Sunday, April 24, 2016

Creating the Tallest Cup Tower: A STEM Challenge

Begin the year with the seemingly simple challenge of stacking small cups to the tallest possible height. Student groups must work together to create the tallest stack of cups in a time period of 30 minutes. Although it sounds easy, it isn't! Be continually surprised at the different ideas students generate to solve this problem. Students, by nature, are creative thinkers and the STEM challenges tap into this creative vein. 
This allows amazing things to happen!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Some ideas . . .

Found this . . . might give others some ideas on how to communicate the importance and mission of Advisory . . . kudos to Avalon Middle School!

Why we do Advising

Our school believes in doing whatever we can to help our students achieve and grow as young adolescents and so have implemented an advisory program at our school. Research from dozens of accredited researchers, such as NMSA (National Middle School Association), This We Believe (AMLE, 2010), and Turning Points 2000 (Jackson et al., 2000), have proven that students remain in school and achieve higher when involved in an advisory program.  Our program is designed to:
  • Allow each individual to be known and advocated for by at least one adult at the school.
  • Give students a place where they feel that they belong and are wanted.
  • Give students a safe place where they can voice their anxieties and opinions without being judged.
  • Allow students to interact with their peers and adults in a non-classroom setting.
  • Allow students to form both an individual and group identity.
  • Give students a place to vent their problems.
  • Give students a say in what they are learning about.

Advisory Basics

Our advisory programs consist of fifteen students per every one teacher and contain a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Our program covers a variety of topics that students and teachers feel are important concerning emotional, physical, mental, and social development. Below you will find a list of the topics we will be discussing this nine weeks (in no particular order) along with the activity that co-en-sides with each topic.
The topics and activities below are simply for the current nine weeks and are in no particular order. They will be updated with different topics and activities during Christmas Break in preparation for the 3rd nine weeks.
  • How to Problem Solve - Problem Solving in Action, Scientific Method and Problem Solving, and -.
  • Health/Fitness Awareness - Guest Speakers from local fitness programs, doctor's offices, and research centers; indoor and outdoor games; and intramural contests. 
  • Study and Test-taking Skills - Periodic study sessions before chapter, nine week, and standardized tests; individual academic counseling to help get the students back on track.
  • Career Awareness - Guest Speakers from many community jobs, corporations, and universities; job-shadowing opportunities in the community; and community projects.
  • Conflict Resolution - Journal writing on how the student would solve a particular conflict; counselors coming in as guest speakers; and job-shadowing conflict resolution specialists.
  • Cultural Awareness - Special team projects within the school and community on a particular culture; current events presentations; guest speakers of foreign exchange students at the university level; holiday celebrations; films or videos on different cultures; and community projects.

Saturday, April 2, 2016