Session 6 Reflections

This Session has been an incredible learning opportunity. I am proud of our heroes and the lessons they have learned through this part of the journey. This session has been more challenging than some of our previous adventures: learning to work together as a larger tribe, learning healthy competition, tackling a heavier subject area (Rocket Physics) during the quests, and setting lofty session goals all at the same time. However, listening to our heroes’ reflections today reminded me that some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned through trials. Our heroes have gained so much wisdom from this session’s experiences! Your kids are AMAZING! (and I’m not just saying that).
As we move into the next session, I will be praying for each of our heroes to grow in understanding of the unique ways God has shaped them. This is going to be a time where our heroes will get to explore and discover an area of unique interest (Through our upcoming Curiosity Quest). I would encourage our heroes to have an idea of something they would like to study next session (It can be anything from frogs to fashion!). Enjoy your holiday, and I will see you back Wednesday!

Discussions this week included:

*How has the preparation for this Exhibition felt compared to past Exhibitions? How prepared do you feel?
*What was 1 lesson you learned from this session’s Exhibition?
*At Journey Academy, you receive a lot of freedom. What are some ways that the freedom can be used for good? What are some ways it can be taken too far?
*When have you felt the most pride in your hard work during this session?

Preparing for a World-Class Exhibition

2 more school days until our next Exhibition!!
Throughout this week, our heroes worked on finalizing their rockets and selecting roles to help host the Exhibition. As a group, they discussed what Excellence means and what they could do to improve their rockets for a quality Exhibition.
On Wednesday, our heroes decided they wanted to hold each other to higher standards of excellence during project time as well. The heroes added 2 new lines to their studio contract (“I promise to be aware of myself and others” and “I promise to act with maturity”), which kept the flow and focus in the studio strong. At the end of the day, 8 out of 9 heroes said that it was the most fun project time they’d ever had. It was fun to hear them remark that feeling accomplished makes learning more fun!
The heroes are excited to launch their final rockets at the Rocket Olympics next Tuesday. We will be holding 3 separate events: Farthest Distance, Most Accurate, and Longest Time in the Air. We will see you there!?
Discussion Topics this week Included:
  • How many times should a person revise their work to make it more excellent? In what ways can you improve your rockets to make them world-class material?
  • What is more important to maintaining a positive culture in a community: having freedom or having close friends?
  • What lines should be added to the Hero’s Contract? What lines should be removed?
  • Is it more helpful to receive a compliment or constructive feedback? Why?
  • If every day were a jelly bean, there would be about 23,400 jelly beans in your lifetime jar. What would you consider the most important way to spend your jelly beans? Achievements? Investing in relationships? Or are achievements and relationships of equal value?
Other Highlights:
  • Our creative heroes decided they wanted to reward those in the studio who continually strive to take more ownership of their education by using the tools in our studio. As a result, our heroes all contributed their favorite songs to a playlist, and vote 1 person who really stood out during the day to play a song during Studio Maintenance.
  • 3 heroes earned new badges this week!!

The Treasure Within: Lifting Each Other Up

During our closing discussion on Thursday, our heroes recognized ways in which their studio mates were intentional and contributed to the community…
One hero made a great referee during P.E. Another used his intellect to help someone  learn new concepts on No Red Ink. Yet another responded to her friends with kindness, and guided them through conflict with her wisdom. Another hero helped  pick up all the leftover bottle rocket materials on the playground. Another demonstrated how to create more pressure in a bottle to help the heroes’ rockets explode. Another applied her organizational skills to help clean the game cupboard in the studio and organize the studio maintenance roles. Another demonstrated how to hold others accountable to the studio contract while speaking with encouragement. Another contributed an opposing viewpoint to a discussion this week which made it great, and another set high reading goals for herself, encouraging others to have a spirit of excellence!
It is beyond encouraging to see our heroes calling out the treasure in one another from such a young age!
Spirits were high this week, and not only did the heroes lift each other up, but they literally lifted their rockets! While last week was a struggle, our heroes persevered and each group was successfully able to create a rocket that launched well above 10 feet. Everyone was enthusiastic…and let’s just say, we have LOTS of successes to add to our success/failure wall for this quest!
Discussion topics this week included:
  • What is the most important part of working as a team (Every member performing his/her role with integrity, communication, or compatibility)? How could the teamwork have been improved to prevent the Apollo 1 flash fire from taking the lives of 3 astronauts?
  • What was Amelia Earhart’s Call to Adventure? Who was her mentor? What trials did she go through? How did she change the world? What adventure are you on right now?
  • Who are some of your heroes?
  • If you had the opportunity to travel to the International Space Station tomorrow, would you?
  • When you hear of a hero’s story, are the trials more encouraging to you…or hearing how the hero changed the world? Why?

