The Power of Reading
(Year 3 Week 15)
In true Monday fashion, the travelers ate their frogs. While they tracked their smart goals, they also decided to have a quick Monday meeting. The meeting was focused around how to be more productive during core skills. They decided they wanted to elect leaders in charge of managing the flow of core skills. They are now helping fellow travelers remain on task from 9–10:15 every day. This week, core skills was intentional and focused. At times, it was so quiet one of the travelers commented that, “I could hear a pin drop!”
Their biggest concern with the volume in the studio was because of Pumpkin Seed. Teddy Bear Hamsters are nocturnal animals. They get all of their rest during the day and play at night. The travelers commented that flow phase was really the only time during the day that they could focus and stay completely silent for their new pet. The rest of the day was filled with group work, passion projects and lots of video productions. However, they did an excellent job of respecting their new pet and creating an environment she will be very loved and happy in.
For Writer’s Workshop the travelers are writing letters to their heroes. The final submission is going to be a handwritten, full page letter, that they will mail out after exhibition. On Tuesday, the heroes were asked to write the following sentence, without explanation,
“I will get into soaring next week.”
Then the guide played this video:
This video was fun for the heroes and increased motivation. In the video it discussed the science behind handwriting. It showed the travelers the different types of handwriting and what it might mean about personality. They chatted about their styles. Many of the heroes were excited about the outcome. Some of them were interested in learning more. While a few said a future career in studying handwriting could lead them to being detectives.
After the presentation, they got busy on their final product of Writer’s Workshop. They were focused and determined to get their letter’s to their heroes finished. Even more so, they were excited to see how their handwriting changed as they focused on their best penmanship.
Last week the guides presented passion projects to the travelers. During collaboration Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they get to work on their projects. Many of the heroes nailed down passions while others struggled with determining what they loved the most. This was to be expected and was very welcomed. The guides continue to offer new ideas, examples and future careers as sources of ideas.
This week, the travelers were presented with two new twists. The first twist incorporated budgeting. They were now able to use their Hero Bucks for more than just the Hero Buck Shop. Moving forward, the travelers will be able to use their Hero Bucks on any supplies they need for their Passion Projects. Hero Bucks will be equivalent to two dollars. They were so excited to calculate what they had, what they needed to earn and what points they had forgotten to track. The best part of being able to convert their Hero Bucks to money is that at the end of the session, they won’t be reset. So, if the travelers move into session 5 with 28 Hero Bucks, they get to keep that. That would equal $56. Enough to buy a design kit, books, computer programs and more. Now they are able to save up, just as they would with a bank account.
The second twist is reflections. The travelers are now reflecting on their stillness exercises and Passion Projects which will all be displayed at exhibition. On Wednesday, they did two reflections, for stillness and their passion projects. A lot of the travelers had written down what they loved about stillness and what they hated. Learning to calm the mind is a great feat.
Adventures of Quest
Stop motion was the talk of the town this week. The travelers dedicated almost two extra hours to work on quest. They had the option of board game time but they were adamant about working towards their 3–5 minute goals.
The studio was filled with LEGO’s, slime, Play-Do and boxes. They were so dedicated to their projects. Laughing was heard throughout quest along with some competitions. They started bringing in lights from home, stands and even their own computers. They were so wrapped up in the chaos of filming, that some of them hit their exhibition goals. However, they didn’t want to stop there. They started recreating their videos. They added intros, credits and even their own sound effects. They started to dive into the research behind what it takes to be a filmmaker. Needless to say, there might be a few budding producers in the studio.
Last session, mindfulness turned into a fifteen minute reading session. The book the travelers chose was Matilda by Roald Dahl. The book is about a friendship between a little girl and her teacher. The travelers loved mindfulness. They couldn’t wait to get inside to listen to the guide read. They reflected on the character traits of Matilda, Ms. Honey and the evil Trunchbull. They loved to compare and contrast between the characters and constantly foreshadowed what events were to come. The guide finished the book this week and finally the travelers got to watch the movie on Friday afternoon.
Once the movie was over, they did a reflection piece. The guide asked, “What did you like more, the movie or the book?”and it was pretty synonymous throughout the studio that they loved the book. One hero said, “I loved the book, I loved hearing about the relationships, it just went deeper. Reading is more powerful.”
With the session moving by quickly, the travelers are getting their work done and having fun along the way. They finished their handwritten letters, some finished quest and are starting new projects and finally, the passion projects are well under way. One of the proudest moments all week was when Hero’s Academy News came out with their first newspaper! They focused for two weeks. They met their deadline and have five brilliant sections of news. Their fellow travelers cheered for them when they handed out their paper and that gave the rest even more motivation to push towards their individual goals.