ExAlt Update

The first four weeks at ExAlt have gone by in a flash!  Despite my long-held passionate intention to update my blog regularly, I’ve succumbed under the pressure of mighty Chronos and Hypnos.  Standing up to the gods today, I decided to finally update.

We currently have four extraordinary learners savoring their intro to the agile world with me as their main and sole facilitator.  Le’Laia, Diego, Gabi and Alejandro. (We have had several learners joining us sporadically to enrich their experiences over the weeks. One of them is, Le’Laia’s younger brother, Leyson)

ExAlt

As a photographer, I believe pictures tell my story better than my words, so I’ll just summon a few of them to support my words while I get in the habit of writing  (in English) more often.

Here are some highlights of our days at ExAlt in the last couple of weeks:

Photo Jan 13, 10 01 26 AM
“How the heck do you play this thing?” Exploring a trumpet for the first time.
Brainstorming and designing the art for our very first screen printed t-shirts.
Brainstorming and designing the art for our very first screen printed t-shirts.
Photo Jan 13, 11 20 05 AM
Playing mancala might not be your typical math lesson, but you should see these kids strategizing and counting their brains out to beat their opponent.
Learning how to say and write number 1-10 in Mandarin with the help of a few great free apps.
Learning how to say and write numbers 1-10 in Mandarin with the help of a few great free apps.
Photo Jan 16, 10 35 39 AM
Hypnotized by Stellaluna during reading time with Alex.
Working on our first flipbook project.
Working on our first flipbook project.
We sometimes get wired to the physics section of Khan Academy.
We sometimes get wired to the physics section of Khan Academy.
Snack time and tree time often go hand in hand.
Snack time and tree time often go hand in hand.
Taking apart an air conditioning unit's motor in an attempt to create a generator. Much to learn still.
Taking apart an air conditioning unit’s motor in an attempt to create a generator. Much to learn still.
Monkey sees Khan Academy, monkey does Khan Academy. Interesting how kids influence each other to try math activities that suggested by an adult would be immediately rejected.
Monkey sees Khan Academy, monkey does Khan Academy. Interesting how kids influence each other to try math activities that otherwise suggested by an adult would be immediately rejected.
Distance and measurement lesson with self-made Micro X-bows and 1ft floor tiles. This design holds the record: 36ft.
Distance and measurement lesson with self-made Micro X-bows and 1ft floor tiles. This design holds the record: 36ft.
Micro crossbow design runners-up.
Micro crossbow design runners-up.
Discovering that the tiny white dots on one of our plants were actually aphids. Just amazing!
Discovering that the tiny white dots on one of our indoor plants were actually aphids. Just amazing!

Photo Feb 06, 10 54 04 AM

Photo Feb 11, 5 25 45 PM
Le’Laia arrived one day with a question: ¿Quién fué Cristobal Colón? We researched, drew, and explained who he was and what he did. Apparently you can’t get credit for discovering a place if other people already knew about it.
Photo Feb 11, 5 23 39 PM
We have grown fond of figuring out how to play tunes we like on the keyboard. Once we nail the right keys we mark them in the order they should be played. This one is the beginning of the Tetris theme song.
Starting our vegetable garden.
Starting our vegetable garden. By summer we’ll have tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and lettuce.
Building our first vertical garden with recycled water bottles. Much work to be done still. Every step of the process of making something is a humbling learning experience.
Building our first vertical garden with recycled water bottles. Much work to be done still. Every step of the process of making something is a humbling learning experience.
Music of the World. An offering where we listen to  non-mainstream music from around the world often in languages we do not understand, and then we reflect and discuss. First round: Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Haiti.
Music of the World. An offering where we listen to non-mainstream music from around the world, often in languages we do not understand, and then reflect and discuss our impressions. First round: Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Haiti.
Our first hot glue gun experience: Making a popsicle stick heart.
Our first hot glue gun experience: Making a popsicle stick heart.
We needed to put our generator project on hold. We realized that learning how to use a voltmeter and understanding how electricity works was a necessary step to generating electricity.
We needed to put our generator project on hold. We realized that learning how to use a voltmeter and understanding how electricity works was a necessary step to generating electricity.
Freedom of expression column.
Freedom of expression column.
Independent reading might not be a top choice among the younger learners, but sometimes it is under a pile of pillows that you get into the groove and read.
Independent reading might not be a top choice among the younger learners, but sometimes it is under a pile of pillows that you get into the groove and read.
One day, Le'laia and Diego got the rest of us on board to their mission to Saturn inside a spaceship made of pillows and chairs. Quite a complex operation the one they had going on.
One day, Le’laia and Diego got the rest of us on board their mission to Saturn inside a spaceship made of pillows and chairs. Each of us had our own cabin and they had the journey’s details written on clipboards and all. Quite a complex operation the one they had going on.

 

Every day is an adventure at ExAlt. Sometimes it’s messy and ungraceful, but with every step we make, every conversation we have, every failed attempt, every small discovery, every stickie we move along our Kanban board… we open new windows into an infinite world of learning hidden inside each individual’s unique interests and talents, and inside the opportunities where they all spontaneously converge.

 

5 comments

  1. Profile photo of NancyT
    NancyT says:

    Thank you for sharing, Alex!! I love seeing your ALC blossom and grow and am so happy for you and the kids 🙂

    Sending much love, light, and support from the States!

  2. Rachel Michele says:

    I am a parent of ALC mosaic children. Alex, I would love to know what opportunities there are for us to come and visit EXhalt!

    • Profile photo of Alex
      Alex says:

      Opportunities are endless! We are open for visits anytime. Especially if they are from our sister community in NC. Let’s get in touch and plan it out. Cheers!

  3. Louise Katahara says:

    Aloha Alex!
    This is Cherie Ching’s Mom (:
    Wow Congratulations on EXhalt! I am so proud of you and what you are doing for the youth of the world! There is so much going on at EXhalt that align to the Value Creation Education of SUA!
    I know your curriculum is filled yet, if you are looking for a quick online English Reading Comprehension program that your students can access independently during their free time or as homework, KID biz is an excellent program that is research based and provides non-fiction stories with worldwide topics for all grades and level of reading. The record keeping is set-up for the teachers to monitor each student’s progress throughout the school year……….Mahalo for sharing your successes! and please give a large size ALOHA to your family!……Aunty Louise (:

    • Profile photo of Alex
      Alex says:

      Alooooha!! Aunty, thank you for your kind message. This has been an incredibly exciting journey. As you might expect everything I do is greatly influenced by my experiences at SUA and the Value Creation Education.
      Thanks for the feedback and the resource. I will definitely use it. We are running kid-directed learning programs that include many online resources that differentiate learning and track progress. This fits perfectly. Thanks for sharing.
      I’ll be having Che Masako in town soon taking a break from the cold. We’ll take good care of her. 😉
      Big hugs!

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