Fridays in AVID are designated as Fun Fridays, a day for building community through teamwork. In my few weeks as the AVID teacher, my seventh graders participated in a photo challenge, my eighth graders created do and don't videos for our school drills, and then we had a game day.
I honestly expected that the kids would dislike card and board games. Catching me quite by surprise, something magical happened. Phones were set down. Actual face-to-face talking took place. Competition filled the atmosphere. Laughter and smiling ran amuck.
Game day has now taken over the AVID classroom. Students from my previous English classes, my current AVID classes, and from none of my classes come by during their advisory class (a study hall period) to play Uno and Battleship and Sorry. When assignments are finished in class, I hear, "Can we play a game?" As I write this, I have students who came to school an hour early sitting in my room playing Candy Land, filling time before final exams begin. One of my girls just stood up yelling over a successful spin.
I am currently holding a Go Fund Me campaign to buy some new games for my students. If you are interested in helping us out, you will be helping to build community in my classroom and on my campus.