Many people ask how we integrate the disparate parts of a day into a single narrative.
Here’s an example:
We launched our morning huddle with a video clip of Susan Boyle, the surprising singer who bravely overwhelmed skeptics with her powerful voice on the 2009 version of Britain’s. The point? That following your dream requires perseverance and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Each Eagle then contributed an “imagine this” scenario, playing the part of the hero in his or her special moment (like winning the Super Bowl or debuting on Broadway.)
Next we focused on SMART goals for the morning in Core Skills; listened to Ms. Samantha’s “trial and error” hero story; finished self portraits in Art and continued with the Game Lab 3D work on probabilities and decision trees.
Ms. Samantha’s Hero Story.
At the final huddle, all this was wrapped into a discussion about using probabilities and decision trees, the need to adjust (but not abandon) our dreams as life happens – for example, a severe knee injury might require you to become an NFL team owner instead of an NFL quarterback — and how our work with SMART goals in Core Skills not only imbed perseverance as a habit, but provides basic skills to fall back on when life throws us a curve.
All of this served as a reminder that our Eagles need to be weighing what type of Apprenticeship they want to test in the spring.
Above, the decision tree used at day;s end that links an Eagles gifts, joy and opportunities to his or her dreams for tomorrow, providing a visual map of how life can force us to adapt.
Finally, we are adding even more accountability and consequences to the mix, so be prepared to hear some squawks.
Above – a more obvious signalling device to help students understand which “discussion mode is in effect: “red” is full focus; “yellow” collaboration; “green” free time.
The first five weeks we focused on building the community – making it a gathering no one ever wants to miss. Then we added SMART and Excellence goals to encourage the habit of hard work. Soon the few students who are still struggling with committing completely to day to day work will find themselves increasingly removed — literally hell for middle schoolers – until they find the focus needed to excel.
Because at Acton Academy, we are very serious about the learning covenants that our Eagles and Guides signed.