Virtual School Classes in Action

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Visit the Enki Virtual Community School

Come have a look at the Virtual Community School in action! As is true in any school – or home, for that matter – no one day or one class can give you a full sense of the whole program, but you can get some feeling for the students and the overall approach. We offer a description of what the students are working with in each selection, to help you orient to the work they are doing. But of more importance – and the reason for the Virtual Community School – is the relationships between the students and between students and teachers.

We hope this will help parents decide if the Virtual Community School will serve their child. Meet the 2018 groups:

Virtual Visit 1 : The Middle East

Here the group is working with a story of Mohammed’s life and the roots of Islam. This part of the story focuses on Mohammed’s deep desire for justice and equality and his despair at the inequality in his world. In these Humanities classes, we work with collaborative writing exercises, essays, and poetry. This particular day we are working with writing poems, using “parts of speech” as a supportive structure. You can hear their finished work at the end of the recording.

Virtual Visit 2 : Grade 6 Optics

In this class segment, within our sturdy of ancient Greece and Aristotle’s phenomenological approach to science, we are working with the exploration of optics. The students begin with an exploration of color, simply looking to see what complementary color is. Then comes discovering the magic of the eye and brain producing complementary colors spontaneously! After the students have direct experience of this, in the following class they will compare their own experience with known scientific theories to see what they think and what they want to re-test. Have a look . . .  

Virtual Visit 3 : WWI Resistance:

This Grade 8/9 Class is taking up the topic of revolution. Over the course of the year they will explore the People’s revolution in Russia-Ukraine and the South African revolution led by Mandela.  In the unit in this clip, they explore revolution in relation to the resistance fighters in World War II. Working with the autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, himself a teenager when he began a resistance group, the students learn the facts of WWII in the context of courage, kindness, and self-trust. Have a look . . .

Virtual Visit 4 : Mechanics:

In the context of the amazing discoveries and inventions of the ancient Sumerians, we explore and discover simple machines – in this clip, the lever. Students were given the homework of taking a branch, a rock, some rope, and a cup, and finding an effective way to move water from a low pan in their bathtubs to a higher one, without directly lifting it. Here they share their inventions and the teacher performs each students discovery for the class. The class gives feedback, and in the next meeting, will look at how these inventions relate to mechanical advantage. Have a look . . .  

Virtual Visit 5 : Weaving:

This Grade 6 class is beginning on backstrap weaving projects, in the style of the Inca. In the course of the unit story, they have entered this world where the llama is all important and weaving is central to survival in the high Andes. Teaching weaving over the internet is quite something and this teacher is able to navigate the many personalities and confusions until all are happily weaving away! Have a look . . . 

Virtual Visit 6 : Ancient China:

In this Grade 7 Ancient China class the students are learning debate skills. They have already read about and spent some time reawakening the story of Temujin (Genghis Khan) and walking beside him as he struggles with some deep questions of morality. The students have also done art work to bring them deeper into the culture and environment of his world.

Now they are going to tackle some of the questions that arose from his life, as a debate. Our goal is to help the students learn to explore opposing opinions and be able to disagree respectfully. For this reason we have them brainstorm opinions that would apply to each sides. Here we see the students using the writers’ workshop time to plan their debate points. And then we get a peek onto a debate practice.

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