In early March, the group got together to list topics for our next blog post. While published as a single post, each child chooses a topic from a group-generated list of “what’s been happening,” be that in our classroom, in specialists, or around campus. We always create a longer list than we have young people to write, giving even the last to choose a genuine selection. Folks picked their topics, wrote and submitted their short pieces detailing the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the topic, when…whammo. We all found ourselves keeping in touch and learning together, but at a distance.
What to do? As a few days turned into a week , what seemed so relevant to us in early March, no longer felt very topical. Our conversations and our focus have shifted. And have not. We are seeing one another virtually (now for the remainder of the school year), yet many of our pursuits remain. The young people in the group are working on Personal Projects, learning units of their own design. We are meeting weekly in book groups. Small math groups continue to convene and to share differing approaches to the same problems. We have circled back around to a writing project that we started (and loved!) earlier in the year, now drafting part two. The play, a collaborative effort we’d been developing for months is getting ready for production, albeit as an audio performance. (Comically, it is now simply titled, “The Play.”) The American Civil War continues to be our focus of study this spring.
We would like to share some of our efforts with others. While we cannot be seated or standing together on Miquon’s campus, we do have this forum, so share we will! Our first installment is the finished products we call our “mini” BAEs. Having studied the paradigm-shifting ideas of Charles Darwin in the fall, in the winter, each student chose a living organism for individual study. We asked: How has the _____ adapted (through evolution) to its environment? Our BAEs, which you can read by selecting the tab at the top of the blog—Our Mini-BAEs (Become an Expert)—are our answers to that question. We stalled a bit in the writing of these pieces, hoping for time in art class to create physical models of each creature. Alas, they were made (but not glazed) when we physically closed shop. Perhaps we’ll be able to add photos of those another day. Enjoy!