The second week of our Build-A-Tribe Quest brought on new challenges, and much to the delight of our Heroes... the return of Mr. "T" after a visit from his family way up North.
Focused attention on Core Skills (reading, writing, and math) is being built like a new muscle. New Chromebooks were introduced, and we shifted into self-paced learning during the morning session.
One thing that always surprises the Tribe (learners and parents) is that we start assessment from Square one. That means that even our near-MS'ers (middle school) start by showing their mastery even with Kindergarten and first grade math skills. 😱
Let me share that one again because it is worth repeating. The Acton approach is about demonstrating mastery and excellence. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get there. So while a LaunchPadder (High School level) might buzz through elementary school math, more often than not we discover gaps and holes that we thought were covered in earlier years... but not quite to the level of mastery.
This suprised our group a bit... but very quickly they learned that it is fun to "win" by racking up a a steady streak of progress while at the same time zeroing in on occasional gaps that we "thought" we learned before. This was true for EACH of our learners.
Early in the week we also introduced "Lip Dub" (not going to spoil this one by explaining it for you). Wait till you see what we have to share at the first Exhibition. We also worked on each individual's Hero Board.
Later in the week the Dragonauts learned about the "Challenge Donut" and how to use it as a refernce point for optimal living. Key discussions centered around building an awareness of when we are operating from our "comfort zone", "challenge zone", or even sometimes a "panic zone."
Rockets were also a theme of the week, as Mr. T led a discussion about Elon Musk, SpaceX, and how "failure" is not the end of the game, but rather the beginning of an accelerated learning cycle.
A second visit to MODS to explore the "Flight Center" and build home-made pencil rockets in the Maker Lab capped off the week.
Lastly - for our parents, we wanted to share the series of posts unfolding on Acton founder Laura Sandefer's blog. Now that she and Jeff are empty-nesters, they have a whole new perspective and appreciation for their Acton journey. So Laura began sharing the blessings and lessons learned from being Acton family (even when they didn't know they were learning it at the time). Make sure you sign up to get alerts as the series comes out.
And for those keeping score at home - last week we shared the #1 Reason your child will want to be in a learner-driven environment. Here is #2 on the list. #3 is coming next week.