Self-governing Learning Community

Simon was very convincing when he proposed that the Early Learners could run the studio on their own. And he was right! With just a little help from Middle school heroes, the Early Learners Studio ran smoothly on the day they decided to give Ms. Elsie a day off. The middle schoolers reported witnessing the heroes engage in discussions while following their rules of engagement without the need for reminders, stay on task during core skills time allowing the middle schoolers to do their work as well, and even keep track of time and stay on schedule. The heroes worked on challenging tasks that are meaningful and of high interest to them. They demonstrated their ability to lead and make decisions because they have been empowered to take on the challenge of governing themselves. They were not afraid to take risks and instead they learned to use strategies and tools to overcome challenges.

During their field trip to the Michigan State University Museum, the docent was amazed at how competent and knowledgeable the heroes were, especially with regards to the field of Paleontology. Exploring fossils throughout the museum lead the heroes to a greater understanding of Paleontology and enhanced their ability to apply what they have learned.

Our Week At A Glance

Week 4: April 30 – May 4,  2018


Outside day


Day off

MS guides



Field trip




What did it say?

What does it mean?

What do you do?

Bible verse song

John 3:16

Colossians 1:28

Jesus is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone in all wisdom

How do you get wisdom? How do you distinguish wisdom from foolishness?

Colossians 1:29

I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me

How is Jesus working in you? If Jesus is working in you does that mean you would never make mistakes?

Colossians 2: 1-2

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love

What is your goal this week? By the end of this quest? By the end of the school year? What challenges do you have to tackle in order to reach your goals?

Colossians 2: 3

Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge

Why would God hide wisdom in Jesus? Do you agree with Paul and believe that wisdom is like treasure? Why?

Colossians 2: 4

I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments

What do you do when someone is trying to deceive you?

Growth mindset

Brain plasticity

Neurons that fire together wire together

Setting weekly goals

Your brain is like a muscle

What work do you feel frustrated by sometimes? How might you get better at it?

The magic of mistakes

Think of a recent mistake you made. What happened? How could you learn from it? If you were working on a project and kept making mistakes, what would you do?

The incredible power of yet

What do you do if you are stuck in your work? Think of a time you were afraid to ask for help. Why did you feel afraid? Think of something you don’t know how to do yet.

The mysterious world of neurons

What can you do this week to make some new connections? Set one specific goal.

Mojo puts it all together

What feelings do you have when something is too hard? Is it okay to feel that way? What kind of attitude should we have when facing a challenge and why is that important? When something is challenging, would rather ask for help or take a break to reflect?

Writer’s workshop

paleontologist journals

Typing club

dinosaur book

Field trip



Play-based TWTh

Park course


Lego inventions

Field trip



Outside relaunch

Andy’s dinosaur adventures

Imagine you are a paleontologist and you have made many discoveries about dinosaurs. One of your discoveries was that dinosaurs are covered with scales. But when you go back in time with Andy, you find out you were wrong because they were covered with feathers. You realize you were wrong but if you tell everyone you could lose your job. What would you do?

Prehistoric fish



Meave and Louise Leak

Your mom is a paleontologist. You used to like going with her to learn more about dinosaurs. But you begin to lose interest and you would rather do something else. Would you tell your mom or would you just keep pretending you still like dinosaurs? What if she asks you to take over her work when she retires? Would you do it for her? Or would you do what you really like to do? What if that makes your mom sad?

Outside recess

Digging up a dinosaur graveyard

You discover a dinosaur graveyard no one has ever seen before. Would you tell everyone about it? What if they all want to see it and that would distract you from doing your work? What if someone else claims they found it first and they try to keep you away from the dig site? If someone offers you millions of dollars to let them take over the dig, would you take the money? Maybe you could try to find another dinosaur graveyard? Would you rather keep it all to yourself to preserve the site so that you can learn more about dinosaurs?

Quest reflections

Quest goals

Why did you go on a quest? What was your goal when you started this quest? Did you meet your goals already?

Why is this quest important to you?

How will you change the world through your quest?

Core skills

How did this quest change your thinking?  Will your thinking also change your actions?

Project time

Dinosaur name game

Dinosaur teeth

Relative speed of dinosaurs

Core skills

How big were dinosaurs

Bigger than you think

Estimation and measurement skills:  

measure out the length of a dinosaur



Famous Flora and Fauna


Dinosaur illustrations


Sidewalk chalk

Dino footprints

Walking and running

Core skills




Hero led discussions


Think of a time you helped a friend who was hurt. How did you help them feel better?

MS heroes

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power and your hero name?


How do you help Mommy and Daddy?

Think of an example where you made some new connections in your brain.


When did you work hard today?

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