• Is my classroom-student centered or do I do most of the talking?

  • Do students look at me for the majority of the class time?

  • How do I build a community in my classroom?

  • Is my classroom an environment where all of my students can succeed?

  • Do I expect students to adapt to my way of teaching versus adapting my teaching to meet their needs?

  • Do my students leave the 4 walls of my classroom?

  • Do we go outside? 

Research shows that “An advisory program facilitates...relationships and provides the structure that creates "connectedness"; in a middle school. Connectedness is a characteristic of school cultures in which students have meaningful relationships with adults within the school, are engaged in the school, and feel a sense of belonging to the school. School connectedness is linked to higher grades, higher test scores, and lower dropout rates, regardless of students' socioeconomic status (Blum & Libbey, 2004; Jackson & Davis, 2000; Klem & Connell, 2004; Mac Iver & Epstein, 1991; McNeely & Falci, 2004; National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2006). Moreover, schools intentionally organized to promote personalization and the development of communities of learners better prepare adolescents for later success as adults (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989).”

Shulkind, Sarah.  & Foote, Jack (2009). “Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs.” Middle School Journal. Accessed online at Association for Middle Level Education. 

Kawakami, A.J. and K.K. Aton. 2000. Ke A’o Hawai’i (critical elements for Hawaiian learning): Perceptions of successful Hawaiian educators. Pacific Education Research Journal 11(1): 53-66.

Kawakami and Aton 2001) Gruenewald 2003; Kawakami 1999; Smith 2002. Lipka, Sharp, Adams and Sharp 2007)  (Herlihy & Quint, 2007).  (Simmons & Kiarich, 1989).

Advisory Periods

20 Face to Face Advisory Ideas

Project-Based Learning

Place-based learning, with emphasis on working together in pairs or groups has led to positive and significant differences in participation in local issues, civic engagement, greater school participation, and higher reading and math scores. Components of school such as advisory or mentoring programs have shown to develop strong relationships between students and advisors that support more effective learning and socio-emotional development. Advisories and group-work have proven to build relationships, increase self-esteem, mediate academic and social concerns, & support a strong school community.

Alternative Instructional Methods

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Guiding Teacher Reflection Questions