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Advisor-Advisee Activities for the Classroom: A presentation at the National Middle School Association, Minneapolis, MN November 4-6, 2004. Dr. Nancy Bell Ruppert UNC-Asheville. Objectives. Identify what AA is, is not, goals, and how to schedule activities

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Advisor-Advisee Activities for the Classroom: A presentation at the National Middle School Association, Minneapolis, MNNovember 4-6, 2004

Dr. Nancy Bell Ruppert


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  • Identify what AA is, is not, goals, and how to schedule activities

  • Identify the social, emotional, physical and intellectual characteristics of adolescents

  • Participate in AA activities and brainstorm ways to integrate them into units

  • Develop steps to integrate AA into your classroom

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Advisor-Advisee is ...

  • A Place to Belong

  • A Place to be Known

  • A Place to have Needs met

    • Based on social and emotional characteristics

  • Planned

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Advisor-Advisee is not ...

  • An extended homeroom

  • A time for teacher, parent, or student bashing

  • Free time

  • A counseling session

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Advisor-Advisee Goals

  • Advocacy

  • Academic guidance and support

  • Belonging activities

  • Communication practice

  • Administration (information)

  • Ownership/Responsibility

  • Recognition

  • Citizenship

    (Stevenson, 1998)

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AA Formats:

  • The Schedule Approach

    • Day 1

    • Day 2

    • Day 3

    • Day 4

    • Day 5

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AA Formats:

  • The Theme Approach

    • Monthly Themes

    • Study Strategies

    • Topic

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AA Formats:

  • Project Approach

    • Mentoring

    • Service Learning

    • Technology

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AA Formats:

  • Mixed Bag Approach

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Who are the children we are working with?

Adolescent Development… taken from This We Believe, NMSA, 2003.

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  • Bodies are changing

  • Maturity levels are related to hormones

  • Sexual awareness heightens

  • Need, but don’t always get, physical exercise

  • Need good nutrition, often eat junk food

  • Engage in risky experimentation

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  • Need to belong

  • Are in search of their own identity

  • Lack social skills and prefer interaction with peers

  • Experiment with new slang and behaviors

  • Want to make their own decisions

  • Are fad conscious

  • Desire recognition

  • Are socially vulnerable

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  • Experience mood swings

  • Are concerned about peer acceptance

  • Lack self-esteem and are highly sensitive to criticism

  • Believe that personal problems are unique to themselves

  • Are psychologically vulnerable

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  • Are moving from concrete to abstract

  • Are intensely curious about the world and themselves

  • Prefer active learning experiences

  • Interested in real-life situations

  • Are often preoccupied with self

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  • Have compassion

  • See shades of gray

  • View inconsistencies of values seen

  • Are developing their own personal values

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Take What You Know

  • About Advisor-Advisee

  • About Adolescents’ Needs

    … to integrate advisor-advisee activities into the regular part of your day.

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Our Task

  • Participate in AA Activities

  • Determine writing prompts for each

  • Come up with a unit design

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Some Activities

  • My Time Line

  • Hall of Fame

  • So Long

  • Wishes

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My Time Line

  • Draw a horizontal line on your paper

  • Mark your birthday on one end

  • Mark a wavy line ¾ of the way down your line

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Time Line Continued…

  • Mark 5 places on the line to the left of the wavy line

  • Mark 2 places to the right of the wavy line

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Time Line Continued…

  • In your life, identify five things in your past that represent “change.” (something that changed your life)

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Journal Prompt?

  • Brainstorm writing ideas that could be a part of this activity

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Hall of Fame

  • Choose five people (famous or not famous) to put in your very own Hall of Fame

  • You may not choose more than one person from any one category

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Hall of Fame Continued…

  • What are the characteristics of the people you chose?

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Hall of Fame Continued

  • What are the common characteristics?

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Hall of Fame Continued

  • What journal prompts could you use?

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Hall of Fame Continued…

  • How could you integrate

    • Adolescent Literature

    • Interviewing techniques

    • Parents

    • Community

    • Technology

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When Developing a Unit

  • Choose AA Activities that support

    • Adolescent Issues (Health, Relationships…)

    • Adolescent Needs (Personal, Social, Emotional…)

  • Identify a theme

    • Journal prompts (DOL ideas)

    • Children’s literature

    • Projects to illustrate understanding

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A Unit on China

  • Interdisciplinary units can include AA activities.

  • What texts are you using?

  • What other information is out there?

  • How can you relate characters or events to the children?

  • What writing activities and projects can be associated with the unit?

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AA Activities for a unit on China

  • A Time Line of our lives… “What is our destiny? And how will we get there?”

  • Literature Circles on the Guiya, China

  • Zen Lessons

  • Fung Shui

  • Goal Setting

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Day 1:Title: Time Line

  • The Goal of this activity is to look at the things that influence our lives.

  • Objective: SW create a timeline that shares 10 memorable events that have shaped their lives and will dream about events that may take place in the future.

  • Anticipatory Set: “What is a timeline?” Share your timeline.

  • Use a timeline to illustrate historical developments in China.

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Day 2Title Guiya, China*

  • Goal: To teach students about literature circles and to have them share their views of what it means to throw things away.

  • Objective: TLW read stories 1-5 and discuss how these events are similar to their lives

  • Anticipatory Set: “How many of you would like to make lots of money?” “Is there a price for making lots of money?’ “What if what you did hurt other people?” Would you want to continue to make money that way?”

  • Activities:

  • Place students into 5 groups. Have each group read one of the stories. In the group have a reader, an illustrator, a summary guide, a connector and a map maker.

  • Have students discuss the readings and share their roles.

  • Closure: Relate the students’ ideas and stories to drug dealers of today.

