Hello Aim Academy Families,
We are feeling the Christmas spirit here at Aim Academy! We just got back from our Cookies and Carols Field Trip at the BeeHive Homes of Utah assisted living facility. It was wonderful to watch the Eagles embody the spirit of giving! The residents there were super appreciative— even from a distance, you could tell that the Eagles coming by to carol was very meaningful to them. We saw several big smiles through the windows. On top of that, as soon as we started singing Jingle Bells— the snow began to fall! It was magical. (You've got to check out the video attached to this email! https://photos.app.goo.gl/uxaJjsPZxQ9VmaCd6)
This moment served as the light at the end of the tunnel. It was actually quite a challenging week in the Aim Academy studio. At the launch of the Cooking Quest, the Guides cautioned the Eagles— “this Quest will be a cave troll on the road of trials in your Hero’s Journey. It will be difficult.”
On Wednesday, both Houses struggled as they faced off against various challenges presented by the Cooking Quest. The Wolves did not earn enough Ingredient Bucks in time to use the kitchen. The Dragons did not finish the Spaghetti Cooking Challenge in time. Under the weight of this stress and pressure, several Eagles wavered in their commitment to uphold the promises of the contract. They were not speaking only with encouragement, truth and kindness. They were not treating their fellow travelers with respect. They were not winning with honor and losing with grace.
After cooler heads prevailed, we reflected on these issues during Morning Launch on Thursday. Individual Eagles spoke on things they did or said that they regret. The studio discussed whether frustration, pressure or stress is an excuse to break promises on the contract (the resounding answer was no). Finally, they shared strategies of what to do when you are feeling frustrated, pressured or stressed. For some, they said they like to go outside and run around for a couple minutes. For others, they prefer to go to their desks and spend a few minutes alone. A couple Eagles said they would rather talk through their frustrations with a friend.
We feel fortunate to be able to work through these difficult issues as a community. We recognize that battling through the road of trials is not easy. Hero’s fall down. Sometimes they don’t make the “right” decision. Yet in their resolve to get back up and continue the Journey, the flowers of growth begin to bloom. And sometimes— you are even rewarded with cookies, Christmas cheer and snow.
On Monday and Thursday morning— there was an air of focus present during Math Power Hour. Math Power Hour is scheduled randomly during Core Skills throughout the week, at which time Eagles have the opportunity to earn twice as many points for Khan as they normally would. For example, for every Khan “castle” that an Eagle masters they earn 2 stickers (20 points). The same goes for the Montessori Eagles— on days when Math Power Hour is scheduled they earn 2 stickers for putting in their best effort at Counting Island or Island of the Golden Beads. Of course— Eagles retain the right to work on any of their Core Skills during this time, but nearly every Eagle chooses to take advantage of this incentive. In doing so, the Eagles have demonstrated their ability to focus and reach their Daily and Weekly Khan Goals. Several Eagles are proud of the progress they have made in this area.
Both Houses had major successes in the Cooking Quest on Monday. The Wolves banded together to solve a series of riddles to earn the Omellete recipe. The Dragons came together to solve a puzzle to earn the Muffin recipe. Both Houses then had an opportunity to test their skills in the kitchen. Each house worked together to successfully complete their respective challenges— with members of both Houses enjoying their final products. One member of the Dragons said that it was the best muffin they had ever tasted! There’s something about eating what you cook that makes it taste that much better.
Tuesday saw the launch of Drama. Both Houses participated in charades challenges— as the Eagles acted out words such as pizza, swim, train and airplane without speaking. After everyone had a few turns— the Eagles were challenged to complete Group Charades. Scenes included a group of adventurers searching for treasure and a basketball team playing basketball. Drama will be a staple of studio life going forward— an additional outlet for Eagles to express and challenge themselves.
Basketball has been an absolute hit during P.E.! The Eagles have enjoyed practicing the fundamentals of passing, dribbling and scoring as well as playing half court and full court games against each other. It’s popularity has carried over into Free Time— you will always find a few Eagles (if not the whole studio) up at the basketball court during Brain Breaks and Lunch.
The Eagles considered several important topics during Friday’s Town Hall meeting— including people talking too much during Core Skills time, basketballs being left out in the yard, chairs being covered in marker and whether a sign up sheet for the trampoline is necessary. Additionally, the Eagles agreed that calling for a recall vote for one of the studio leaders is not something that people should be happy or excited about. Rather— it serves as an opportunity to help a fellow traveler determine whether they are the right fit for the position at that time.
We want to thank Heidi Mark for sharing her passion for cooking with the Aim Academy studio today! She was so kind as to share her time, kitchen, supplies and grace (not to mention her grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe) with the Eagles as she guided them through the baking process. Through her giving, the Eagles were able to give to others— which is a beautiful illustration of what the Christmas season is all about. Thank you Heidi!
With only one week left of Session 3, the Cooking Quest Exhibition of Learning is set to take place on Friday, December 18th from 12:00–1:00. The Eagles will be putting their cooking skills to the test in the Great Aim Cook-off! Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
Mr. Lance and Mr. Daniel