
  4. Start outline for presentation (Megan)
  5. Identify experts, and start list of questions for each (Megan)
  6. Assign as homework — everyone come up with more questions

Close up of our to-do list for the project today

Coaches note:  The kids use a website in school called “” which is a tool for creating a biblography by filling in the blanks, letting them keep a list of research papers and websites in  MAL format as they go. No scrambling last minute to document our research!

What do you mean we have homework?

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Project, Schedule


Scheduling takes Teamwork

Scheduling takes teamwork. Here is Megan filling in our accomplishments, and Kevin lending a helping hand, er, back.

Our team has decided to make a schedule to keep us on track because last year our team finished just in the brink of time. The schedule is in a fun 100 meter dash format where there are set goals, and as we pass a certain point we fill the thermometer each week. The main changes to our schedule from last year are that we have decided to finish our project early and then mainly focus on our robot. We have also decided to use runs instead of individual task for our robot. What we mean by this is to think about integrating tasks (or missions) into a robot run right from the start. This should help with integration testing.

So far we have finished week 2, and we are on schedule for the project and a little behind in designing our robot base. So we scheduled another meeting. We use google calendar to find a time slot that works for everyone, and our secretary sends an email to everyone with the meeting time and place.

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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Schedule


We Have a Time-Line

The left column are tasks for the robot. The right column are tasks for the project. The center is divided by weeks. The red thermometer hash marks indicate how much we have done.....

Today we spent an entire meeting prioritizing tasks for our schedule. We have two schedules; one for robot and one for project. We want to have our project done by week 9. The robot tasks will be integrated together.

We also started our brainstorming for project ideas. We want to try out 3-4 on each other, and then pick the finalist from there. This should be done next week. Here are Ashley and Julia brainstorming.

Sorry, but we can't show you our ideas just yet.... stay tuned


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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Brainstorming, Project, Schedule



Today, We organized and got ready to start building and programming LEGO robots. We worked on figuring out leadership positions. This was interesting to figure out who was the best fit for each job.

Our jobs are:

Pictures: Julia (Ashley,backup)

Blogmaster: Nate (Kevin, backup)

Scheduler: Kevin

Closer: Conlon (Winston, backup)

Scribe: Ashley( Julia, backup)

Leader: Will rotate every meeting

Timemaster: Megan

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Schedule

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