As learners work towards their goals, their journeys are not always linear; there are ebbs and flows. So what do learners do when they hit a wall, need support, or have questions? In the Elementary Studio, we use the 3Bs before the G process.
The first “B” in the 3Bs process stands for “Brain.” Before seeking support, learners first stop, slow down, and tap into their own knowledge or problem-solving skills. During core skills (math, reading, grammar), one of the younger Acton elementary learners got stuck on a page of her Building Writer’s workbook. She said, “I don’t really get what to do,” but instead of asking for help she declared, “I’ll read the instructions again! Maybe I missed something.”
If a learner is still struggling after putting in independent effort, they move to the next “B,” which stands for “Buddy.” Learners collaborate every day in the studio and help each other accomplish tasks. For example, during studio maintenance, learners work with their squads to clean a zone (library, kitchen, flex room) in the studio. If a learner can’t find a broom or needs help moving a large plant to water it, they can ask a squad member to help support them in completing their task.
If learners still need support, they move on to the final “B,” which stands for “Blinks” (books and links). At this step, learners might use books or links to define unfamiliar words, look for examples of excellent work, or reference online tutorials. For example, during Extended Day, learners research recipes for Cooking Club, tutorials for Sewing Club, and step-by-step instructions for art projects. During core skills, upper elementary learners study Khan Academy videos breaking down complex math concepts into bite size chunks. For quests (project-based learning), learners are provided with tools posted on Google Classroom that they can reference to build their knowledge and test their growing skills.
After learners have worked through the 3Bs, they can move to the last step, “G,” which stands for “Guide.” When meeting with learners, guides might ask Socratic questions, model strategies for tackling tricky problems, or suggest resources the learner could utilize to be successful.
3Bs Before G is a tough-minded process that aims to help learners cultivate independence, collaboration, and confidence on their hero’s journey. One Acton learner said, “This process works for me even though it would be nice to just get the answer.