Year 1 Session 3 (12/4/20)

Hello Aim Academy Families,

What a jam-packed start to Session 3! Given that this is our shortest session of the year, there was a lot to go through in a short period of time. More than anything, it was truly delightful to have the entire studio back together again after a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

On Monday, the Sorting Hat reappeared to sort the Eagles into new Houses. Layna, Hailey, Luke, Salo and Neva were sorted into the house on the left, while Israel, Logan, Lucy, Ethan and Abi were sorted into the house on the right. Both Houses chose their name before the day’s end— the Dragons and the Wolves!

Later in the day, Erica Stewart came in to launch the Eales into the Cooking Quest! With her guidance— the Eagles peeled, chopped and cooked as they recreated her famous “Super Yummy Potato Soup” recipe. After they prepared all the ingredients, the Eagles pressure cooked the soup using Instant Pots. 20 minutes later— and voila— the soup was done. To gamify it— the Eagles went down to the studio and the Guides switched the pots around so neither House would know for sure which one was theirs. The Eagles came back to taste both— and voted on which one tasted better. While many in the studio enjoyed both soups— the Wolves ultimately took the cake. Thank you Erica for coming in and sharing your gift of cooking with the Studio!

Tuesday also brought new changes to the studio. In the afternoon, the Eagles had their very first elective session. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the ES/MS Eagles choose between Art, Coding, Languages, Civilizations, DreamBox and the Curiosity Badge. In each one of these areas (besides DreamBox) they can earn a badge! Everyday (but especially on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s), once the Montessori Eagles have completed the Aim Academy Standards of:

  1. Reader’s Island
  2. Counting Island or Island of the Golden Beads 
  3. Matchland or Island of the Many Shapes

they can choose between Art, Puzzleville or Technology Island (DreamBox and Lexia). It was so neat to see an Eagle painting, two others making Christmas bracelets using pipe cleaners, another making a crown and four learning how to code— all at the same time! The energy surrounding Electives cannot be overstated. The Eagles absolutely love the creative freedom!

With every new session, comes a new sport/activity for P.E. This session it is basketball! We are so fortunate to be able to use the Mark’s basketball court. The Eagles began by learning the layup drill and finished P.E. with a shooting competition! Basketball has even carried over into Free Time as Eagles face off against each other in games.

Lastly, the elections for Session 3 leadership positions were held on Tuesday. After discussing it amongst their houses, the Dragons chose to elect former Session 1 House Hero Luke and the Wolves chose to elect former Session 1 House Hero Logan. Several Eagles also ran for the Disputes Committee— with Abi, Layna and Israel ultimately being voted in. Former Session 1 Timekeeper Ethan was elected once again to the position after a close race. Finally, Logan & Neva were elected as the Posters Committee and Hailey & Luke were elected as the new Exhibition Planning Committee. After being elected, Eagles must promise to uphold their position’s Standards of Excellence to the best of their abilities. Congratulations to all of these Eagles!

On Wednesday, the Eagles explored the science behind taste and flavor— as the Dragons and Wolves were challenged to a blind taste test! They tasted various flavors of skittles, chips, jell-o’s and juices. After consuming each item, they recorded their answer in their journal. Afterward, they gathered as a House to discuss and come up with a final list. For each answer that was correct, their house earned an Ingredient Buck, which they will use to purchase ingredients for their cooking challenges which started on Friday.

For the other portion of Quest Time, the Eagles completed the MyPlate Fruit challenge. MyPlate challenges, activities and quizzes will serve as the primary driver behind the Nutritional Science component of the Cooking Quest. Eagles will also be able to earn Ingredient Bucks to purchase ingredients for the cooking challenges by completing these. In doing so, they will learn how fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy work together to positively impact human health. As is the case in any Michelin star kitchen, both the MyPlate and cooking challenges incentivize teamwork, so the Eagles are learning to work effectively and efficiently together as a House to work toward their shared goal of earning the Cooking Quest badge.

The new additions for Session 3 just keep rolling! On Thursday, the Studio participated in its first ever Mystery Science session. In doing so, the ES/MS Eagles watched a video about why a Hawk would move to New York City. This video led to a rich discussion about Food Chains, as they discussed the animals that they see in their own backyard and pondered what they eat and what they are eaten by. To further this study, the Eagles played a round of “Eat or Be Eaten,” a card game where you try and make the largest Food Chains. The Montessori Eagles watched a video about animal needs, specifically food. During their activity, they ate like an animal, by pretending to be a quail scratching in the dirt, raccoon wading in the water, and woodpeckers pecking a log. 

Friday saw a jam-packed Town Hall where the Eagles discussed and contemplated changing several different systems— Pick Up System, Studio Maintenance, Trampoline Guidelines and House Points. The primary concern with Pick Up System and Studio Maintenance was that Eagles were becoming too intense during cleaning sessions in order to earn as many House Points as possible. Additionally, concerns were raised about the continued lack of a sign-up sheet for trampoline. Ultimately, the Eagles decided to remove the opportunity to earn House points by being the first House ready for launches (Socratic Discussions) as well as changing the amount of House Points earned during the Pick Up System to 10 points for the winning house and 5 points to the losing house.

Friday also saw the launch of the Ingredient Store! This meant that the Houses were able to purchase ingredients using their hard-earned Ingredient Bucks in order to complete their first cooking challenge. Both Houses decided to tackle the Pancake Challenge first. In order to obtain the recipes, the Eagles were given a predetermined amount of time to solve a recipe puzzle. The House that solved the majority of the puzzle the fastest got to use the kitchen first. The Dragons prevailed, and they worked together to purchase and process several different ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, etc…) to make two tasty chocolate chip pancakes. The Wolves were next, and they worked together to make seven chocolate chip pancakes. In order to fulfill a Cooking Challenge requirement, the Eagles must eat what they cook. In this instance, both Houses happily enjoyed their DELICIOUS pancakes! And they even shared some with the Guides! Thank you Eagles!

We are excited to see what other yummy treats these Eagles cook up!

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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