We plan on sending out these weekly roundup emails every Friday to keep you in the loop with all things going on here at Aim.
Today marks the end of Week 3, which means we are halfway through Session 1: Build the Community! It has been truly amazing to see how much the Eagles have progressed over the past three weeks. There have been fun & games, songs of celebration and shared laughs. There have also been difficult conversations, tough lessons and challenging missions. Yet all of these moments shape the Hero’s Journey.
With Labor Day on Monday— this week flew by. Last week, the Eagles chose their Running Partners from the opposite House (Bristlebane and Lockhearte). Running Partners serve as an Eagle’s first line of support and accountability. To strengthen this relationship, we began Tuesday with the Trust Walk. In this activity, each pair of running partners took turns being blindfolded and were directed around the backyard by their Running Partner. Afterwards, we reflected on whether it was harder giving directions or receiving them. We also discussed whether their partner had not given them enough direction, too much direction or just the right amount. In doing so, we presented the idea of feedback and how important it is in everything we do at Aim Academy. Constructive feedback from a trusted ally makes it easier for us to identify areas where we can grow and learn.
Eagles continued setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, Time-based) this week for Core Skills time and beyond. (P.S. If you are ever curious what your student(s) have been up to, you can always ask them what their SMART goals were for the day) With Core Skills in full swing, the Aim Academy Eagles were mastering math skills in Khan Academy, leveling up in Lexia, reading and Building the LEGO Masterpiece all at the same time. Our Montessori Eagles have taken to visiting different Islands during Core Skills time (Reading Island, Island of the Many Shapes, Island of the Golden Beads, Counting Island, Matchland and Technology Island). For each Island they visit and put forth their best effort (self-assessed), they receive a sticker which is equal to 10 points. Freedom Levels help to motivate Eagles to stay focused and earn as many points during Core Skills time as possible.
The Eagles have been testing out new rules and guidelines by playing the Contract Game. At the end of each day, they decide whether the two new rules they tested out in “the Lab” deserve to go in their permanent studio contract or in the graveyard. Then, they choose two new rules for the next day to test out in the lab. Some rules that they have moved into the contract include:
“I will win with honor and lose with grace”
“I will speak only with kindness, encouragement and truth”
“I will take responsibility for my education and seek out help when I truly need it.”
There were also trials for our Heroes this week. On Wednesday, there was an emergency meeting called to work through a tense studio issue. They discussed best practices during Core Skills time— such as how to go about asking someone to quiet down as well as when and how to get the Disputes Committee involved. More deeply, the role of kindness and leadership during times of conflict was brought up. How great it is that we can make time as a group to work through issues as they arise, rather than letting them fester and create hard feelings. The Eagles celebrated this heroic accomplishment with their first trip to the park in the back of the studio.
On Thursday morning, eight Eagles campaigned to become part of the LEGO City Council (i.e. the governing body of the LEGO Masterpiece). Several Eagles delivered speeches to demonstrate their honesty, kindness and helpfulness. Voting soon followed, with Abi, Luke and Logan being elected as the LEGO City Council! Thursday also saw Mr. Vaughn step in for Mr. Lance, who was away taking care of business. Mr. Vaughn fit into studio life with ease, as the Eagles helped him to understand the various Studio systems and practices. We anticipate seeing much more of Mr. Vaughn in the future when the Stewart’s have their new baby!
Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. To commemorate this day, we had our very first Hero Talk with U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart. He discussed what took place that day and shared stories of heroes who rose up during the tragedy to help others. Following this meaningful conversation, we talked about what it means to be a Hero.
Although it was too cold for the pool on Friday, the Fun Friday tradition carried on with the Eagles playing House Games— including Dwarves, Wizards and Giants (large scale rock paper scissors) and Capture the Flag. The Eagles also held their first Town Meeting on Friday, which serves as a forum to openly discuss and resolve the issues posted to the Town Meeting Topic board. Issues included the ringing of the transition bell, Eagles not upholding their promise to listen with their whole body when someone else is talking during discussions and the “Soaring” Freedom level being too easy to achieve.
That wraps up this week’s Weekly Roundup. Lastly, thank you to all of you who have filled out the Parents Gifts & Talents form! We are so excited to incorporate you into studio life and will be in contact regarding this soon.
Mr. Lance and Mr. Daniel
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Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.
I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.
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