ALC Oahu has a current 3 day schedule of Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 4:30pm. We rent a large room in the BoxJelly Co-working space in Honolulu. Our intention for the fall of 2016 is to move from a part-time schedule to a full 5 day schedule and be in a more permanent location with many different spaces for the children to move in and through!
This blog post is to give families and facilitators a clearer vision of the tools and practices we use with the kids to plan activities here at ALC Oahu.
Daily Morning Practices
Daily Intentions Board- When the kids come in they add sticky notes to the Daily Intentions Board. The sticky notes are added by each individual child, but if there is an intention that is shared, each will add their personal symbol(star, flower, dot, skull and crossbones) to the sticky note already on the board signifying they wish to join that particular activity as well.
Check Ins- We do a quick check in with one another to see how we are all feeling when we come into the space. This gives each of us an awareness of where everyone is at. When we can be aware of how we each are feeling we can approach one another accordingly. For example, if one of us had a really great morning, all of us can be aware that that person will probably be lively and happy for the day, or in the case of the reverse, we can give someone space if they aren’t feeling that great.
Sharing of Intentions- Each person in the group shares their individual intentions for the day. Some of the intentions will be shared intentions and some will be personal intentions.
Personal Kanban/Trello- This can be a physical board(personal Kanban) or a digital board(Trello) that is used individually to track personal intentions, what we’re doing and what we’ve accomplished for the day. Each child has their own board and adds their intentions to it daily. This also gives them a visual representation to which they may add photos and comments or track the things they have done.
Trips/Projects/Personal Time- This is where the magic happens! We go on trips together, and sometimes individually. We spend time playing games and reading. Some may spend time on their own personal projects or intentions. This is the space set aside for kids to get into the things they really love and want to learn about or spend time doing!
Daily Afternoon Practices
End of Day Reflections- Together, we look at our Daily Intentions Board, and share what we did. Some of the activities are things we’ve done as a group and some are things we’ve done individually. This is a space also for us to reflect on activities that may have been scheduled but not accomplished, and gives an opportunity to look at why we may not have achieved all of our intentions for the day, be it time or possible a change of mind.
Open question/gratitudes/Acknowledgements- The last part of our meeting brings us back to relating to one another in a meaningful way. Open questions are always fun, as they can be a question about anything! For example, what would you eat for dinner if you could have whatever you wanted? or What animal would you have as a pet if you could have any animal in the world? Gratitudes are a positive way for us to share meaningful information with one another. They are simply things we are grateful for in life! Acknowledgements are also meaningful, in that, it allows for us to share to specific people(facilitators, resource people, other kids, etc) that we see and acknowledge them for something they did that was positive.
Set the Week- This meeting is held on Thursday afternoon to schedule our general group intentions for the next week, be it outings, game times, or planning for fun events together.
Change Up Meeting- This is a meeting held on Thursday mornings to share awarenesses around our community and how to implement and try practices that benefit the community as a whole. For example, an awareness may be that people are not cleaning up after they do an activity. As a group, we come up with a solution to implement and practice, such as, we will clean up right away before moving to the next activity. Together we will then spend time on practicing cleaning up right away. In our next Change Up meeting, we look at if the particular implementation is working or not, and either agree that we have mastered said practice or if there is a need to implement a different solution the awareness. The purpose of change-up is so that both students and staff can co-create the culture of ALC Oahu and that it will ebb and flow based on all participants involved. This meeting is an important regular practice for building skills such as team work, communication, critical thinking, listening, problem solving, and understanding that each person is responsible for how we share space and time together.