Year 3. Session 1. Week 4.

The Eagles were hard at work in Week 4 continuing the momentum they’ve built this session. All of that effort, persistence, and growth will be on full display next week at the Discovery Studio Exhibition of Learning!

Chess has been shown to strengthen our patience and concentration skills. It also helps us understand consequences, develop strategy, create tactics, and think ahead to solve problems backwards. Early in Chess Quest, each Eagle chose a trait or skill that they wanted to turn into a superpower. They have continued using the proven Chess powers to enhance their traits and skills into their very own superpowers!

Writers’ Workshop saw the culmination of first drafts with the final type of poetry introduced to the group: free verse. These poems don’t necessarily conform to any set rules or formula, but rather allow the poet to go where their inspiration leads them. After finalizing their fourth type of poem, they worked through the revision process in an attempt to see their work with a fresh set of eyes. The poets chose a noun, verb and describing word (adjective or adverb) from each poem and worked individually or in small groups to brainstorm additional words they could use in their place, with the ultimate goal of adding creativity or clarity to their work.

As the poets approach the Exhibition of Learning, they’ll work with peers to help edit the poems in preparation for publishing their favorite as a piece of visual art!

One of the cornerstones of Ascent is the inherit trust in each of the learners to take control of their destiny, to make the choices they need to succeed on their Hero’s Journey and work through the consequences of their chosen actions. They won’t find a teacher to tell them right from wrong, when to work and what to work on ,or hold them accountable to a set of rules and standards. Rather, they work together to create a community contract- a set of guiding principles that take on the role of authority.

That work continued this week with the Eagles identifying why, out of all available options, they chose Ascent Academy as the place to learn and grow. Here’s what they had to say about what matters most to them:

  • No teachers or anyone telling you what to do.
  • No endless worksheets or having to sit at a desk.
  • Everyone is equal.
  • Flexibility to travel but still get work done.
  • Freedom.
  • Large, open space.
  • Choice of what to work on.
  • Bully-free environment.
  • Learning from both older and younger people.
  • and the list continues.

They have identified that they want a place where they can have fun, but also learn and make progress. They want a place where they can work hard, earn the right to keep certain privileges and earn new freedoms. They want a place free from yelling where they can practice mindfulness along side a group of fellow travelers who will offer help, support and encouragement when they need it most.

Next week, the Eagles will take what is important to them and turn it into that set of guiding principles. Then, they will come together as a tribe to ceremoniously make their commitment to one another!