Last year's trip to Costa Rica showed us that education can, and should, be a life-altering experience. This year, a largely new group of students, have decided to learn about and travel to Puerto Rico. With this new topic and destination in mind, we have developed a year-long interdisciplinary class that is based on the same three core principles:

1) Travel to expand students' horizons
2) An explicit connection between the classroom and real world
3) The use of sweat equity for students to see that their efforts can make a difference

During the early fall, the curriculum was largely focused on developing the 21st Century Skills of problem solving, critical thinking, decision-making, and collaboration. This was initially done using group challenges in the classroom, but then became vitally important once we started raking lawns. In addition to being our major fundraiser, this hard work put students in positions that required group problem solving, as well as perseverance and responsibility – traits that we all know are central to changing the trajectory of their lives.

During the winter and spring, each student will be developing an independent research project on a chosen aspect of Puerto Rico.
We hope that you will keep checking back as we share our learning, growth and adventures.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beyond Puerto Rico

We are back from our trip. Being in school is not so good after all the fun we had.  I wish we could do that all the time.  Now we have to do our school work and talk about our trip.  Bryan says, when I can tell people about it and what I learned that it is how we learn to make the trip more important.  So here it goes.....
I have been to Maine but I have never been to Puerto Rico. It was different to go somewhere that I have never been to. One thing that made it different was going somewhere without my parents. My parents always go out of the state with me, so it was different to go somewhere without them... and this time for a whole week!
My favorite part of going to Puerto Rico was zip lining and horseback riding.   I would recommend zip lining and horseback riding to other people that may go to Puerto Rico. 
Here is the photo of the group before our zip lining tour!  

This is me getting hooked onto the platform before zipping over the tree tops.

This is me again hanging from the wire on my way to the next platform.
My project is on some of the fish in Puerto Rico; blue marlin, tuna, and pea cock bass.  To wrap up my project I am making a book on fish in Puerto Rico. I learned about what the peacock bass eat, mainly smaller fish, but they will take any prey.    I also learned that tuna eat other fish too and invertebrates, like squid.   The blue marlin eats lobsters, crabs, and also large prawns. 

There is a lot more to say but I have to really work at getting my book done before school ends. 

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