Or another room where a group has to figure out how to flip over a tarp … while they’re standing on it. What does all this have to do with education?
Quite a lot, actually, according to Noble Title 1 support teachers Marian Stephens and Kimberly Holyk. The two were part of a team that organized Noble Elementary’s AVID Adventure Night. The building had a fairly active AVID program some years ago and is now actively revamping the curriculum post-pandemic. AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a national program that teaches and reinforces specific academic behaviors and higher-level thinking strategies, which are also used at Monticello and Roxboro Middle Schools and Heights High, to prepare children for college or career.
AVID Adventure Night was part of a community open house that welcomed parents, students and neighbors into the building to participate in activities that demonstrated what an AVID education looks like in an elementary school. With eight different stations set up throughout the building, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a science experiment as an inquiry activity and to select a brand new book from the Cleveland Book Bank.
The balloon activity mentioned above was used to underscore the necessity of collaboration and communication as groups of students had to determine how to keep a balloon in the air while they were sitting on the ground or how to keep five balloons in the air at once. Through giggles and screeches, they learned the importance of listening to one another, developing a plan, and working together to execute it, all skills that are vital to success in an AVID classroom.
And in the Flip-A-Roo tarp activity, students had to brainstorm solutions, test them out, and then adjust based on their successes and failures, more skills that are critical to higher level learning.
The Noble Branch Library also attended and led an activity to introduce AVID techniques for marking the text while reading. And the PTA ran their annual Scholastic Book Fair in the media center during the event. With six high school sophomores who participate in AVID at Heights present to help out, students and families alike were entertained and informed.
Another fun aspect of the Adventure Night took place in the cafeteria where staff members set up a photo booth with college pennants and frames so that students could picture themselves as college students. Because AVID is designed to prepare children for college or career – and to start thinking about their futures early -- scholars could also create their own pennants with the name of their dream school or future job goals. According to the AVID website, they want students to feel that “college and careers are no longer foreign concepts.”
Attendees were encouraged to visit every station and find the answer to a single question in each room. At the end of the evening, they could turn in their Adventure answer sheets to be entered into a raffle for a grocery store gift card.