Eagle Rock Students Embark on Second Batch of Non-traditional Classes

The second half of this trimester at Eagle Rock School is underway this week with students embarking on new classroom experiences ranging from poetry to piano to percussion to prime numbers. This marks the middle of our 73rd trimester since the school was founded in the early 1990s.

The final day of class is Friday, Dec. 8, and Presentations of Learning (POLs) take place on Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Ceremonies for those graduating from this trimester will be held on Friday, Dec. 15.

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Below is a rundown of the five-week classes offered now through early-December, along with a 10-week class where students are halfway through an intense Spanish language enterprise:

Sacrificial Poets — In this class, fledgling poets are reading, writing, watching and performing spoken-word poetry — all the while exploring their identities, refining their writing and analytical skills, developing performance and public speaking abilities, and building self-confidence.

Students enrolled in this class are traveling off campus to watch nationally renowned poets from the Denver Youth Poetry Team, Minor Disturbance, and poets from around the United States perform in Continue reading…

Eagle Rock 70 Classes Underway — And Here’s What’s Being Offered

Classroom instruction began a month ago for the 70th semester of Eagle Rock School, with returning students participating in many of the classes listed below.

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Meanwhile, incoming ER 70 students set off on Sept. 26 for what serves as an initiation process here at Eagle Rock — our signature New Student Wilderness Orientation Program. These new students have since returned from that 24-day experience, and are busily preparing their Wilderness Program presentations of learning (POLs) that will be presented Saturday, Oct. 29.

Other activities on the immediate horizon include Explore Week — which takes place Oct. 31 through Nov.4 — and the beginning of the second half of the trimester beginning Nov. 7. The last day of classes before winter break is Dec. 9.

Below is a partial list of class offerings for the trimester, along with a description of the courses:

Harlem Renaissance

In this class, students are transported back to Harlem, New York between 1919 and 1935, seeing the neighborhood through the eyes of some of the brightest minds of the 20th century. A renaissance is a rebirth, and theirs — preempted by freedom — is expressed through bold colors, strong voices, and passion that launched a culture and was the foundation for the Continue reading…

Latest Eagle Rock School Classes Explore Everything from Coaching to Carpentry

Below is a sampling of some of this trimester’s unique classroom offerings that are already underway here at Eagle Rock School — each designed to challenge the mind, develop global citizenship or promote creativity and critical thinking. You’ll note that for the most part, there’s no memorization of historic dates or wheat export totals from Yugoslavia.

It’s education, but it’s education that’s useful in real life. We begin with three 10-week classes on education, eating and exploring (research). The other courses run five weeks.

Here then is a brief synopsis of some of the classes that began a week or so ago:

What is Education For?: Students begin this quest by looking at the foundational role of philosophy in education. Eagle Rock students are asked to answer three questions:

  1. ER_StudentWhat is real?
  2. What is true?
  3. What is good?

They’ll research the meaning and history of education as it has been delivered and experienced in the United States. Students are developing their own tools for making observations and we will be using these tools while visiting schools where different curricula, teaching methods and student populations are present. By applying what is learned from firsthand observations, from history, personal experience and context, each student will prepare and present their own Leadership for Justice action plan for improving education in the context of Eagle Rock’s mission and vision. Finally, the class will plan and conduct a mini-conference, bringing together different voices in dialogue arriving at new insights and directions in response to the perennial question, “What Is Education For?”

You Are What You Eat. By examining what students eat, they learn how the foods we consume impact their daily and long-term health. Students will track their food choices, discover how those food choices affect their bodies, and then make predictions about their future health based on their current choices. Students will figure out how what they eat today will impact their health tomorrow.

Research: In this 10-week class, students investigate and research a topic about which they are curious, steadily progressing from a novice to an expert in that particular field. Students will choose their topic through a process that balances interests with the general feasibility of the topic. They’ll learn how to find and evaluate both print and digital sources, examining the main arguments, purposes and biases within them. Students will pull key ideas and details from the sources in notes that support their emerging research questions and claims. Then they will learn how to synthesize and represent their growing body of knowledge in an organized way, eventually sharing their new understanding around their topic by developing a thesis statement and writing a traditional research paper.

Riverwatch Citizen Science: In this five-week class, students are exploring the health of the Big Thompson River, while engaging in the sport of fly fishing. Students are tasked wit collecting water samples and macroinvertebrates (bugs) of the Big Thompson River. They will then analyze their samples, which will help them to determine the river’s health. Their data will then be used by the Continue reading…