At Eagle Creek Academy, we plan challenging lessons.
Grade 1: Endangered Animals
The students learned about endangered animals. Each student chose an animal to research and worked independently to find information on the animal's physical characteristics, where it lives, what its diet is, what its lifespan is, how many are left, and most importantly, what we can do to help. This video highlights the stages of inquiry.
Grade 3: Government
The third grade students asked questions (and found answers) about how government systems impact the way we live. They learned about the different levels of government in Michigan and the U.S., the different types of governments around the world, the different levels of citizenship, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The students' final project was to design and present the government of an imaginary country.
Grades 7 & 8: Analytical Math
Math is more than watching the teacher and memorizing the steps. Nowadays, high school teachers expect students to be able to define the problem, convert the problem into organized data, and generate logical solutions before presenting a reasonable answer. This kind of problem-solving process gives students the opportunity to think fast and practice their leadership skills.
Middle School: Autobiography Maps
Students created Autobiography Maps to infuse their knowledge of map skills, map projections, and physical features in a way that describes their unique personalities and interests. "The biggest challenge was getting enough symbols and details without spending too much time on it. I enjoyed finding symbols that represent me. So far, my favorite project is definitely this one!" (Blake, Grade 6)
Middle School: Kinetic Energy
Students are investigating how mass and speed affect kinetic energy. They are dropping two different masses at two different speeds to measure the kinetic energy that is created. The amount of "squish" in the clay represents how much kinetic energy an object has.
Grade 5: They Have Opinions
First, the students crafted opinion pieces on whether or not there should be a law regulating the lunches students eat in school. They conducted research and made charts showing their stances (and their reasons). Finding articles and reading through them for information, then using that information to back-up their opinions was hard work. Later, the students moved on to choosing topics about which they felt strongly. They learned that it is important not only to take a stand, but to be able to support it.
Grade 1: Spelling from Single-syllables to Multi-syllables
Here's how our first graders create personalized spelling lists. First, they work with a spelling "chunk" from which they build words. Then, they choose the words they will use for the week. Eventually, they move from single-syllable words (one chunk) to multi-syllable words (more chunks).
Grade 4: Shark Tank Challenge
Our fourth grade students worked in teams to create a product that solved an everyday problem. They had to create their product from common household materials, and they could not use electronics. Teams had to build prototypes of their product and present their final product to a panel of “sharks.”
Middle School: Density
The students observed two boxes that had about the same volume (space available inside the box). One box was made of Styrofoam, which is a light material, and the other box was made of cardboard, which is heavy. However, the students discovered that due to the contents of the boxes, the Styrofoam box was heavier. This helped them figure out for themselves that density matters. They even came up with the formula (with some strategic guidance!): density equals mass divided by volume.
Grade 4: Text + Thinking = Reading
One group of fourth grade students read the award-winning novel The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman. As they read, they learned about metacognition (thinking about our thinking) and the concept of real reading, which involves making connections between the text and something outside the text, such as text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world. Such intense thinking helps solidify comprehension skills.
Grade 2: Fibonacci Numbers
We discovered a special number pattern that can be found throughout nature, called Fibonacci numbers. We wrote "1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89" on the board and tried to figure out the next number in the pattern. Then, we observed pine cones, pineapples and artichokes to find the pattern. We learned that this very cool pattern is found in flowers, leaf patterns, Nautilus shells, and many kinds of fruit.
Kindergarten: Application Challenges
One Kindergarten activity is called Application Challenge. The children work in teams to answer questions such as “If we have six bears, and we move two over here, how many are left?” The children are always excited to learn something new every day.
"For parents who want a school that goes beyond the one-fits-all learning, consider Eagle Creek Academy." Mrs. Kersuzan, parent