Music

Week 24

We welcomed the Eagles back to the studio this week after their break! For this session will be doing multiple, mini Quests. Our first quest project is called Edison's Lab! This quest is focused on the scientific process and inquisition. We started by practicing our observational skills and then started working towards solving problems. We learned about multiple "hero" scientists and choose Avatars to embody while on the quest. On Wednesday we learned how pullies work and then were challenged with making a pulley system to pull Mr. TJ's car across the parking lot! It was challenging and quite fun.
 
We are VERY excited to be introducing a new Kindness/Mindfullness Class to Monday and Friday mornings. Ms. Anna was a hit with the Eagles and she taught them how to pay attention on the inside (breathing and emotions) and on the outside (what is happening around me that is influencing me). The Eagles noticed how calm they felt when they were breathing deeply. They also planted seeds in flower pots and had to wait their turn to use the dirt, seeds, and water. They were asked to really focus on how that made them feel on the inside to have to wait their turn. They are all excited to watch their flowers grow!
 
In Music this week the Eagles practiced more recorder work and kept working on their piano skills. They started to learn chords and what they mean.
 
In PE the Eagles worked on counting using dice to pick their workouts. Ms Sherry is showing us how learning never stops.
 
In Art, we didn't have Miss Sanni this week so Mr. TJ helped the eagles work on learning how and why inventors create patent drawings. The Eagles were able to draw patents and really appreciate the details involved!
 
In civilizations we learned about the Romans. We heard stories about their Gods, in particular the story about Persephone. We also learned how they made nice roads (which were unheard of in those days), aqueducts, public baths and apartment buildings. They also were the first civilization to erect "milestones" or road signs on their roads so that people would know which direction they were going and how many miles they had to go. They invented concrete which helped them build their 5 story apartment buildings. We discussed which of the Roman inventions we thought was the most important and why.
 
This week's adventure was a trip to Rambling View Farm in Gilford, a beautiful area for a hike. There are cross country ski and XC mountain bike trails there if you are looking for a place to adventure in any season.
 
 
 
 

Week 22

We had the completion of our quest tournament on Monday. It has been a lot of fun during Chess Quest learning and playing along with the Eagles!
 
We had a great launch on the Definition of Excellence and how it is a moving target, also how it surpasses the common or ordinary.
 
In Civilizations we learned about the ancient people of the Americas. We looked at photos of the Nazca drawings and the Eagles were excited about the mystery of what they could possibly mean. We also read about the statue heads of the Olmecs. We discussed if we had lived in that time and were poor, would you have farmed food for the rich people in order to stay in society or would you have moved away to live by yourself and have freedom but need to rely on yourself for survival? We also discussed if the ancient people came to see the world as it is today, would they have liked what we have done with the land and with civilization or not?
 
In Music we practiced our piano pieces for the Exhibition concert and we also played our ukuleles and worked on reading music.
 
On Wednesday we spent time getting ready for the exhibition. This exhibition was tough to plan because so much of our work involved being present in the studio and it was hard to show off everything we did. 
 
Thursday we finished our exhibition prep after we did our usual Thursday activities. PE was very fun as always with fun Valentine's Day-themed games, relay races, tag, and balancing on big yoga balls. Art was focused on finishing up our final drafts of our self-portraits. 
 
Friday was clean up after the exhibition and the last push for core skills. We also spent time reflecting on how the Exhibition went and what could've been done better/ in a different way.
 
We had a very special Valentine's Day Lunch Party - Mr TJ made everyone banana pancakes!
 
Our morning launch today was a debate about whether or not you can learn things outside of school. The Eagle were very insistent that they can (and do) learn a lot outside of school - which is exactly what we were hoping for! During vacation week the Eagles have been challenged to learn 1 new thing.
 
Here is a link to a TEDX talk given by the owner of an Acton Academy in Idaho: http://bit.ly/39AS5kV
 
 
Cutting books out for Exhibition!
 
 
Trying out human chess! They made a BIG board on the floor!

Week 19

The week started with a lack of focus, then ended very strong with stellar focus and effort!!
 
On Tuesday in music we learned a new song on the piano and practiced the same song on the ukulele and rhythm for it on the drums. During art, we continued working on our skills drawing faces adding lips and working more on noses and eyes. I look forward to seeing where these skills take us.
 
In PE, we played all sorts of fun games and did our usual warm-ups. The Eagles are showing how in shape they are.
 
We walked to the Laconia Library and everyone received a library card and choose books to take out and bring home. The Eagles were VERY excited about this trip and proud of their book selections.
 
During Civilizations we learned more about the Greeks and the Peloponnessian War. We talked about what is more important for a society: to make great architecture (what the Greeks are known for) or inventions?
 
In Quest, we have been plugging away at chess and I (Mr. TJ) am losing a lot more then I would like to admit.
 
During one of our morning launches we watched President Kennedy's speech from 1962 at Rice University where he announced that we would be attempting to go to the moon. We focused on the message from the speech that "We are not accepting this challenge because it is easy, we are doing it because it is hard and challenges that are hard are worth pursuing". We also watched a video on Grit that reiterated that learning is hard work and the key to success is trying again when things don't go your way. The Eagles then demonstrated persistence and resilience by trying to knock over Mr TJ and not giving up and having to try again.
 
We celebrated a Birthday this week with cookies on Wednesday!
 
All in all a great and fun week. Thank you to all who participated in the Journey Meetings. Reflection is always valuable and hopefully you have enjoyed the information gained in those meetings.
 

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!!