ACA Explorers – Blog

Pre-Explorers Awards

We decided to reward four of our loyal, disciplined and hard-working students with these Scholar Pokemon cards that Christopher designed. These are pre-passport cards that we are using to teach the values of the 4 Gallitos (Scholar, Philosopher, Scientist, Explorer) and to get the kids excited for the program while rewarding the ones who have progressed with us.

Yesterday we wrote the Scholar and its values on the whiteboard and worked on learning the words. The board read “The Scholar- Love of Learning and Curiosity” and we wrote nouns and adjectives that remind us of the words- the scholar, love, learning and curiosity. We then split the kids into two groups and had each one make up an action for a specific word. For example, the person who had “learning” acted out reading a book and tapping their head. This proved very effective because today they remembered all the words and were able to explain parts of what we have learned to earn the Scholar cards.

Michael with his Scholar card

We awarded the four cards to Michael, Mary Joe, Luisa and Darwin, our students who have shown the most progression and been the most steady coming to class and participating. Below is the video of Luisa, one of our adult students with special needs receiving the award. We had each of them do a challenge in front of everyone to earn the card. Luisa, as you will see, did “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, Mary Joe explained “Love of Learning” as a value of an ACA Explorer (Scholar), Michael explained the value of “Curiosity” and Darwin sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. These are all themes that we have been working with lately and that correspond to each of their skill levels.

So, how’d it go?

It honestly went great! The kids who received the cards were very excited and proud of themselves. Michael froze up a little when asked how he will embody curiosity but he pulled through. It’s interesting seeing where kids shine and where they freeze up. Michael is by far the most advanced student but he isn’t much of a performer for example. It helps us know which areas we need to push them in and help them develop their confidence in.

Other kids started coming up to see what the deal with the cards was. We heard-

“Puedo jugar?” (Can I play?)

“Me da una de estas?” (Will you give me one?)

“Quiero unaaaa” (I want ooooneeee”

We let these kids know (almost all are former or sometimes students) that the students who received the cards did so because they attend class, behave well, participate and embody our values. We always let kids know that they can work towards attaining these goals as well but that we want to specifically recognize the kids who have gone above and beyond by giving them these rewards. 

All in all, it went over really well and I think the cards were a great incentive for the kids who received them as well as the other kids who saw them. Our plan is to make them for each of the 4 Gallitos (Scholar, Philosopher, Scientist, Explorer) and to have them trade them in to get the passport and then be able to earn and keep the cards in the future. This will give us a way to keep them motivated throughout the levels and to recognize in a special way those who go above and beyond in the learning process.

Mary Joe receiving her pre-Scholar award!

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