A plan for the First Five Meetings

FIRST FIVE MEETINGS (Adjust to Age and Experience Level of Students)

First Meeting

  • Meet with parents and students to fully explain Odyssey of the Mind, the program’s philosophy and goals.
  •  Describe the Odyssey of the Mind process; give dates of Regional, State Tournaments & World Finals.
  •  Discuss the time commitment and the responsibility of every team member to ensure a team effort.
  • Stress importance of regular attendance at meetings.  
  • Explain outside assistance. Usually team members will want the problem solution to be THEIRS. They are the best ones to reprimand parents, coaches, and others for assisting.
  • Review behavioral expectations.
  • Talk about the difference between “winning” and “succeeding”.
  • Discuss parental responsibilities & restrictions. Enlist parental assistance for a variety of team activities.  
  • Set up a meeting schedule/calendar appropriate to your group.

Second Meeting

  • Incorporate team building activity.
  • Discuss working as a group. Explain how all ideas must be considered and not judged.
  • Review brainstorming rules. Use brainstorming frequently.
  • Explain spontaneous problems. Plan on practicing several at every meeting.
  • Read and discuss the various long-term problems. Remind team members that all Odyssey of the Mind problems offer opportunities for construction, performance, music, special effects, etc.
  • Use a skills inventory to discuss what problems this team is best suited to, and most interested in. This is a BIG DECISION!

Third Meeting

  • Incorporate team building activity. Brainstorm ideas and strategies on how this group of students can become successful as a team.  
  • Practice spontaneous problems.
  • Have team decide on a long-term problem. Brainstorm kinds of knowledge and skills needed to solve the problem.

Fourth Meeting

  • Incorporate team building activity.  
  • Practice spontaneous problems.
  • Brainstorm long-term problem solutions and theme ideas. Allow plenty of time for this; never settle for the first idea, easiest idea, etc. This process should extend over several meetings.
  • Discuss questioning techniques. “Nothing new is learned until a question is asked.” Refine this art over the course of the year.

Fifth Meeting

  • Continue team building & spontaneous practices.
  • Brainstorm list of tasks to accomplish. Assign tasks.
  • Make a team-generated timeline. Discuss team member responsibility for doing what they say they are going to do and when.
  • Ask for help if you need it.