Winter Classes Range from Musicals and Murals to Soilless Gardening

erslogo2Eagle Rock’s busy student body is already well into the winter trimester, with many among them enjoying a number of class offerings — most of them new — that promise to challenge their intellect and maybe even spark interest in an avocation, adventure or activity that can last an entire lifetime.

Ten-week classes sprinkled among the mix for ER 68 (our 68th semester since our founding of Eagle Rock School in the early 1990s) include:

La Telenovela: In this class, which we first offered in the fall of 2014, students analyze and create their own Spanish-language “soap opera” episodes. By doing so, they are gaining insight into telenovela structure, characters and themes by viewing real telenovelas. (For the uninitiated, a telenovela is a type of limited-run serial drama and popular on European, West Asian, Southeast Asian, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Arab World, Brazil, Portuguese and Spanish television networks.) By watching these programs, students are refining their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish, which is enhanced by working together on their Spanish in the classroom. As a final project, students will be asked to script and film their own telenovelas — themselves portraying the characters as well as completing all of the required behind-the-scenes production work. They will work on acting as well as filming and directing techniques to produce the final episode. (Brighid Scanlon is teaching this class.)

Data Analysis: In this class, which first appeared at Eagle Rock School in the spring of 2015, students are beginning to explore data sets, looking for patterns and using statistics to answer student-generated questions. Each student explores one question, researching data that will help answer that question. By analyzing the information, they can communicate their newfound knowledge using infographics, written articles, presentation or blogs. Experts in the field, peers, and Eagle Rock staff will review the work and provide feedback for the inevitable revision. (Becky Poore and Helen Higgins are teaching this class.)

Five-week classes offered this trimester include:

101 Years of Murals: This all-day class presents students with the opportunity to appreciate what murals can teach us, communicate and add vitality to our lives. Students are part of a hard-working team with an emphasis on leadership that is designing and painting a mural in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We are learning how to use different mural techniques to create Part 2 in a series of murals. Students in this class are already capable at drawing — or are teachable — and they’re all willing to take risks. This class promises a lot of hard work, but it also promises to yield a lot of new skills as well as possible connections that may benefit them in the future. (Cindy Elkins and Claire Oliphant are teaching this class.)

RMNP Mural ER65

The Wiz” Musical: Ease on down the road with Continue reading…

Some Unique Offerings Sprinkled Among Eagle Rock’s Fall 2014 Classes

JHP_0407There’s no doubt about it. Most of our students weren’t attracted to Eagle Rock School because of a stringent adherence to reading, writing and arithmetic. They were drawn to our mountainside campus — among other reasons — because of the diversity of classes available, and what that says about our interest in their interest in their own education.

That, and the prospect that living and learning here with us in Estes Park, Colo., is for the purpose of building one’s integrity, citizenship, knowledge base and ability to create and make healthy life choices.

If you take a look back at the class offerings we’ve made available to students since 2005, you’ll see topics ranging from to gambling to Guantanamera — a study of Cuba; from river watching to map-making; and from Internet research to American sign language.

But that was then and this is now. Here’s a short list of classes available at Eagle Rock for the second half of ER-64 (ER-64 = the 64th Trimester of Eagle Rock School since Eagle Rock’s been around):

Heartivisim: What do you believe in? What does culture have to do with it? What values should Eagle Rock have as a school and as a society? How do we change what we value? Given that before we stand up for something, we must understand where we stand, this course helps students examine ways of communicating messages that change the world. At the same time the class is exploring what it means to be an activist at Eagle Rock.

You Are What You Eat: By examining what they eat, students are learning how the foods they consume impact their daily and long-term health. Students 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.

La Telenovela: In this class, students are analyzing and create their own Spanish-language soap opera episodes. Students are gaining insights into telenovela structure, characters and themes by watching real telenovelas. They are also refining reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish by watching telenovela episodes and working on their Spanish in class. As a final project, they will script and film their own Continue reading…