A Caterpillar and a Butterfly

By Bill Madigan, AVID Staff Developer
AVID grad, Raquel Nunez
“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”  -C. S. Lewis

Raquel was struggling with her college application personal statement for Claremont McKenna College. No wonder—the prompt was, “Describe an animal with which you share characteristics and show how that animal would benefit Claremont McKenna.”  This was the 1994 application prompt probably devised by some wizened hippie. Well, Raquel had a start at least with the theme of a caterpillar and butterfly, but her essay lacked message or significant personal revelation. So I asked, “What is the most shameful or painful experience you have faced?”  Raquel frowned for just a moment; then her eyes grew wide and troubled, “I know what to write, now.” She returned to her desk and started to write furiously.

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10 Painless Ways to Manage the Kinetic Energy in Your Classroom

By Craig McKinney, AVID Elective Teacher and Staff Developer

This painting was created for Craig by his students: Kavina Hsu, Amy Wang, and Sara Watters.In science, kinetic energy refers to the energy an object has from being in motion. In your classroom, the kinetic energy of a student is the pent-up energy due to their lack of motion—energy that needs to be released by letting them wiggle, move, and change position.

Teachers are often reluctant to allow students to move about in their classrooms. It’s understandable; students in motion cause noise, classrooms are crowded, moving students take a few minutes to settle back down, and it’s easier to control a classroom of sleeping students than a classroom of rowdy ones. However, when eyes are glazing over and heads are bobbing, not much learning is taking place.

Here’s a list of 10 ideas—none of them difficult to implement—that allow your students to release a bit of their energy, so they can get back to the important task of learning...

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This piece is from Home Room, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is the first step in accessing the more than $150 billion available in federal student aid. Since the 2015-16 FAFSA launched, the Digital Engagement Team at Federal Student Aid has responded to hundreds of FAFSA questions via Federal Student Aid’s social media accounts. (Yes, believe it or not, we do actually read what you tweet at us or write on our wall and do our best to respond to as much as we can!) In doing this, we’ve found that there are a few FAFSA questions that are asked a lot. We want to help clear up any confusion, so let’s go through them...

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The Atomic Binder

By Tim Bugno, Curriculum Manager, AVID Center

In a recent discussion over dinner with a colleague—one who works extensively with AVID administrators and coordinators—I had an interesting conversation about the usage of binders and the method that she uses to demonstrate the importance of a single system of organization. In her work with various educators across the country, she brings along three backpacks—each containing a binder and an identical set of notes, homework, and tests from the same semester of high school work. She asks for three teacher volunteers from the group and gives each a backpack.

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AVID students stick with college, outpace peers

By Maureen Magee, Journalist, U-T San Diego

AVID Elective students participate in a Socratic seminar.This piece was first published by the U-T San Diego in January 2015.

For the past 35 years, the San Diego-based AVID program has built a national reputation for steering underserved students to college.

Turns out that AVID graduates — largely poor and minority students — go on to stay enrolled in college at rates that outpace their peers who did not participate in the program, according to new research.

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