This won't be a tech specific post, but more of a reflective piece.
This coming year my school is piloting AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination. I will try to give a brief synopsis of what I see it as, but if that is not enough check it out for yourself.www.avid.org
Many of the parts that we are being trained I have seen before, but it seems to be integrated together in one smooth package.
I participated in the Science 1 Track. AVID does a great job of integrating actual science class content within the content system.
The best example of this is the interactive notebook. A main component of the AVID system is organization. That is a key component of the interactive notebook. A great job was done showing how Cornell Notes could be used in the INB including in the lab/inquiry setting. I will try to upload example of this later. From this institute I plan to be sure that my students spend time process the data and procedures. The Cornell Notes give a spot for questions/processing on the left 1/3. I will require my students to write their own upper level questions that correspond to the procedures and data collected. I feel following this steategy my students will gain more from each activity done in class. Also I plan on having the students do a "Left Side" processing activity for each activity or notes. When I was first trained in INBs, I got away from it since doing this was difficult for me and the kids complained about doing them. I am resolved to start this up again. I just need to remember that if it is hard then that just makes it more worth doing, and the INB is for the students to learn and process.
The second main piece I pulled from the institute was the need to teach critical reading skills. Several activities were done to show this could be done in the classroom. The best example of this was marking the text. Numbering the paragraphs, circling the key terms and underlining main ideas were things have never directly taught my students. These are texchniques that I learned in college, but only after struggles. The AVID idea is go ahead and teach these students, that we are supporting advancement to college, with the skill necessary to succeed. After the text has been marked, students can then draw lines to make connections in the text, create upper level questions or summarize their reading. Paragraphs can also be divided out by groups in the class, students in each group can discuss the different parts that were read in a quick 3-4 main topic overview. Vocabulary development, finding main ideas, summarizing and inferencing can all be developed while critically reading the text.
Ala in all in was a good institute that I think if our school whole-heartedly buys in will help in increasing the number of our students that will go to college, and be successful while they are there.
I will try to post later on how this is going in my school, and my thoughts throughout the year.
As always, keep asking questions.