Week 3 Year 1 in Review


What a fun week!

This week as a team we focused on one of our school's core design anchors—Enthusiastically Diverse and Relationship-Centered—and thought about how we could make this anchor evident in each of our learning experiences. We drew inspiration from Maya Angelou,

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

Here are updates from each Studio.

From the Elementary Studio (ES):

ES Victories This Week

  • An ES hero facilitated the civil democracy of proposing PJ day, without the help of the Guides. A ⅔ vote had it—PJ day was voted in by the people!

  • Awesome progress in Core Skills, with some heroes progressing as much as 20% on Khan Academy. All e-learning platforms have been established (with the exception of Aleks Quicktables, which is coming soon) and heroes are enjoying choosing their math or reading programs.
  • "Freedom Levels" were explained and enthusiastically embraced; heroes are hungry to learn about points and to reach new levels of freedom in the studio.
  • An insightful Socratic discussion about the places each hero sees injustice followed the story I Am Malala. This launch led us into a weeklong quest that challenged the ES heroes to change the world by bringing light to a voted upon injustice. The final decision- how do we eradicate illegal hunting and poaching of endangered animals? How are they changing things? A “silent message” video with the aim of informing the public of the problem, the lasting effects and possible solutions.
  • “Read Aloud” time made the transition from short stories to our first chapter book Poppy by Avi. This Newbery Medal novel stays true to our discussions of heroes being capable of empowering world-change, regardless of age or stature.

ES Challenges This Week:

  • The formality of launch times has been challenged this week; ES heroes are testing the waters of holding each other accountable of upholding our Provisional Contract. A named concern of theirs is hurting someone’s feelings and the loss of friendship should they have to ask someone to leave the circle.
  • Many heroes are still working on understanding the role of the Guide is very different than that of a traditional teacher. Who is your first line of contact when you are facing an obstacle during Core Skills—your Guide, your fellow travelers or yourself? Interesting aside- this is not a challenge during any time other than Core Skills; heroes almost completely self regulate during free time, recess, and Quest!
  • Walt Disney famously said of Disney World, “Make it as fun as you can and keep it as clean as you can.” Heroes offered incredible insight about this quote and how the cleanliness of Walt Disney World attributes to the magical experience there. Do we want this for our Studio? Emphatically YES! Have we made the transition from insight to implementation during Studio Maintenance? Not quite…. :)


From the Middle School Studio:

This week our Middle School Studio started the Build the Tribe Quest, which puts them in the position of drafting and debating our Studio Contract, Rules of Engagement for Socratic Discussions, and Accountability system.

What sort of "government" will they create? How successful will their experiment be? What kind of changes/revolutions might occur?

More importantly, what might they learn from this exercise in self-agency that will equip, empower, and inspire them for their own Hero's Journey?

We're excited to see what shape the Studio takes.

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen