Week 14


 
This week was the start of our Animation Quest! The Eagles were challenged with creating a story board and a flip book as they build up to making a stop-animation greeting card.
 
During Writer's Workshop the Eagles worked on "Pitching a Field Trip" where, over the course of 3 weeks, they will come up with a field trip idea that needs to meet certain standards and try to persuade us to accept their idea and actually go on the field trip! Our younger Eagles are working on written expression and connecting words to images.
 
Music was fun this week - the Eagles were able to try out Ms. Karen's tuba and we also played different kinds of bells and sang Jingle Bells. During Art the Eagles made beautiful 3D snow flakes! At gym the Eagles were challenged with completing an obstacle course.
 
We had time this week to start making a snow fort in the playground and to go on an adventure to Opechee Park. The Eagles also decorated the studio for Christmas!
 
This week in Civilizations we read about the Phoenicians and the Assyrians. The Eagles had to choose if they would have been a sailor, hunter or fighter and why. We also talked about how each society was innovative in a different way: the Phoenicians invented glass blowing and made the first purple dye from snails while the Assyrians developed new Armour and weapons. We talked about which is more important, the invention of a library or the invention of the internet?
 
On Friday we had a milestone ceremony! Nolan earned a milestone in literacy. In order to earn a badge, each Eagle needs to complete a number of milestones to achieve their goals. Nolan is now one step closer to his second badge!
 
 
 
 

Week 13

This week has been a flurry of activity! We worked hard on planning out our exhibition. We spent our quest time focusing on creating a valuable experience for our families that joined us. The eagles were excited to show all their work and really shined in getting ready.
 
For specials this week during music we started working on some more complex music and practiced some harmonica. We also have been learning about percussion and playing "in time".
 
In art we created a Christmas tree that many of you saw at the exhibition. The Eagles decorated this tree for a public exhibition at the Belknap Mill so look for it there in December. Please see the attached flyer below with info about the Light Up Laconia Festival on Dec. 1st when all of the community trees will be unveiled!
 
In PE we worked on skill and health-based fitness working balance, agility, strength and endurance. Miss Sheri really pushed us this week and the Eagles were tuckered out at the end of the class.
 
We spent some time on Lockes Hill for adventure day but the trail was very icy so the Eagles and Mr. TJ decided to head back to the studio a little early.
 
The Eagles also had a turkey building competition with Oreos. The Eagles decided on the materials and the rules and then went to work. The competition had 2 parts: Most creative and most turkey-like.
 
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the exhibition! The Eagles were very excited to show their new skills and tour everyone around Acton Athens.
 
This week Vivian earned her first badge!! She has accomplished Math 1 - well done!
 
This has been Leiyla's last week with us. She brought in an ornament-making craft for all of us to do on Thursday and we had a blast. Today we all gave her notes with gratitude and well-wishes for her next Hero's Journey.
 
 
 
Vivian gets her first badge!!!
 

Week 12

 
This week in Writer's Workshop we published our poems! We look forward to sharing our poems with you at the exhibition. Most Eagles chose to do a free verse and the creativity flowed. We also had a nice discussion about whether or not music and songs are poetry. We would listen to a few lines of a song and then the Eagles would move to one side of the room or the other depending on if they were voting that the song was a poem or not.
 
During civilizations this week we discussed Western Africa and The Middle Kingdom of Egypt. The discussions on right of rule and dynastic ideals were very interesting. The Eagles agreed that you shouldn't have a right to rule the people simply because your Father had ruled before you.
 
During quest this week we had a launch discussion topic on the nature of reality. Some fascinating ideas were brought forward by the Eagles. We even dived as deep as to talk about time and how we move through time. We discussed what exactly is the present? We were very impressed with some of the comments brought forward on that heavy topic.
 
Gym was back on this week and the Eagles played games with big balls. One game was called "Have a ball" and they sure did! At music we played songs on the pianos, harmonicas and ukuleles. In art we completed our kaleidoscopes so look forward to seeing those coming home at some point.
 
At the end of last Friday (after we had sent the newsletter) we had our SECOND badge ceremony! Nolan earned the Character's Trait Badge! We look forward to awarding more badges as the Eagles become confident and focused on their goals during Core Skills.
 
 
 
Finishing the Kaleidoscopes with Ms. Sanni!
 
 
Harmonicas and Ukuleles
 
 
Nolan's Badge Ceremony!!
 
DEAR time! (Drop Everything And Read)

Week 11

This week has been exciting and fun. For adventure we got the garden ready for winter by cutting down the raspberries, then we went to Bartlett Beach park and played on the tower there. The Eagles enjoyed playing a game of our own devising called pyramid tag. It was very fun. We also had a chance to go to Ahern Park on Thursday since the rain held off! The Eagles loved climbing a HUGE rock that we discovered just off the trail.
 
During Writers Workshop we discussed weather or not the words "good" and "bad" should be eliminated from our vocabulary. We talked about how those words do not adequately describe anything and that instead we should be using more descriptive words in our communications.
 
At music we spent time playing Ukuleles. The eagles worked together to play a song each striking a chord. They worked hard to learn the chords. The Eagles have been learning a lot about music and we have noticed their growth of understanding each time we go back to The Music Clinic.
 
During Civilizations we heard a story about ancient China and we discussed if a Dynasty is a fair and just way of ruling a society or if you shouldn't become the ruler simply because you were born into the Royal family.
 
During Art this week we worked on building our own kaleidoscopes. It is quite a process and we will continue working on it next week. 
 
During our Acton Athens Quest the Eagles continue to earn gold coins for their hand-made artifacts and Socratic discussions (we especially enjoyed discussing whether our leaders should be 'stoic' or not).
 
 
 
 
 

Week 10

We have had an eventful week. During music we worked on playing the harmonicas and also learned to play spooky music on the pianos. During Art, Ms. Sanni taught the Eagles how to do the square knot and to start making macrame.
 
We went to a park on Lake Winnisquam this week and played on a really cool jungle gym. One of our Eagles was very nervous about climbing up it and accomplished it despite the fear. The encouragement and cheering on the of the other Eagles helped a lot! It was an excellent time and all the Eagles came back to the studio with big smiles.
 
During Civilizations we read about the Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylonia. It was so interesting to find out that they were the civilization who invented our 24 hr. day and 12 month year - over 3,000 years ago!! The Eagles discussed each rule in the Code to decide if it was just & fair and we had some very interesting discussions. We also read the story of Gilgamesh this week and debated if it is more noble to change yourself by noticing your own flaws or to change by taking advice that others give you. And does it really matter why you change as long as you are becoming a better person? We also talked about the effect, positive and negative, that your friends and peers can have on you.
 
Gym this week also had a Halloween theme. We played spooky games with Miss Sheri, including wrapping Mr. TJ up as a mummy. The Eagles all came dressed in their costumes on Halloween. We had Optimus Prime, Black Panther, and Captain America at the studio and a mermaid showed up towards the end of the day. Mr. TJ was James Taylor and Ms. Mary was a gypsy. During Writer's Workshop there was a contest to see who could write the scariest, spookiest story. The prize was being able to make cookies on Friday! We ended the day on Halloween with a dance party and board games.
 
We started the Acton Athens quest this week and it has been a ton of fun. The studio has been transformed into Ancient Greece and the Eagles are learning about daily life in Ancient Greece. We have set up a marketplace, home life, education and enlightenment, and an arts center.
 
 

Week 9

We completed our cartography quest this week and will be going hiking to Guinea Pond in the Sandwich Wilderness. The Eagles earned this by completing a World Fact Book during quest time learning about different countries on all 6 populated continents (Antarctica does not have its own countries). Each day they completed a World Fact Book page they received a clue that they used to guess where the adventure location was. The last clue was the GPS coordinates to a GeoCache! During the quest the Eagles also drew their own continent maps.
 
This week during music we started to learn to play the harmonica! Each Eagle will have their own to use when we are at the Music Clinic and we will see what interesting and fun songs we will learn. We also learned to play songs on the piano and each Eagle gave a "mini concert" playing their choice of 4 songs we have learned, everyone did a nice job!
 
We had great discussions this week about having a growth mindset and the language that you need to use for encouragement. We also discussed forgiveness during civilizations, the choice of living under a dictator vs. fighting for freedom, and what it looks like to respect the studio and materials.
 
This week during art we did some watercolor painting. First they drew on the paper with white crayons then put water color over the crayon marks. They also sprinkled salt on the pictures for a neat textured appearance.
 
During gym we did more calisthenics. We are working on growing our strength by keeping track of how many crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, and squat jumps we do each session. We also worked on our skill based fitness by working on balancing in different positions, jumping rope, keeping up a balloon with a pool noodle, rolling around sit scooters, and hula hooping. All the Eagles really gave their best effort and were all smiles during PE.
 
 

Week 8

This week we explored Africa, South America, and Europe in our cartography quest. The Eagles continue to earn clues that will lead them to figuring out where the Adventure trip will be at the end of the quest (Oct. 25).
 
At PE this week we played some very fun games. My personal favorite was monster ball! The eagles also practiced some boxing at the gym. At music we wrote our own song! I believe we have a copy at the studio if anyone would like to hear it.
 
We had another "Mindfulness Wednesday" where the Eagles were lead through a calming breathing exercise before starting their core skills.
 
We all had a ton of fun carving pumpkins for the NH Pumpkin Festival. Look for Ms. Mary, Mr. TJ and Mr. Paul at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Fest on Saturday with a booth from 12-5pm on Canal Street. We are going to have challenging games with prizes and we hope to see you there!
 
Thank you to all the parents who joined us for coffee and a launch on Friday morning. We had a great discussion about "What is Grit?" The eagles spent the rest of the day showing just how Gritty they can be.
 
