Finding Humor

  • Why was the student’s report card all wet? Because it was below C ( sea ) level.
  • What is 5Q + 5Q? 10Q ….. and You’re Welcome!
  • Why did Johnny take a ruler to bed? Because he wanted to see how long he slept!
  • What is the Great Depression? When you get a bad report card.
  • If the pilgrims came on the Mayflower than what does the teacher come on? The scholarships.

Humor works quickly. Less than a half-second after exposure to something funny, an electrical wave moves through the higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke, the right hemisphere “gets” the joke, the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images, the limbic (emotional) system makes you happier, and the motor sections make you smile or laugh.  Wow, what a neurological phenomenon!  Finding humor makes our heart, mind, body, and soul laugh.  Therefore, laughing makes us smarter 🙂  What is the best joke you can tell your child?  Knock-knock  Who’s there?  Olive. Olive who?  I love you!

  • Heart – the next time your kids are bickering, make them hug for 30 seconds
  • Mind – create a new knock knock jokes
  • Body – exaggerate facial expressions body posture to make a point
  • Soul – read the funny pages

“He who laughs, lasts.” – Mary Pettibone Poole

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” – Mark Twain

“Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness.” – Ellie Katz

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Habit of the Week


I am very grateful to have spent this past weekend at a memorial rodeo in the foothills of the Sierras. The peace of the place and compassion of the people could only encourage personal reflection and meaningful contemplation. I was constantly thinking about what I was thinking about. The sound of the river drowned out the noise of my busy life and forced me to wonder about my many blessings and purpose in life. Metacognition may be a big brain-babble word, but it sure is nice to stop and think about what we think about. All too often our thoughts are driven by the noise of the day and not so much by the passion or purpose of life.  

Metacognition is the core of all the habits we teach each week. One of my favorite sayings is, “Learning is something we do, it is not something that happens to us.” This is what metacognition is all about. Recognizing what we are thinking, saying, and doing is the first step to controlling and telling our brains what to think, say, and do. In her book, Switch on Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf explains how we have complete control of what our brain thinks and therefore, what we choose to do. When you are cognizant about what you are thinking, saying, and doing, you are driving your brain. You do learning! This is the power of proactive and positive living. Being in the driver seat requires clear direction and assertive behavior. Thinking about thinking is precisely that. Too often the circumstances in life drive our actions, and we become slaves instead of masters of circumstance. Let’s help our children to think about their thinking this week. One powerful way to teach this to kids is to model it. Talk about what you think about. Show your children how to think about thinking by saying it out loud. Here are a few other ways to support this habit:

  • Heart – role play a challenging situation.
  • Mind – talk through a math problem before writing it out.
  • Body – practice the steps to a sport skill verbally, then do it physically.
  • Soul – talk about how a piece of music makes you feel and think.

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” – Socrates

“When the mind is thinking, it is talking to itself.” – Plato

“So few people are really aware of their thoughts. Their minds run all over the place without their permission, and they go along for the ride unknowingly and without making a choice.”  ― Thomas M. Sterner, The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life

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Local students head to ‘Destination Imagination’ state tournament

Five teams of Almond Acres Charter Academy students are headed to the Destination Imagination state tournament in Sacramento on April 1. Destination Imagination is an international project-based program that helps prepare students for success in school, in careers and in life. The program blends STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship. Ålmond Acres, offering program as an after-school enrichment class, is currently the only school in North County that participates in Destination Imagination.

This is the third year Almond Acres has participated in the program. The local teams will be joining other Central Coast region teams at the tournament.  The school is sending three Elementary level teams and two Middle School level teams. All five teams competed on Saturday, February 25 in the Central Coast Regional Tournament held at Arroyo Grande High School and qualified to advance to State. The teams are:

