AVID Lesson Study

Many juniors in high school are already dreaming of their future colleges – maybe even this one!

Image Credit: Carlton College Aerial, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carleton_College

For this lesson study assignment I chose to bring in a lesson I would be teaching in the classroom soon. This lesson was designed for an 11th grade AVID class. The AVID Program develops and distributes standards-driven curriculum to AVID instructors; within the constraints of this curriculum, I tried to build in opportunities for student choice and personalization of the content during the 90-minute block period.

The lesson included three segments:

  1. An Icebreaker – chance for students to team build, problem solve, and have fun together.
  2. Introduction of the College Binders – Students learn how keeping an organized binder can help them throughout their college research and application process.
  3. Binder Building – Students have time to build and organize their college binders.

At the end of the lesson, students will have created a college research binder that will grow with them throughout their junior and senior years. Students will make choices of what to include in their binders based on their interests and what elements of the college search process will be most important to them. This part of the activity is asking students to anticipate and order their needs throughout the search process, higher-level thinking!

At the end of the class, students will write a reflection on the day’s essential question: What is the importance of keeping an organized college research binder?

Reflection: It was helpful to get the input of my fellow student teachers! One classmate suggested to start the content portion of the lesson with a quick-write, asking the students what excites them about going to college, and what parts of the college search process are causing them stress. I would ask students to share these with a peer, and then ask a few students to share out with the whole class. I thought this was a great idea because I remember how stressful and daunting the college research process can be. I hope to help relieve some of that anxiety by focusing on what excites students about going to college, and that they are already taking steps towards their goal.

5 Replies to “AVID Lesson Study”

  1. I like how you are making this lesson your own as much as possible. Often times it take a good deal more higher level thinking to work within externally imposed constraints than to develop something completely new with near absolute freedom. It’s also good that you are putting your teenager hat on and trying to address things from their perspective. You are just saying, they need to learn x, y, and z, you are thinking about what was it like when I was them and what can I do that will help them think about x, y, and z.

  2. The school decision question is huge for students. I used it in an economics course I taught years ago. Here’s the basic model Economic Decision Making. It’s essentially the same process used by Consumer Reports:
    Options to evaluated.
    Criteria and ranking.
    Evaluate options against criteria.

    Of course the student has to assign relative values to the criteria – (if you can’t afford an expensive school, that criteria outweighs all the others)

  3. I just signed up to be an AVID tutor! I’m excited to be apart of the program. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to selecting a college. Sometimes students get so caught up in what they feel like the “should” do rather than what calls them. It’s great that there are programs available to help students navigate that process. I’m really curious to see what it’s like to lead the AVID classes. This is something I’d be very interested in doing in my career.

  4. This is a great idea, Molly! This process will certainly help take some pressure off of today’s high school students and make their options slightly less daunting and more organized.

    I would be curious to know if you plan to model a student binder, and, if so, what criteria you would include to help them narrow down their lists. There are so many factors which are and should be included in the process. How heavily would you rely on ranking lists? How much would you encourage them to be critical of ranking lists? Would students need to justify their reasoning or do they simply get to make decisions with you supervising? It would be interesting to see where the students take this!

  5. AVID is a unique space to be a part of. I am glad your student teaching an AVID Class. AVID gives teachers an amazing opportunity to build relationships with students and help them go to college. It’s programs like AVID is the reason where I am today. Your Study Lesson sounds great. Questions that came up for me is what kind of Icebreakers where you thinking of? I also agree with Valerie that it would be dope if you created a binder yourself. I think students will see that you are also doing the work and modeling in the classroom.

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