Akins High School

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Blue & Gold Fall Festival has been moved to Wednesday, November 7, 5:30-8pm.  All community members are welcome to attend.
Best Practices » Home


Component What I would see… What I would hear…
Gatherings Short exercises that take 2-5 minutes at the beginning of advisory.
  • advisory “circled-up” or arranged in a way that fosters interaction
  • advisor facilitation or participation
  • every advisee participating, perhaps facilitating
  • attentive body language
  • every advisee participating; many voices, one at a time/li>
  • respectful talk
  • advisees sharing, taking risks
  • advisees reflecting
  • tone depending on the gathering: light, thoughtful, serious
Meaningful Group Celebrations Allowing advisees to shine and focus on the positive. They encourage pride and a sense of attachment, and help when weathering distress.
  • every advisee participating, perhaps facilitating
  • group rituals for birthdays, welcoming a new student, holidays, etc.
  • sharing of advisees’ accomplishments—academic, athletic, goal reached, etc
  • movement and fun
  • excitement and fun
  • inclusive, positive tone
  • praise, encouragement, applause
  • appreciation
  • reflections about effort, growth
  • active discussion
Interactive Activities Group experiences to build community and interpersonal skills.
  • movement
  • varied groupings
  • advisor and all advisees participating
  • equity in participation
  • appropriate classroom layout, supplies
  • controlled chaos
  • clear instructions
  • on-topic discussions
  • laughter
  • thoughtful reflection to close
Conferencing Advisors meet individually with advisees to monitor and support academic progress, foster problem solving, support post-secondary visions and plans.
  • advisor meeting one-on-one with advisees
  • other advisees engaged in meaningful activities
  • designated space (privacy)
  • grade checks, progress reports, attendance reports
  • academic dialogue
  • academic advisement
  • goal setting
  • action planning
  • reflective language
  • clarifying ideas
  • asking questions
  • other advisees engaged in quiet reflection or activity
Personal Exploration Opportunities to think about the past, present, and future, whether focusing on school, post-secondary visions, or other aspects of advisees’ lives.
  • independent work
  • partners/small groups
  • processing/sharing
  • drawing, diagramming, writing, journaling
  • goal-setting templates, other tools
  • reflective language
  • “I…” statements
  • clarifying ideas
  • sharing results
  • feedback from peers
  • advisees sharing life experiences
  • advisees imagining their futures
  • group closure
Discussions Opportunities to establish and reinforce a culture of respect, reflection, and exploration; to practice skills in speaking, listening, and stretching one’s perspective.
  • varied groupings—whole and small groups
  • full participation
  • may include charting, video segment, reading
  • attentive, respectful listening
  • advisees sharing, taking risks
  • appropriate tone to the topic
  • advisor prompting deeper considerations and connections
  • sharing within boundaries
  • evidence of group agreements in action
Skills Lessons-test-taking, study habits Exercises to support advisees’ metacognitive skill development.
  • tip sheets to refer to
  • coming back to same tips and strategies, getting practice
  • records of attempts and results
  • advisees sharing
  • making connections to personal experience
  • feedback and coaching
  • commitment to trying tips/tools
Skills Lessons-interpersonal or self-management skills Exercises to foster skills, such as collaboration, self-advocacy, and healthy decision-making, sometimes applied to tough situations, such as bullying or substance abuse.
  • exercises moving from introduction to instruction to practice
  • tip sheets
  • opportunities to practice, such as role-playing, journaling, observations
  • practicing same set of strategies
  • making connections
  • advisees sharing, taking risks
  • reflection, debriefing
  • feedback and coaching
  • advisor prompting deeper considerations and connections
Closings Exercises (2-5 minutes) that provide a way to conclude the time together.
  • active listening
  • being “circled up”
  • advisor participation
  • advisees reflecting
  • attentive body language
  • active discussion
  • one voice at a time
  • many voices
  • advisees sharing
  • advisor providing sufficient closure