Community (Year 2, Week 21)

What is more challenging to you as a hero, reaching your own goals or helping other’s reach their goals?

“I used to think it was the first one. But now I’m a squad leader and it’s hard to help other people reach their goals.”

“I agree, it takes a lot of time out of your day to talk with someone else about their goals.”

What would it take to build the strongest learning community in the world?

The heroes answered:

  • Perseverance
  • Trust
  • Imagination
  • Kindness (helping others)
  • Integrity

The members of the studio are all part of a community. At Heroes Academy, we believe it is vital for the heroes to be part of a positive and supportive community. Learning in this type of community allows the heroes to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment, support by fellow travelers on a similar journey.

Audit Committee

Which is more difficult: holding others accountable or holding yourself accountable?

The heroes discussed this question during the Monday morning launch before voting on the members of the new audit committee. Last session, the heroes discussed creating a committee to check that everyone is claiming points fairly and correctly. Audit committee members: Jack, Olivia and Tyler were voted in and will be checking points claimed twice each session to look for mistakes.

In the studio, points and hero bucks are a currency and indicators of work done and progress made. Forming the audit committee gives the heroes and opportunity to experience this real-world accountability process and increase the quality of these metrics. The Audit Committee will be conducting their first audit on Thursday, week 3 of this session.

Quest

What do you think is the most important when you have a great programming idea?
Being the first to get it to the public
Having the best code
Having a code that is easy to read and replicate?

“I think having the best code, because when people see how good it is they will tell everyone else and they will want to try it.”

“Having the best, but not having one that is easy to copy because people would hack into it!”

As we move deeper into the Coding and Robotics quest, the heroes are exploring this and other questions about quality of work, speed, teamwork and perseverance. Connecting these concepts to real-world situations and results gives the heroes an opportunity to apply them to their work in the studio and decide what is most important to them.

The heroes continued their work on Code.org through Wednesday this week. On Friday, they began building and programming their EV3 Mindstorm Robots. They have loved this quest so far are super excited about building their robots.

For the next two weeks they will be completing a series of challenges designed to help them learn more about programming and teamwork while expressing creativity through the creation and use of their robots.

Writer’s Workshop

What can we learn from stories? This week the heroes examined this question by listening to “The Palace and the Hut” (http://www.english-for-students.com/The-Palace-and-The-Hut.html) and “The Emperor's New Clothes.” (http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html)

The heroes will be listening to stories during many of the Writer’s Workshop launches this session. Through listening to and answering questions about the stories, heroes are finding their “voice” in writing. Voice is the personal style of each writer. Understanding their writing voice will help the heroes become more comfortable with and excited about writing. Each session, we will be focusing on one of the six traits of writing during Writer’s Workshop.

Outdoor Experience

The two teams proposed “freeze tag teams” and “infection” for Wednesday’s Outdoor Experience. “Infection” won! This part of the week comes with a lot of fun and opportunities to hone decision making teamwork skills.

For the Thursday afternoon Outdoor Experience, the heroes voted to to play Capture the Flag.

Town Hall Meeting

Several proposals were submitted during this weeks Town Hall meeting. The heroes have identified several areas that could use improvement in the studio this week. At Heroes Academy, we believe the heroes are capable of recognizing problems and areas that could benefit from changes in their community that adults don’t always see.

“Some soaring heroes use toys and bring them out and starting playing with them. I am proposing that soaring heroes should not have toys on their desk.”

Result: The heroes voted that any toys that are being played with should be put away until lunch or free time.

“I don’t really like that you can’t tell how many weeks are in a session and how many points other heroes are getting. We should have something it has the weeks on it and you can see the points of other heroes.”

Result: The heroes voted to bring this proposal to the guides to implement a simple tracker.

“I think we should watch robots live today because it’s related to our quest and would be fun.”

Result: The heroes voted to propose watching a live sumo robot fight to the guides today.

“I feel like we aren’t having enough art time in the studio anymore. I feel like we should do craft and art stuff again. We could have an art station or something.”

Result: The heroes voted to propose pitching adding more art time to the guides.

“I think we should go back to the paper hero buck requests. A ton of people are in negatives because they get asked for hero bucks. I think with paper they kind of have to answer because they are right there.”

Result: The heroes voted not to move back to paper hero bucks because they are harder to keep track of.

The Dip

Some people say this is what growth feels like. At first, you experience a high because you have some initial success. Then it gets tough, every time. You are in the dip. Feelings of despair set in. You may think, “I can’t do this”, “This is too hard”, or “I’m just too tired.” But … if you press through, you’ll have a breakthrough, and reach even higher heights than you did before. You’ll progress toward mastery.

Does this represent your experience?

“Yeah, a lot. When I first started Khan Academy I was going through it really fast but then it got really hard. I ended up getting to 100%.”

“When I first came here I looked at core skills and thought I could do it. But then it got harder and harder and now I’m better at it.”

Wrap-Up

As the second week of the session came to an end, the heroes reflected on the week with weekly reflections and Friday character call-outs. Each session (and year) at Heroes Academy the studio pushes through “the dip” as the guides and heroes face and overcome the challenges that come with being part of a learning community. As the heroes face these challenges, they move the studio closer and closer to an example of a world-class learning community.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world → http://heroesacademy.org