We explore!

What we do at ExAlt

Hello ALC world!

I didn’t want to end the year without my first post. I’ve been so excited about all the opportunities and discoveries we have had at our ALC startup I could not help sharing.

For the past months I’ve been facilitating learning experiences for one extraordinary agile learner, Le’Laia, who recently started homeschooling. These “Best of 2014 Experiences” are just a small sample, but I’m sure they will give you a good idea about what is possible at our ALC.

ExAlt opens this January in San Juan, Puerto Rico for agile learners of all ages. Hats off to Le’Laia’s courageous mom and to all pioneer families joining our agile community in 2015.

 

So what do we do at ExAlt?

We explore. We play. We talk (a lot). We create things. We share our learning. We collaborate. We reflect. We make our own decisions. We take responsibility for our own learning. We solve problems. We solve conflict peacefully. We question. We find answers. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We connect with nature. We create community. We connect with the world. We strive to live sustainably. We know ourselves. We respect each other’s individuality. We live healthy lives. We laugh (a lot). We exalt each person and their unique potential.

We explore outdoors a lot.
We explore outdoors a lot.
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Exploration leads to rotting log with mushrooms and tons of insects coming out of it. Scientific observation ensues. Millipedes, ants, and a mysterious pupating insect are discovered.
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Free drawing. We created an original story board with mermaids and shapeshifting characters.
We strengthen our balance and concentration using slacklines. Yeah!!
We strengthen our balance and concentration using slacklines. Yeah!!
We learn about the animal groups.
We learn about animal groups.
Wepontaneous chalk mural. Mermaids are present.
We create spontaneous chalk murals. Mermaids are often present as well.
We sometimes have picnics in trees as well.
Sometimes we hang out and eat our snack up in the trees.
No better time to practice our Combinations of 10 cards than while hanging up a tree.
No better time to practice our Combinations of 10 cards.
A lot.
We place tape marks on the floor and we jump. A lot.
We find out which was the longest jump. The frog jump usually wins.
We find out which was the longest jump. The frog jump usually wins.
We climb trees. We observe them carefully.
We climb trees. We observe them carefully.
We also look for information online about the trees we love climbing most. We learn more about them, label them and make drawings.
We look for information online about the trees we love to climb. We learn more about them, label them and make drawings.
We recycle cardboard boxes and we slide downhill. Laughter, screaming and agitation are common.
We recycle cardboard boxes and slide downhill. Laughter, screaming and agitation are common.

We think about shapes. How many triangles can you make with 6 toothpicks?

We explore triangles and tetrahedrons while playing with toothpicks and playdough.
We learn about reptiles by capturing them and bringing them indoors for observation. (Not a poisonous one. Yey!)  We observe it feed on smaller reptiles and amphibians. We watch as it sheds its skin. We set it free.

We bring it indoors and learn about it. Not a poisonous one. Yey! We observe it feed and shed its skin.

 

We read about fire, its benefits and dangers, and how we can control/fuel it. Then we make a fire!
We play piano.
We play piano and make beats. Ode to Joy is a favorite.
We swing real high!
We swing real high!
We read our favorite books. Over and over.
We read our favorite books. Over and over.
We talk about them to understand them better.
We then review and talk about the  books to deepen our understanding of what we read.
We slide downhill some more.
We use different sliding mediums and compare sliding speeds. Some more screaming, laughter and agitation.
We use different sliding mediums and compare sliding speeds. Palm tree “yaguas” show the least friction  resistance, allowing for the speediest descent. Some more screaming, laughter and agitation.
We take computers apart to and test their components (like fans and LED lights) for use in later electronics inventions.
We take computers apart, test their components (like fans and LED lights) and use them in later inventions.
We make huge bubbles.
We make huge bubbles.
We build vegetable gardens.
We often get dirty. We build vegetable gardens.
As we explore we often find and collect various objects and organisms. We identify them and try to reconstruct them.
We find and collect organisms. Sometimes they are dead. We bring them in for observation and try to put the pieces back together.
We learn about electric circuits as we play with LittleBits.
We rock on drums!
We rock on drums!
We create our own animated stories using programming software developed by MIT Media Lab called Scratch.
We use Raspberry Pi computers to play and learn about computer programming. We create our own animated stories using programming software developed by MIT Media Lab (Scratch).
We draw.
We draw and share our creations.
We sort out material collected outdoors using magnets. Then we look for "micrometeorites" under the microscope.
We sort out material collected outdoors using magnets. Then we look for “micrometeorites” under the microscope.
We create with clay.
We make things with clay.
We capture more reptiles.
We capture more reptiles. (We make sure they are handled gently to avoid harming them)
We paint on "magical" water sensitive paper.
We paint on “magical” water sensitive paper.
We learn how to make shapes with balloons. Online tutorials are awesome!
We learn how to make shapes with balloons. Online tutorials are awesome!
We also capture amphibians and observe their metamorphosis.
We also capture amphibians and observe their metamorphosis.
Online tutorials are also great for learning how to Mr. Whiskers.
We practice new skills and reflect on our progress. Online tutorials are also great for learning how to draw Captain Whiskers.
We look at things from different perspectives.
We look at things from different perspectives.

 

As you can see, possibilities are endless…

…what will YOU do at ExAlt?

12 comments

  1. Profile photo of Tomis
    Tomis says:

    Alex,
    This is beautiful!! I am sooooo stoked to have you collaborating with us! It’s so clear you’re making amazing things happen for yourself and for others through ExAlt already. Looking forward to making magic together…

  2. Mabel Lassalle says:

    I am looking forward to learn some more. You are the answer for many parents looking for thought provoking and creative learning for their children. I am ready to collaborate as well.
    The best to you my friend,

    Mabel

  3. Ivette Sala says:

    Congratulations!!! This learning process is what every child needs to become a healthy, curious, great learner, aware of cause/effect, compassionate, art loving, nature understanding in order to protect it, a whole and great contributor to society human being.
    Thank you!!!

  4. Miriam says:

    Estoy muy orgullosa que estoy de ti, de tu perseverancia, de tus grandes deseos de hacer la diferencia con los niños de este pais. Adelante y mucha suerte es un proyecto hermoso. Te amo

    MJ

  5. Christie Diaz Maldonado says:

    There is so much I can say… But first of all I would like to express how grateful I am for the opportunity Exalt gave to my family. It has been a wonderful experience and a huge relief for me. Finally, after facing many problems with different traditional schools and methods, I can say that we are more than pleased with our new ALC. My daughter is extremely happy and enjoying each and every single experience with Alex and her new friends. My little fairy is feeling more confident than ever, full of spirit and energy to continue learning and experiencing life. I can say that going against what we expect to be normal was a tough decision,but being able to open my mind and showing her father the other point of view of what educational systems should be, led us finally to make the best decision we have ever made regarding my child’s education. I am will always be grateful

    -Le’ Laia’s Mother

  6. Profile photo of artbrock
    artbrock says:

    Hey Alex (and Christie & Le’Laia),

    I will be in San Juan, PR on Saturday, February 21st. It would be great to connect with you if you’re interested. Unfortunately my visit is very brief (3pm to 9pm, I think), but we may be able to meet for dinner if you’re interested.

    -art (founder of ALC model)

  7. KASULE TWAIF says:

    hey Alex,
    i am so grateful for the work you are doing in PR…..to me it’s like a dream which i really want to experience in reality and all i can say is that what your doing is the best and what every child in the world should receive.

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