  • Tri-Force Heroes (Elementary level): Hannah Bourgault, Van Ogorsolka and Lucas Vertrees; competing in the Project Outreach/Service Learning Challenge
  • Gummy Bear Destroyers, Elementary level): Hunter Crout, Luke Kahler, Tate Pritt and Reagan Schmitt, and Eder Vargas; competing in the Technical Challenge
  • Super Spy Tech (Elementary level): Lauren Fash, Talen Freitas, Ezra Gomez, Jack Hamon, Kenichi Parkhurst, Hayden Perhach and Kailea Stoltzfus; competing in the Science Challenge
  • Magnetic Musketeers (Middle School level): Chloe Dawes, Emily Griffith, Stella Ogorsolka, Hobie Smith and Zoe Smith; competing in the Technical Challenge
  • The Whoozers (Middle School level): Amani Arellano, Curran Bojorquez, Ella Gomez, Sam Gomez, Harmony Houdyshell and Alivia Vogtmann; competing in the Improvisation Challenge

Middle School Level, Technical, The Magnetic Musketeers, participating in Technical. Left to Right: Hobie Smith, Zoe Smith, Stella Ogorsolka, Emily Griffith and Chloe Dawes

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in North San Luis Obispo County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. The school’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul.

Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination (DI), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is cause-driven to ready students worldwide for college, career, and life beyond school through opportunities that promote and support creativity, imagination, contextual learning, arts appreciation, STEM-based skills development, and entrepreneurship leading to an engaged and future-ready student population. Learning how and when to be creative, how to build cross-cultural teams, how to manage budgets and risk, how to present a compelling proposal, and how to manage a project from beginning to end will provide students with the necessary skills to become the next generation of problem finders and solvers, innovators, cross-cultural collaborators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

Via: Paso Robles Daily News

Almond Acres Charter Academy’s ‘Read & Run Relay’ to be held on St. Patrick’s Day

SAN MIGUEL, CA – Almond Acres Charter Academy, the North County’s only Charter School, will host its 5th annual ‘Read & Run Relay’ in the afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2017. The school launched the event February 27th, giving students three weeks to log reading time, train for the run, and collect pledges. The K-8, non-tuition, public school’s goal is significant: Read 100,000 minutes, Run 250 miles, and Raise $20,000.

“Almond Acres Charter Academy is built on the philosophy that each child is unique, and that by teaching to the individual, students will achieve optimal levels of success, and become great citizens”, said Executive Director Bob Bourgault, “By allowing students to show off their skills, whether they love reading, running, or a combination of both, we are honoring the whole student: heart, mind, body, and soul. By celebrating each child’s unique makeup, we get tremendous buy in from the students, and that is how we are able to set and achieve such big goals.”

To further round out the event, Almond Acres holds an annual art contest where students enter drawings to be considered for the official ‘Read & Run Relay’ t-shirt. “This event is wonderful because it is inclusive. Academics, athletics, and art are all brought together for families and the community to celebrate and support our students”, said Erin Colegrove, the event’s coordinator. “The event itself is one short hour, jam packed with fun and celebration for our kiddos; it’s awesome!”

Like the event itself, sponsors have many ways to participate. Sponsorships can be made per minute of reading or running, per lap run, or a flat rate for reading and/or running.  Donations can be given directly to the school or online via Pledge Star at Monies raised will go toward the purchase of books, digital reading apps, and equipment to enhance the Recreation and Wellness (PE) program at Almond Acres.

Think Back

Two steps forward, one step back. It’s a step back into our memory that connects new learning to old. In order for our brains to gain new knowledge and skill, it is essential that the new learning has something to stick to from the past. In the education world we call it “connecting to prior knowledge”. In our parenting world it’s “remember when?” Our children often proclaim, “I don’t know how..” That may be very true, but when we re-mind them that there have been thousands of times in their lives that they didn’t know they do!
Thinking back and remembering what we know, instead of worrying about what we don’t know, accomplishes half of a challenge. Teaching children to think back and reflect on past achievements, and failures, encourages them to take one more step forward and achieve something that once felt daunting. This is why it is so important to allow children to complete tasks on their own. When we do it for them, there is no working memory to use when faced with a similar task in the future. An ounce of memory along with an ounce of courage launches brains forward and pushes on to great achievement.
  • Heart – recall things done or said that encouraged someone’s happiness.
  • Mind – when an academic task is difficult, step back and start with the parts that are already know.
  • Body – remind your child how many laps he/she ran in last year’s Read and Run Relay!
  • Soul – consider the personal sense of achievement felt the last time you accomplished a daunting task.
“I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.” – Thomas A. Edison
“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Everything we do seeds the future. No action is an empty one.” – Joan Chittister
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