Year 1 Session 2 (10/23/20)

Hello Aim Academy Families,

This week went quite fast.
Committees, Chess, Poetry.
The Eagles at flight.

Can you guess what type of Poetry the Eagles dove into this week?



The Eagles began Writer’s Workshop on Monday by doing a deep dive on metaphor. Together, we read “I love you the Purplest” by Barbara M. Joosse, a story which incorporates several heartwarming examples of metaphor. We also discussed how metaphor can help add depth to any form of poetry. This served as the final element of the “prewriting” stage of this session’s Writer’s Workshop, with the Eagles testing out potential poem topics by creating several metaphors about them. While the Montessori Eagles sit in on the Writer’s Workshop launches, the rest of the time they get to practice handwriting in their “Island of the Many Shapes” challenge booklets. 

On Thursday, Mr. Daniel read “If Not for the Cat” by Jack Prelutsky, which is a collection of haikus about different animals. As he read each haiku, the Eagles guessed which animal the haiku described. The Eagles absolutely loved this and the energy carried into drafting their own haikus. Once they finished, they gathered around and nearly every Eagle shared their haiku. It was so neat to see the Eagles buzzing with excitement about poetry! Next week— we'll be diving into Free Verse and Ode.

Throughout this year, we have grappled with our studio’s Overarching Question —“What is the Hero’s Journey?” Tuesday morning, Mr. Daniel and the Eagles talked about resilience in the Hero’s Journey. They watched a video about Hannah Jordan, a fifteen year old girl who competed as a professional cyclist while battling a life-threatening condition. In doing so, she had to compete in races with a backpack full of medical supplies and a tube connected to her. Afterwards, the Eagles identified various aspects of her Hero’s Journey. They also discussed whether having some sort of a setback is a requirement to becoming resilient.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lance came back to the studio after a long endeavor in the wilderness.  He shared about his hunting experience and how it related to the Hero's Journey— his call to adventure, allies & mentors, trials, successes and long journey home. Even though he had little food and didn't see a buck for nearly seven hours, he never gave up. Through resilience and perseverance, he was able to achieve his goal— to get a buck! He spoke about his reverence for the animals he hunts and how hunting helps to maintain the environment. He also touched on how thankful he was to have hunted an older buck who had lived a long life. The studio was captivated throughout the sharing of the story and the Eagles were happy for Mr. Lance and the Stewart's!

The Eagles have enjoyed learning about and playing Soccer during P.E. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesday, they practiced passing with their partners and played “Monkey in the Middle.” On Thursday, Rachel Okura came in and they played Monkey in the Middle, practiced shooting drills and got to play a full game! We are so thankful to Rachel for sharing her passion for soccer with our studio. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the studio dove back into learning about the Ancient World during Civilizations. On Tuesday, they read about the world’s first writing forms— Cuneiform (Sumerians) and Hieroglyphs (Egyptians). The following discussion revolved around whether physical inventions such as clay and the wheel, or written records of stories and how society operated ultimately better served future civilizations. Another topic was whether people today care as much about leaving records of their experience on earth, more or less than the early Egyptians. On Wednesday, they read about the Old Kingdom of Egypt: its society, pharaohs and of course— the pyramids! The discussion afterward put the Eagles in the shoes of an Egyptian pharaoh— whether they would spend a fortune to have their body mummified in a pyramid or whether they would use the money to feed the people. The catch— ancient Egyptians believed that mummification was necessary to save one’s self in the afterlife. 

During last week’s Town Hall, the Eagles brought up that there were too many people talking during Core Skills time. They decided on the Yacker Tracker as a solution. The Yacker Tracker is a sound sensitive device that can be set to show a yellow and red light in addition to sounding off a buzzer as noise in the studio increases. On Thursday, the Yacker Tracker was introduced for Core Skills time. For each time the Yacker Tracker’s red light turns on and the buzzer goes off, the Eagles lose a minute of Free Time during lunch. If it doesn’t go off once, they earn an extra 5 minutes of Free Time. The Eagles took this challenge head on by not setting it off once! 

The Chess Quest has continued to challenge and delight the Eagles! Each day, the Eagles are taught a new game that helps them to learn a facet of the game. Over the course of the week— the Eagles played the Point Capture Game to learn how to move the Knight, 3 Check to learn about “check” and “Is this Checkmate?” to learn about the differences between "check" and “checkmate.” If you need any help with the rules, go right ahead and ask the Montessori Eagles! They have soaked up every bit of the game, and are masters at piece movement and knowing when it is check or checkmate. The Eagles have also really enjoyed playing against “the robot” on On Wednesday, the studio elected Salomon and Luke to the Chess Committee! They are tasked with managing the equipment for the Quest. 

An insight into the inner workings of the Disputes Committee—
At the end of the day on Wednesday, an Eagle asked another Eagle for an Eagle Buck for breaking the promise to “be kind and respect my fellow travelers.” This led the Disputes Committee to convene on Thursday. As there were Disputes Committee members involved in the dispute, this led to a 1-1 tie for whether the Eagle had to give up an Eagle Buck. The studio resolved this tie by electing a 2nd substitute member for the Disputes Committee. After hearing both sides and asking several questions of the Eagles involved, they unanimously decided that the Eagle did owe an Eagle Buck. That is the studio’s system of accountability in a nutshell!

On Friday, the Eagles discussed and resolved several different studio issues that were posted to the Town Hall Topics Board. These included needing more Core Skills time, lowering the Freedom Level thresholds, people being mean & not following the rules during games at Free Time and Eagles coming in late from Free Time. After much discussion, the Eagles decided the following:

  • Take 5 minutes away from Civilizations and 10 minutes away from Writer’s Workshop to add to Core Skills time
  • Lower the threshold for Flying from 130 points (13 stickers) to 100 points (10 stickers)
  • Lower the threshold for Soaring from 260 points (26 stickers) for Levels 4 and above to 230 points (23 stickers)
  • Lower the threshold for Soaring from 220 points for Levels 3 and below (22 stickers) to 200 points (20 stickers).
  • Using lines of cones to better demarcate the neutral zone for Capture the Flag
  • Set a rule against grabbing the other team’s flag once their flag has been taken and brought back to the other side
  • Setting the timer for 3 fewer minutes during Free Time to allow for a transition period back into the studio

Eagles also look forward to Friday for two other reasons— Free Friday and the opening of the Eagle Buck store. During Free Friday, Eagles have an hour and a half to choose between several different options. Today they had the option to choose between: Core Skills, Chess Games,, Committee Meetings, Eagle Buck Store, Poetry and Learning to Be Badge Requirements. The Eagles all enjoy gathering for a few moments to discuss their most desired item from the Eagle Buck store and how they play to earn it over the course of the coming days, weeks and months!

We hope you all have a great weekend and we look forward to what next week has in store!

Kind regards,

Mr. Lance and Mr. Daniel

Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.

I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.

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