Year 1. Session 3. Weeks 2 & 3.

This year’s session of gratitude continued by launching Week 2 with a focus on kindness.  The Eagles watched a video on how a simple, random act of kindness can trigger a ripple effect of kindness throughout the world and discussed topics such as “When someone is kind to you, are you more motivated to pass it on or accept it with gratitude?” and, “What are some acts of kindness you can do in your daily lives?”  The group overwhelmingly expressed their motivation to pass acts of kindness along and identified helping studio-mates finish up jobs and help work on skills they may be stuck on, as ways to show kindness to one another.  This served as a perfect segue into a renewed focus on Core Skills where the Eagles totaled over 25 hours of math learning on top of their other core skill work.

Exploration continued on the Cartography Quest as travelers journeyed to South America, Europe and Africa!  At each stop, the heroes chose a country to add to their World FactBook and continued progressing on their handmade continental maps.  While learning about South America, they were introduced to topics on perspective- mainly why the standard Mercator Projection map is centered on Europe and the impact this has on the perception of countries towards the edges of the map.  Border disputes were discussed with a focus on Europe and to launch their travels to Africa, Eagles dove deep into globalization and what personal global footprints look like just by the clothes worn to school that day (the Eagles identified the countries where there clothes were manufactured on the Quest Map with colored sticker dots).

Pitches for a studio pet continue to be refined in hopes to make a compelling argument in their favor during the Exhibition of Learning scheduled for the last Friday of the session.  The level of engagement and intentional focus shown during Writers’ Workshop this session was inspiring!

In PD during Week 2, the Eagles had to wait until Thursday to see what versions of Tag were in store for them as Tuesday was too cold and rainy to make use of the outdoors.  That minor obstacle merely provided an opportunity to explore other options and, as a result, a 30 minute guided yoga session took place in the studio! Tag ensued on Thursday with Ultimate Tag (everyone’s it!).

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Friday of Week 2 culminated with Town Hall and also a Badge Ceremony at the end of the day.  Each hero received stickers for each badge they’ve earned so far during their time at Ascent and will continue to add them to their hero boards each week.

The final week of this session was spent reflecting, preparing, and celebrating!

Reflections

To reflect on this session, Eagles completed 360 Feedback Surveys for their fellow travelers and evaluated how well they followed this line of the Studio Contract: I will speak with kindness, encouragement, and truth.

They also completed Quest Reflections that asked them to reflect on lessons they learned from the heroes explored on this quest as well as to rate their own quest participation.

Finally, they reflected on this session’s focus of gratitude by writing Thank You Notes to those who have contributed to our community this session.

Preparation

This week the Eagles learned the meaning of “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!” (Ask your Eagle about this reference). With their Exhibition on the last day of the session, Eagles spent the final week wrapping up their Cartography work and practicing their pitches with their peers. They learned more about how to combat fears around public speaking and provided each other with direct, helpful feedback. They were certainly a team (even though they were in slight competition with each other pitching different pets!).

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Celebration

In the final hours of Quest Time on Tuesday, one team solved the clues that lead them to a set of directions and a map that revealed the final destination of the Cartography Quest: a celebratory pizza party at Ms. Janita’s house! The winning team navigated the group on a walk to and from what ended up being a beautiful party outside!

At the end of the session, Eagles also completed their Secret Eagle Book exchange. After weeks of secretly researching the right gifts for their fellow travelers, the Eagles gifted each other books in a lovely demonstration of gratitude.

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Finally, the session wrapped up in a celebration of learning at the Exhibition. Eagles presented their pitches for a new studio pet to the community for a vote, and showcased their hard work from the Cartography Quest. The winning pet of the Pitch-a-Pet competition? A Fancy Rat! Pet ownership, here we come!

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Looking ahead to Session 4, the Eagles will be diving into Architecture and Communications! Happy New Year!

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