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Top 10 Blogs of 2015

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, we want to be sure that you don’t miss these great blog posts from 2015. The bright ideas in these blogs will help you start your 2016 off right! Happy New Year and happy reading!

The Atomic Binder
If the goal is to have organized students so that materials can be orderly, effortlessly found, and easily used, it seems logical that teachers should join together with a team of educators, rather than working in isolation to ensure student organization. When a content teacher buys into the uniform system of the AVID binder, they are also buying into a support system that includes AVID Elective teachers, tutors, peers, and parents supporting the student in maintaining a strong organizational structure… Read More!


10 Painless Ways to Manage the Kinetic Energy in Your Classroom
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. 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… Read More!


The Real Common Core: How Loving Your Students Changes Everything
Too often, we don’t consider this social emotional element. We dismiss it as touchy-feely. Yet the relationship is what our brains are hard wired for. Feeling good is ok, really. The neurochemicals that result from your positive relationships with your students not only reduce pain and make brains more apt to solve problems, but they directly stimulate and support neurogenesis, what we commonly regard today as neuroplasticity, or what my generation called learning… Read More!


Read Your Inner Compass: Another Way to Look at College Readiness
We know, as educators, that college completion is becoming increasingly important in closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in our nation. It’s a fact. But, it is also a fact that some people are successful without college and some people’s paths will not lead them to college. However, I ask you, does that mean that students won’t benefit from AVID strategies and curriculum that improve their critical thinking, collaboration skills, time management, organization, and college and career knowledge?… Read More!


Metacognition: It’s Just Good Coaching
Because of the years of pressure from standardized tests, there have been obstacles to implement student reflections on projects, performances, and examinations. Many educators are worried about covering the material and are evaluated on state content standards. Ironically, policies designed to hold schools responsible for raising student achievement often interfere with the opportunity to improve their academic and career success through metacognitive exercises. Everyone—from struggling learners to high performers—can benefit from routine cognitive strategies… Read More!


Top 5 Reasons for Educators to Get Social!
Many cringe at the thought of social media, and these people rattle off reasons why they don’t engage with it, but there are just as many reasons to give it a try, especially if you’re an educator. Here are my top five… Read More!


Transitioning to an eBinder
As my school implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, I started to ponder the idea of creating a binder online, or an eBinder. I played around with OneNote and Google Drive. You could create folders within folders. The more that I dabbled, an eBinder seemed even more organized than the traditional binder…and you could personalize and color code everything… Read More!


Unleashed Potential
When we think about those youngsters sitting in our classrooms, we often don't know their stories. Imagine those students who experience the difficulties of immersing into a new culture and a new language. Think about the students who face homelessness and a loss of hope to exit a cycle of poverty. I have to share my story with you, for I am that child… Read More!

When Are We Going to Use This in Real Life?
As an algebra teacher, I was often faced with the question, “When are we going to use this in the real world?” In fact, many students took great delight in telling me that their parents told them that they never used algebra after high school. I respectfully told them that although their parents may have never solved an equation on paper after high school, they still used the critical thinking skills that they learned in their math classes. When I became an AVID Elective teacher, I was faced with the same question whenever I asked students to fill out a Tutorial Request Form (TRF). “When are we ever going to use these in college?” Whenever students asked this, I pulled out an analogy that I had often used in my algebra classes as a way to explain the importance of the TRF… Read More!


The Power of Texting
Why do we continue blasting emails to students when we know that they, like many of us, aren’t really engaged? Yes, email is easy. Email is fast. But so is text messaging! And compared to that measly 3% of daily emailers, a whopping 90%+ of students are texting every single day. Because students actually read and respond to texts, texting is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for influencing student behaviors. We need to start meeting students where they’re at—on their phones… Read More!

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