When True Learning Happens

Me: Some rocket quest teams are finding flow and making progress while others are getting stuck. How would you rate your Rocket Team’s collaboration this week, and what is or is not working for you?
Hero 1: Not good-I think that I was relying too much on my group.
Hero 2: We worked really well together. We stuck to our roles but still helped each other. We also looked at our experiments before we did them and decided what we would need.
During one of our Socratic Discussions this week, our heroes were open and honest with each other about their teamwork. We noticed that certain heroes were working really well together while others were arguing and wasting project time. After discussing matters, our heroes came up with a list of items that were either helping or hurting their teams.

While everyone had great ideas to improve their teamwork, we continued to see the same patterns during project time. Some groups continued to do work well while others were disagreeing and wasting more project time.

During our next discussion, our heroes discussed the culture they were creating in the studio. Everyone agreed that in order for Journey Academy to have a culture where everyone could learn and have fun, project time needed to improve. The matter of “How” was the question. “How” could the heroes cultivate a culture where people listened to one another, cooperated, and participated in making a great rocket? How could they make sure they created an environment where everyone treated each other with warm-hardheartedness (kindness and compassion) while still being tough-minded (holding each other to high standards). The answer was simple: they needed to own the process.

Over the next couple of discussions, our heroes revisited the culture they were aiming to cultivate at Journey Academy: A culture of kindness, excellence, one where people cooperated, showed respect, and held each other to their promises. They recognized the tools they had (conflict resolution, hero bucks, the peace table..) and how they could use them to take full ownership.

We have been witnessing higher levels of ownership since these discussions, and yes, teamwork is improving. This reminds me that on the journey, there will be times  where teamwork is difficult, the task seems impossible, and the community is challenged…BUT this is when true growth happens. Our heroes will learn how to help each other, resolve conflict, persevere, find joy, and do great things because of it!
Other Highlights:

  • Emma Dizon was able to join us for the day on Monday. Our heroes enjoyed having an older hero in the studio!
  • The field trip to the Air Zoo was a great learning experience! Our heroes got the chance to explore planes, learn more about aerodynamics, and learn about the history of rocket science!
  • We have now built a total of  4 different kinds of rockets for the Rocket Science Quest!

Interesting discussion topics this week included:

  • How would you describe the culture of Acton Academy based on the following clip (A Day in The Life)? How would you describe the culture of your community at Journey Academy? What ideas did you gain from Acton that could add value to the culture here at Journey Academy? In what ways is our culture unique and special?
  •  What process is the MOST important to the flow of our studio at Journey Academy (Socratic Discussions, conflict resolution, hero bucks, core skills, project time, the hero’s journey, project time, badges, or character call-outs)?
  • Is it better to show warm-heartedness (compassion), tough-mindedness (sticking to the rules), or a mixture of both? How can you apply this to your relationships with other heroes?
  • How have you managed your group’s money throughout the Rocket Science Quest? How can you ensure that your group will have enough money to “buy” supplies throughout the quest?
  • Is it better to confront someone when you feel he/she is not acting with kindness, or avoid that person?
  • Which experiments have you tried this week that produced a chemical reaction? How could you tell it was a chemical reaction?