Second Half of Eagle Rock School’s 78th Trimester Gets Underway

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We’re entering the second half of our 78th trimester, and as promised in our post about this trimester’s first grouping of classes (see: Here’s Some of What We’re Learning This Trimester at Eagle Rock School), we’re now publishing a follow-up post featuring a rundown of the classroom offerings for this particular portion of the school year. Call it ER 78: The Sequel, if you will.

Each of our classes is carefully contemplated, curated and contained within our curriculum — constructed specifically for students seeking a purpose in school and in life. It’s an approach that has worked continuously for the past 25 or so years for the young people who are studying hard and experiencing a new life with and through the Eagle Rock community.

Without further ado, here’s what we’re tackling on the backside of ER 78 (the 78th trimester since our founding in the early 1990s):

This is Your Brain on Math: Mathematics might not be for everyone, but students enrolled in this class are looking at what experts call “math anxiety.” It’s a common phenomenon in education, as well as what is now being considered an essential aspect of effective math education — the growth mindset. Students in This is Your Brain on Math are learning new math content while also learning about how the brain works, and how it works best. That means instead of memorizing formulas, they are actually effectively learning math. Taught by our 2018/2019 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Math (Zach Greimann) and our Interim Math Instructional Specialist (Kira Faller), successful participation in this class offers students our Expanding Knowledge Base distribution requirement.

Rocky Mountain National Park Internship: Students in the Rocky Mountain National Park internship program, which is instructed by Josán Perales, are volunteering in different divisions of the park, ranging from trails to recycling, fire fuels reduction, educating visitors and more. Working for two days a week, students are earning both academic credit toward graduation and a paycheck from the National Park Service. This not only opens career opportunities in the nation’s park system upon graduation, but successful participation also fulfills our school’s Leadership for Justice distribution requirement.

Adventure Writing: The best stories often come from personal experience and adventures. In this class, students are creating their own great stories by adventuring through the Rockies and writing about their experiences. And by reading other accounts of great adventures, they are learning the tenants of creative nonfiction. In addition to hiking and writing during each class, class participants are training to summit Longs Peak — which at 14,259 ft. is a mere 181 feet short of being our state’s highest peak — before the trimester ends. In addition, students in this class are producing a guide for trails on and around Eagle Rock’s campus, as well as a fully developed memoir of their summer of adventuring. Brett Youngerman, our Literacy & Literature Instructional Specialist, teaches this class, which offers two credits (one for the Effective Communication power standard, and one for the Effective Communication distribution requirement).

Anatomy of Peace: Living in respectful harmony is a lot more difficult than it should be, which is why students in this class are exploring the root causes of conflict between individuals and groups.Students in this class taught by Tommy McAree (he’s our 2018/2019 Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Literature & Literacy) are reading The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict and discussing why conflict perpetuates itself. They are also practicing solution-oriented approaches designed to bring conflict to an end. Creating Healthy Life Choices is the distribution requirement students receive upon successful completion of this class.

Chemistry of Cooking: This is a chemistry class, no doubt about that. But our student cooks are studying the chemical changes that food undergoes when it’s subjected to standard cooking techniques. Our fledgling chefs/chemists are using techniques such as browning, kneading, emulsifying and fermenting to create different tastes and textures. And throughout the class, they are putting that knowledge to the test by being asked to create dishes and analyze the results by using the chemistry they’re studying and by writing related lab reports. The final “exam” for this class, which is taught by Science Instructional Specialist Sara Benge, will include hosting a meal for the Eagle Rock community in which we all get to hear about the chemistry behind what’s in our class-prepared meal.

Deconstructing Systems — Math, Maps and Modernization: Taught by our 2018/2019 Public Allies Teaching Fellows in Math (Zach Greimann) and Societies & Cultures (Kim Tellez), this class teaches students how to think like mathematicians so they can analyze physical and social human-designed structures. Students are also practicing and developing their quantitative reasoning and critical analysis skills as they study mathematical systems, architectural systems, and social systems.

(Editor’s Note: For information on Distribution Requirements, please read Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings.)

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