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Session 5, Week 1 (Online Week 4)

It’s hard to believe that we are already beginning the fifth session at Acton Academy of Bergen County. While we are still doing remote learning, it’s not stopping the learners from continuing their Hero’s Journeys. On Monday we kicked off our game design quest. In this quest, the students will explore various components of board games, card games, and video games. While exploring these concepts they will work on designing their own games. By the end of the session, each student will have designed a board game and a video game through the platform Gamestar Mechanic. This week, the learners focused on understanding chance and probability. They made paper targets and used an online spinner to examine these concepts further. Each activity required them to complete different trials of spinning the spinner, or dropping an object onto the target and marking down where it landed. Some students opted to complete their work on the computer, while others wrote their answers down on paper and took pictures of their work. They also discussed whether or not they thought luck was real, or if success was something based on mathematical fact. On Friday the students began to use Gamestar Mechanic to learn how to build their own video games.

In Writer’s Workshop this session the learner’s are embarking upon an entirely personal endeavor. In this unit they will each create their own website. Each website will feature letters, a video, stories, and an advice column all surrounding their experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown. The first task this week was to write a letter to their future grandchild. In the letter the students wrote what their daily lives are like during the quarantine, how they’re feeling, who they live with, and anything else they felt important to include. On Thursday the students drafted scripts for a video they would create with tips and ideas on how to stay happy and healthy during the lockdown.

Thursday also brought a special field trip for the students. Through Zoom they were able to connect with Lauren Barbieri from the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. The students had many online visits with her in Session 2. This time the students were able to visit the goat pen and learn about the goats that lived in the sanctuary. Lauren also shared different careers that were available to people who wanted to work with animals when they are older such as a veterinarian, marine biologist, and a zoologist. In art this week, each student made an origami critter. Some students stuck to traditional animals such as dogs and cats, while others invented new creations to show off!

The week wrapped up with a badge ceremony for one of our learners. We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this time.

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