“We need those to catch frogs.”
“This is so gonna be amazing.”
“This boat is cool.”
Session 7 has been all about the Ocean. Artwork, seashells, and books about the ocean adorned the shelves. Spark heroes learned about the different layers of the ocean with their varying temperatures, amazing ocean animals that could be seen in many shapes and sizes, and how trash impacts the oceans around the world. They even got to explore an ocean sensory bin where they could dig in to find all types of colorful sea creatures. Their last challenge encompassed everything that they had absorbed these past few weeks–building a boat. Hearing the news of the challenge, the learners erupted in enthusiastic chants and excitement.
Over the course of two days, Spark learners eagerly collaborated to build the best boat ever. They all dove in immediately and got to work. They selected materials and started putting their ideas together. Some chose to work together in small groups and then bring their contribution back so everyone could ooh and aah. Others decided to work individually. There was no plan and no instructions. Just lots of conversations, input, and hands-on involvement.
Their newfound determination continued to show itself at the end of the year. Not one person opted out. Instead we heard shouts of “we need scissors, where’s the tape, I need that”. Heroes were listening to each other, communicating effectively, and using their critical thinking skills to solve problems.
“That can be like a motor boat”
“This is the best boat ever.”
“Umm, Umm, the ship is going down”
“It’s the soda escape boat!”
The qualities that learners showcased during this project were all focused on teamwork. Teamwork has been a big focus in our morning and closing launches and learners have been busy practicing their newfound skills in different ways. Whether helping each other achieve their session goals or working together outdoors in nature, learners have continuously shown that progress can be made together.
Throughout this school year, we saw learners who once happily played by themselves now join in to play with other learners. They feel a part of the community. Laughing and talking with other learners, voicing their opinions on how things can go has been a joy to see. Simple statements such as “What can I do now?” can be heard loud and clear. Active engagement, curiousness, and independence have taken over. Guides have also watched as learners who did not share in conversations with other learners develop a connection like never before.
Michael Jordan once said “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” I so agree with MJ. The journey of witnessing Spark learners enter The Village School and flourish during such a trying year speaks volumes. The success of Spark Studio is in part to all of the amazing learners bringing their qualities and skills together to make a foundation for future learning. It has truly been a team effort this year!