This week we have spent a lot of time on core skills and the Eagles have been working hard.This afternoon we had our VERY FIRST Badge Ceremony!!
 

Week 7

It is the first week in our Second Session. This session we have 2 quests. One at the beginning and one in the second half. The first quest is all about maps, cartography, and geography. We have been creating maps and building information about the world surrounding us. This project will happen for the first three weeks. After this we will move into Acton Athens where we learn about ancient Greece.
 
We have introduced two new activities in our schedule this session. One is Writers Workshop in which we have a different theme each session. Our first theme is Poetry. The Eagles have had to define poetry, list different types and write their own metaphors. Next we will go through the writing process of Prewriting, Revising, Drafting, Editing, and finally Publishing.
 
The second new activity is Civilizations. This is a time when the Eagles hear The Story of the World through the eyes of people in different civilizations throughout history. This week they learned about hunter gatherers and nomadic people that lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.
 
On Wednesday we learned about mindfulness. The Eagles were lead through a breathing exercise and really relaxed for the 5 minute meditation. Everyone loved it! We will be having "Mindfulness Wednesdays" from now on and we will add a breathing exercise recording to the Peace Bench for when our Eagles need to reflect on their actions and calm down.
 
This week at music we learned about the inner workings of a piano. As well as the difference between quarter, half, and whole notes. At Art this week we spent the hour working on maps of our own "dream" islands in the shape of the first letter of our name. After art we went to our first day at the Downtown Gym. At the gym we did our own pentathlon. Running, High jump, Javelin (with pool noodles), discus (with a Frisbee), and boxing (with heavy bags).
 
Today's launch was on Values. The Eagles learned that every person had a set of inner core values that guide their actions and decisions. As individuals, we all have different values and different rankings for our values. The Eagles all wrote down 10 of their own "core values" and we showed them how to think before making a decision "Does this align with my values?" Interestingly, every single one of us had Fun and Adventure on the list!
 
 

Week 6

The last week of our first session is coming to an end. We have had many great adventures along the way and have grown as a tribe and as individuals.
 
This week saw the completion of our tree house project. The Eagles have been very excited about eating snack, lunch, and playing all sorts of games in the tree house. Also for those who may have missed them at the Exhibition, the eagles also made two bird houses that were decorated. One will be used in the school yard to try and attract birds the other will be donated to a charity auction.
 
We enjoyed music on Tuesday with Ms. Karen and were able to play many instruments with a "low deep" sound, including the bass violin, bass guitar, baritone tuba, and harp. We also had a mini concert on the pianos with all the Eagles playing different notes together and one Eagle being the "conductor".
 
During Art with Ms. Sanni the Eagles came really close to finishing their snail projects. 
 
We spent some time at Ahern State Park on Thursday after we had completed exhibition preparation. There was a small section of brook where many frogs lived and most of them were caught.
 
The week culminated in the Exhibition of Learning where the Eagles showcased what they were learning to their families. We had an excellent turnout and appreciate all those that attended. The Eagles worked hard to prepare for the Exhibition and were excited to show everything off! The Eagles solemness during the Contract signing ceremony shows how much they are taking ownership of the studio. 
 
Thank you all for your support through this first session of our Hero's Journey. We have been Called to Adventure and Entered the Unknown, a place of challenges. We have Met with Mentors and found Allies and Helpers. Next is our Road of Trials. The place where we find what we are truly made of. The Eagles will meet their challenges head on as we head into Session 2.
 
 
 
 

Week 4

This week has been filled with adventure and exciting challenges for our Eagles.
 
We began the process of building the tree house with a successful trip to Lowes for the materials. The Eagles had a list and found all the lumber and materials themselves and loaded it into the carts. Some members of the AANH community joined us to help build on Friday. A big thank you to those of you who were able to take time off of work to help out with the project. We are looking forward to finishing the tree house sometime next week.
 
As we progress in the tree house project we will be working on it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each day from 12-2pm. 
 
During music this week we learned a song called hot dog buns. Some Eagles chose to bring their sheet music home with them so you may have already seen it. Music was quite fun this week practicing scales on the piano, playing drums and everyone having a turn with a violin! During art we finished painting our clay sculptures that we worked on last week and they will be heading home shortly with the Eagles.
 
The hike on Thursday was a good one. We spent the day exploring the area around Locke's Hill. We found only one salamander this week! Though we did discover a GeoCache thanks to one of our Eagles. We also found a couple animal bones on the trail which were intriguing to look at. We explored the former quarry pit that was used to build Kimball Castle in Gilford. The Eagles enjoyed throwing rocks in the quarry pool and exploring around on the stone steps.
 
We introduced Rules of Engagement this week, which are the rules of circle time and discussions. So far the Eagles have come up with 4 important behavior expectations during circle. We also have continued adding elements to our draft of the Studio Contract. We worked more on SMART goals, setting our first goals a few days this week during Core Skills. Next week we will be introducing Badges!
 
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