SXSWedu 2015: AVID Will Be There!

By Kayla Burrow, Communications Specialist, AVID Center

“I didn’t know AVID is into music!” I’ve heard this many times since our team at AVID Center found out that we were accepted to present at SXSW® this year. Even though our AVID Elective teachers Like Big Binders and one of our assistant directors was well known as the rapping principal, we are not musically inclined enough to perform at SXSW Music; however, we will be in Austin, Texas, March 9–12, to present at SXSWedu®.

SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and works to foster innovation in learning. AVID is honored to be a part of four different presentations this year. Learn more about each presentation here!

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College and Career Day: It’s Not Just for the AVID Elective

By Jennifer Dial, Administrator and AVID Co-Coordinator, Connolly Middle School

Students file out of each class as they are led to the next part of “their” day. Minds are a flurry with the plethora of industries and career paths that they’ve been exposed to from the morning round-robin speaker sessions. As they descend upon the North Field, their eyes light up with excitement. What to do first? Do they strike up a conversation with an eager university employee or sit with the high school Robotics Club? The 2015 Tesla car’s stereo is audibly and visually drawing the students’ interest, while the SWAT vehicle is surrounded by the city’s finest—ready and willing to answer any and all questions. All presenters have hands-on demonstrations and pertinent information to share with any eager middle-schooler. These are just a few of the dozens that are set up for a student-friendly, interactive experience. Today, the classroom extends outside of its usual walls. Today is a day for all students—an event designed to meet individual needs and give students guidance and insight into their own future adventures.

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A Little Wisdom from Some of AVID’s Best School Counselors

Great counselors are essential to AVID’s success—they help ensure access and equity to the rigorous courses that put students on a path to college! They also provide important guidance and college knowledge to their students every year. In honor of National School Counseling Week, we wanted to share insights from some of our experienced AVID counselors, so we interviewed Kimberly Hallenbeck from Lakeside Middle School in Millville, NJ, Annette Moran from J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, TX, and Lamar Young from Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, GA!

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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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