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Day 3: Zen Lessons

  • “During the Tang period some of the most influential men and women on earth studied Zenon a par with some of the humblest and most obscure men and women on earth. Zen introduced a revolution in social practice that maintained its energy through centuries of opposition and corruption, and provided one of the only historical forums for unbiased social understanding as ell as spiritual understanding. Zen also influenced painting and poetry, two of the most important of Chinese arts, traditionally used for emotional education and therefore of great social significance…” and

  • “Zen establishments were originally set up to free people from the poisons of greed, aggression, and ignorance that ordinarily afflice individuals and societies to greater or lesser degrees and do not allow humankind to attain complete practical understanding of its real destiny.” (xvi)

  • These lessons were compiled in the early twelfth century by two outstanding Chinese Zen masters, Miaoxi (better known as Dahui) and Zhu-an. It was first published in Japan in 1279.

  • Zen Lessons is a unique part of the enormous body of Song dynasty Chan Buddhist lore that still exists in written form.

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Zen Lessons Continued…

  • I have selected five Zen Lessons to begin the day.

  • Each group is to read each of the lessons and talk about what they mean.

  • Choose one lesson to interpret for the class.

  • As you talk about these lessons, ask your classmates to share what their view of each of the topics is prior to reading the passage. Ask them if anyone in their family has ever given them advice on the topics.

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Zen Lesson 1

36 Decisions

  • Huitang said: It is essential to leadership that one should take the far-reaching and the great, and leave off the shortsighted and the petty.

    • If a matter remains stubbornly unresolved, one should consult seasoned and mature people, and if there is still doubt one should question the knowledgeable. Then even if there is something unfinished, still it will not be too much.

    • In, on the other hand, leaders like to give free play to their own personal feelings and take or give solely by themselves, one day they will run afoul of the schemes of petty people. Whose fault is this?

    • So it is said, “Planning is with the many, decision is done alone.” By planning with the group, one can examine the ultimate effect of benefit or harm; by deciding oneself, one can determine right and wrong for the community

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Zen Lesson 2

42. Make the Way Wide

Huanglong said to the great statesman Wang Anshi:

  • Whatever you set your mind to do, you always should make the road before you wide open, so that all people may traverse it. This is the concern of a great man.

  • If the way is narrow and perilous, so that others cannot go on it, then you yourself will not have any place to set foot either.

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Zen Lesson 3

51 Don’t Rush

Ying Shaowu said to Master Zhenjing Wen:

  • Whatever is rushed to maturity will surely break down early. Whatever is accomplished in a hurry will surely be easily destroyed. What is done without making consideration for the long run, and is hastily finished, is not of a far-reaching and great character.

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Zen Lesson 4

56. Advice to a King

Zhenjing said to the king of Shu:

  • In your daily activities, vigorously carry out whatever is right and put a firm stop to whatever is wrong. You should not change your will on account of difficulty or ease. If because of today’s difficulty you shake your head and pay no heed, how can you know that another day it will not be as hard as today?

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Zen Lesson 5

121. Energy and Will

Xuetang said:

  • When students’ energy is greater than their will, they become small, petty people. When their will maters their energy, they become upright, true people. When their energy and their will are equal, they become enlightened sages.

  • ** These lessons were taken from Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership, translated by Thomas Cleary, 1989, Barnes and Noble Books

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Day 4: Fung Shui

  • Fung Shui ***– it means wind/water. It is the part of ancient Chinese Taoism that is concerned withhow objects affect energy and how that energy affects your life.

  • Chi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese name for energy. You are a high expression of chi energy. When something gets your attention, chi energy is being drawn there.

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Day 4 Continued

  • Clutter has an immediate and drastic stagnating effect upon chi. Places with dusty unused clutter that have been around for decades are abut as energetically healthy as a fetid swamp. If your clutter is severe, take some severe measures. Everything you own is connected to you energetically. If it is used on a regular basis, it’s holding you back and weighing you down. Feng shui emphasizes purging clutter because the effect is so immediately liberating.

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Day 4 Continued

  • Today we will look at the Chi of our classroom and of our lockers and of our rooms at home.

    • Describe how it feels when you have cleaned your room and it is neat, orderly and clean.

    • Describe how your locker or your notebook usually looks.

    • Today is de-clutter day. We need to de-clutter our lockers and our book bags and our notebooks so that we can improve the Chi.

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Suggested Sites

  • Suggested Sites:

  • http://www.nmsa.org/moya/moya_2004/callforart2004.htm

  • What I’d do if I were a teacher

  • Good advice an adult has given me

  • My ideas about why so many different people/cultures are apparently unable to co-exist peacefully … and what they might be able to do about it

  • Questions that are on my mind a lot

  • MOYA topics will be available in early December

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Suggested Sites Continued

  • The Noonday Project

  • http://www.ciese.org/currichome.html

  • CIESE sponsors and designs interdisciplinary projects that teachers throughout the world can use to enhance their curriculum through compelling use of the Internet. We focus on projects that utilize realtime data available from the Internet, and collaborative projects that utilize the Internet's potential to reach peers and experts around the world. Below is a catalog of projects that are currently being or have been sponsored by CIESE . Each project has a brief description and links to the National Science Standards and NCTM math standards it supports.

  • Look at The Noonday Project from the standpoint of writing

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Suggested Sites

  • An Interdisciplinary Unit on China

  • http://www.unca.edu/~nruppert/middle_grade_unit_on_china.htm

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Final Thoughts…

  • As language arts teachers, we have the potential to lead our colleagues in the quest …

    • to provide our young people with opportunities to develop the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening by focusing on the social and emotional needs of adolescents.