AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) family night is a time for families, students, and staff to come together and communicate about ways to support students. This particular event was focused on organizing time and materials. Often these events can turn into staff lecturing and parents listening. After a successful interactive parent night in December we wanted to keep the families moving together and provide opportunities for them to talk about the importance of organization of time and materials as well as some strategies that could work for their family.
We chose to use a website and app called Goose Chase to create a digital Scavenger Hunt. Families were grouped together into 5 teams and given a few minutes to introduce themselves. Each team was given an iPad and a secret code to log into our game. In the app they are able to see each of the challenges. We had 30 minutes for teams to complete as many of the 6 challenges as they could. The order of the challenges was not important, just the completion with “photo proof” in the Goose Chase App. These are the challenges we used:
When the tasks were completed they would take a picture of their team with whatever the task required. We were able to have a stream of the pictures on the screen in the library as they turned in each picture. We looked through the pictures as a group and discussed what we observed, learned, and wanted to change for ourselves. Then families were given instruction on SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals and they had a little bit of time to write those goals together focusing on organization of time and materials.
Teachers in AVID schools are asked to use WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading) when they plan lessons. They should try to use at least 2-3 of these areas in their lessons. We wanted to model this for our parents, in addition to modeling how teachers plan interactive lessons for their classes. We kept these skills in mind as we were creating each of the challenges. Writing was incorporated with the comparison of the two lockers as well as in the writing of the smart goals. Inquiry was used as teams worked through the logic puzzle and they were challenged to seek more information from the clues and make inferences based on that information about the 3 students in the story. Collaboration was a main part of the evening, families had to find a way to work together to solve the problems, and complete the tasks. As I observed the teams working throughout the night I saw a few parents take a backseat, but most were actively involved in the conversations and puzzles. Organization was the main focus of all of the tasks so that families could talk about its importance for success in school. We used Goose Chase as the tool for organizing the information for families. This tool allowed us to be flexible when families arrived late they could join a group seamlessly. Reading came into play in the finding of the definition of organization, as well as in the reading of the clues for the logic puzzle.
The event was an overall success. Parents gave us feedback including “ I sincerely appreciate all the organizers and facilitators of tonight’s AVID family night. I enjoyed every bit of it and I’m sure the next gathering we will all have positive reports to give.” Another parent said “I really like connections made with the families”. A student commented “I loved being able to work with others to communicate and talk about common things students have to do everyday so we could learn how to support ourselves and each other.” Our Principal was so impressed with the activity and use of Goose Chase that we are now brainstorming ways to incorporate it into our staff meetings and classroom activities.
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