The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America
|Academic Games Family||Down Memory Lane||Past AGazines|
AGLOA Executive Director, Larry Liss, who has recovered from the stroke he suffered in August, sent the following letter to heads of leagues earlier this month.
Here are the deadlines for the tournament.
Over 60 students from the New Orleans area traveled by bus to Atlanta over the Martin Luther King weekend to compete against players from Georgia in the third annual Georgia-Louisiana Invitational.
Competition was held in Propaganda, On-Sets, and Equations with individual awards in each game. Participants stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel where the tournament was held.
AGLOA Board Members Adrian Prather (GA) and Craig Zeller (LA) organized the event.
Events across the AGLOA leagues during the next month:
If your league’s events are not listed, please send us your schedule.
Academic Games Family
Carla Lagattuta coaches Academic Games at Colfax Upper Elementary School in Springdale, PA, and is the proud mother of two sons who were Academic Games champions. She became aware of Academic Games through her older son, David.
“He was in fifth grade and came home to say, “Mom, I’m going to stay after school to play Academic Games.” I had no idea what he was talking about because we didn’t have that when I was in school. “Wonderful. Go ahead. Have a great time.”
David did have fun, competing through his senior year at Springdale High School. (Read about David in the February 2011 AGazine.)
Andrew, three years younger than David, followed the same path, playing from 5th to 12th grade. He attended the University of Pennsylvania. Interested in artificial intelligence, Andrew majored in Computer Science with minors in Electrical Engineering and Psychology. He is a software engineer for Microsoft in Redmond, WA, who’s very busy working on Windows 8. His wife, Tara Kolesar, also played Academic Games.
They were classmates since kindergarten. Her mother teaches in the same building with me. They went to the sixth grade dance together. They started dating their senior year. David was the valedictorian and Tara, the salutatorian.
Carla became involved in Academic Games as a mother, not a coach.
I saw how much the boys loved it. I helped make the book for World Events.
She started teaching at Colfax and, when the Academic Games coach retired, took over the program.
Sue Mellon [coach at Springdale High], who was fabulous, helped me learn all the games. I say I can teach the games but can’t play them. My sons would try to teach me the games, but I would ask them to slow down. Both mentored my students. They had different areas of expertise. David was national champ in Presidents in tenth grade, and Andrew was national champ in Propaganda. They liked all the games but preferred the reading games.
Carla still employs the high school students to teach the younger players.
I enjoy seeing the hero worship from the younger students when the big high school students come down. At Nationals this past year, we had a spontaneous Propaganda study session at breakfast. The younger ones were enthralled by the older student helping them.
She also appreciates the friendships that her players make with students from other schools in her league and from other states at Nationals.
She coaches all six games.
The program is open to any student in the school. I’m a former Learning Support teacher. A lot of my LS kids ask, “Can we come and practice the games?” They learn and have fun. They’re in there with other kids. Some of them do quite well. Since it’s an after school activity, there’s no grading.
Her favorite game is Propaganda.
I like its practical application. You hear commercials and political advertisements. Even now, I’ll be listening to something and spot a technique. You see it in everything you do. It’s not as much a memorization game. I also like Current Events. My favorite cube game is On-Sets. I like the visual aspect, the puzzle aspect of it.
Her first national tournament was at Oglebay (WV) in 1999. The next year, the other coach at her school went to the tournament in Orlando, but Carla has been to every one since 2001.
You go to these competitions, and you have a room full of kids. They are intense, working, having fun with each other. No matter what age, sitting there, trying, playing, helping each other. Look at these kids and tell me how bad every child is. They’re giving up their weekends to come here [Nationals]. Yesterday, my students played four games, from 10 in the morning until 8:30 at night. They were falling asleep, but they loved it.
Here’s a funny story about one of my former students who is a senior now. When he was in 5th or 6th grade, he told me at Nationals, “I know why you do Academic Games.” Why? “You get a free vacation every day.” Yes, my free vacation with 20 students 24/7.
Down Memory Lane
Tricky Judging Situation #1
Tricky Judging Situation #2