Hearts and Grades 

By Craig McKinney, AVID Staff Developer

Alternative Title: How My Valentine’s Day Craft Project Helped Me Clarify My Thinking About How Students Learn and How We Assess

This time last year, two of my new coworkers placed Valentine’s Day cards and candies on my desk. Generally oblivious to holiday gift-giving occasions at work, I had given little (actually, no) thought to providing any red-and-pink merriment for my teammates, so this took me by surprise. In the ensuing discussion with my officemates about how awful I am at this sort of thing, one of the bunch threw down the challenge that I make something for them. “We want a handmade card,” is what I believe she actually said.

The challenge of handmade Valentine cards seemed so unchallenging. A more miraculous feat, I thought, would be to learn to crochet tiny Valentine hearts. Wouldn’t that be a fun new skill to teach myself...

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5 Things Every School Counselor Wants You to Know

By Eric Blanco, CASC President 2016–2017, School Counselor, Ernest Righetti High School

Happy National School Counseling Week 2017! The goal of this week is to “focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems.” In the spirit of the week, here are the top 5 things that I believe every school counselor wants you to know—whether you’re a student, parent, or fellow educator.

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Change is hard, but we can make it fun!

By Tim Bugno, Curriculum Manager, AVID Center

So the old 2016 calendar is in the trash, and the new 2017 calendar of cats is nailed to the wall, encouraging you to “Hang in There!”—a grand time of renewal and starting again. Interestingly, January 1 became New Year’s Day when Julius Caesar reformed the calendar and used it to celebrate Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. Janus’ two faces allowed him a unique ability to look into the past, as well as the future. As a result of its origin, it makes sense that January became a time for us to reflect on past successes/failures and set goals about the future.

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Helping English Language Learners: From Idealism to Action

By Bill Madigan, AVID Staff Developer

Recently, as I walked down the hall at UCSD Medical Center troubling over my Achilles tendon, a doctor walked out of a door near me, clad in his blue and green surgeon’s outfit. He strode confidently by me. As he did, he glanced at my AVID staff shirt. Gesturing intensely, he pointed at his chest and heartily declared, “I was in AVID…I was in AVID!!!” Sharing wide smiles, we faced each other for a moment, and then he continued on his way. I stood stunned. His grin and passion lit me up.

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What’s Up Next?

Right now, you should text “COLLEGE” to 44044.

Up Next is a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room and Reach Higher initiatives.Here’s why.

Up Next is a free text-messaging tool that sends high school seniors, college students/grads, parents, and educators personalized text messages with reminders and information about the college application process, financial aid, and federal loan repayment options. Sign up for Up Next by texting “COLLEGE” to 44044, and you and your students will receive personalized support on all things college – all through texting.

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