Weekly Newsletter: Jan 14-18

Here at AAVB, we started out our week standing in solidarity with our fellow educators with LAUSD, who started their strike Monday. After a passionate socratic discussion the previous Friday about why the teachers decided to strike, guides shared that we would not be delivering content on Monday and Tuesday, to show our support. There was some extra core skills time offered, with much opportunity for one-on-one guide help if needed. Eagles took initiative with the extra time, and we saw a lot of motivated, self-guided learning! Though the teachers strike continues, we at Acton will be looking for creative ways in the coming weeks to continue showing our support to the teacher’s union, while still carrying on with our regular scheduling.

We also launched our first Fun Fridays of the year, an exciting incentive for completing the weekly minimum requirements. Throughout the week, Eagles will mark their completed requirements on our new chart to track their progress. For those that finish by Friday, some fun surprises are in store. Think movie days, adventures, and more surprises!

Our first fun Friday was a success, and we loved seeing all of the hard work and motivation that earned those Eagles a spot. We took a walk through the neighborhood for some delicious local ice cream!

We started off our Kindness Week watching a really cool video about how bird flocks move together- allowing every bird to both lead and have autonomy, while also moving together. We then joined in a Socratic discussion about how we all need to lead, we all need to take responsibility, and we need to use kindness to do it.  We discussed why kindness is so important in our studios when it comes to holding ourselves and each other accountable.

We will be keeping our eyes open, looking for those special moments of kindness- and will honor a kindness hero every week!

This week we continued our Biology Quest exploring cells. Foundation students explored the seven signs of life, as well as compared a cell to city, naming it “Celltopia”. We also experimented with Orbies, to explore how cells interact with their environment. Orbies were put in water, sugar water, oil, soap, salt water, and left exposed to the air to observe how they would change over time. Of course, everyone documented their predictions!

Navigator also compared a cell to a city, as well as started their self-experimentation project. They’ll be attacking a fear, or building a habit, over the next 20-30 days, trying a new or scary habit and making observations. Launch Pad also began their self-experimentation, as well as a school experiment, to test a new idea or concept to be applied to Acton.

This week for Art, launch pad began research for their performance art pieces, finding inspiring examples of the various ways to perform art. Those doing an art deep dive finalized their pitches for which projects or mediums they’ll be deep diving into, and scheduled out a plan for the rest of the next sessions. Foundation continued work on their group play, getting to know their characters more and drawing a character portrait. Some of our Navigators really stepped up the leadership, in leading them through some character and team building games!

This week in writing workshop, we continued with research papers. Foundation explored note taking, and how to recognize what information is worth writing down, and of course documenting sources.

Navigator and Launch Pad picked their biologists that they will be researching and writing a Nobel prize winning speech for, and began researching about their lives and work. It was great seeing which scientists were most interesting and inspiring to our Eagles!

For history, Navigator and Launch Pad focused more on Darwin and Evolution. We talked about how other scientists of the time influenced Darwin, and how they themselves were wrestling with the idea of evolution.  We also talked about other things that were happening around the world the same time that Darwin was researching and writing his book- and if we see other things that were starting to show a shift in thought. Finally, we explored how Darwin didn’t really even understand the evidence he had collected until later.

Overall it was a great week, with a lot of self-guided learning, great socratic discussions, and fun team work!


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