This week was an eventful one (get the pun... "event" full 😉) for the Tribe, as the Dragonauts were out in the community, exploring, even selling their work 😱, and expanding their understanding of what it means to be learner-driven.
Let's start with the "Plunge Into The Arts" Exhibition
On Saturday, the work from the last several weeks went on display at the Plunge Beach Resort in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Our learners were amongst a group over over 20 young artists invited to put their art on display (and make available for sale, if they chose).
It was a wonderful event coordinated by the Plunge Art Curator Ellen Cohen-Berman. The Dragon-riders worked hard over the last several weeks, completing their art projects after a series of steps:
- First they visited the NSU Art Museum to see examples and discuss what world-class art could look like (this was a first visit to an art museum for some of the Tribe)
- Initial ideas were then sketched out on paper, and discussed for peer feedback
- Each learner explored not ONLY the art creation, but also how to participate (give and receive) peer critiques of work using the Warm-Cold-Warm feedback sandwich.
- Painting on the canvases commenced, and included several more rounds of feedback before the creation of the final piece of art for exhibition.
In addition to the creation of their art, the learners also participated in a pre-event planning session with Ellen, where the artists chose to sell or not sell their art as part of the exhibition. This included an exploration of market pricing.
At the end of the Exhibition Day, our oldest Dragonaut Dillen is the first to receive a contracted sale for his art work. Thank you to Fanya B. for capturing this memorable photo of a handsome young man and budding artist celebrating his first sale. 🙂
Our youngest learner, Aidan chose a different strategy. He very intentionally (after much discussion) set the price of his art work at $1,000,010 (the highest for all pieces on display). It is our understanding that the price was very carefully chosen so that they extra $10 will be given to his mother on the sale of his piece 😉
Beyond Art... The Learners Travel To The Stars
Also this week, the Dragon-riders returned to MODS (Museum of Discovery & Science) to make one last exploring of the Planetary Pioneers exhibit before it moves on to the next museum.
The team explored a custom scavenger hunt (thank you Mr. "T" for working his magic) where they had to explore and process the exhibits as a collaborative group. Even the journey over to MODS included an adventure along our beloved Riverwalk.
Core Skills And Learning To Be
During weekly core skills (math, reading, writing) this week, the Dragonauts continued to set goals both individually and as a studio. We want to give a specific shoutout to our second youngest Marlee, who continues to challenge herself in math ("I love math!") and reading (moving from audio/sight words books to solo reading on Epic).
The Tribe came together this week to call an "emergency Town Hall" which is how Acton studios work through issues and challenges in their learning environment. In this case, it was a discussion about how to organize the "Butter" session (used for online learning) in a different way that works better for our learners.
Each Dragon-rider shared what worked best for them individually, and then the group decided to rewrite their studio contract with each other. This included the consequences that everyone agreed to if promises are broken. On Friday, the studio tested the new schedule and format to see how it is working for them.
The regular Town Hall Meeting was conducted this week by the team of Dillen and Aidan. Part of each learners preparation to be a Sheepdog (Acton speak for a learner in the studio who can guide the group) is one-by-one, having all the jobs normally done by the adults, pushed over to the learners so they take full ownership of their own educations.
And lastly this week, the learners wrote thank you notes, learning how to address the envelopes, and using what we call "Writing With Purpose" as a way to hone the communication skills that they will use for a lifetime.
It was a full week of exploring and growing. Some tears were shed along the way. That is challenge and struggle of the Hero's Journey. As Maria Montessori so eloquently reminds us, it is not just the children who make this journey.
"The greatest gifts we can give our chilldren are the roots of responsibility, and the wings of independence."
~ Maria Montessori