Since September, we’ve been sharing short videos exploring the power of materials in connection, expression, and understanding – with the hope of strengthening your ability to engage that power in your setting. One of these videos is available here for streaming to everyone. Over the next two weeks, you may find yourself with a little […]
“Everyone can speak the clay language: they just have to take a risk and try it.” Lois, age 11 Clay becomes a tool that students can use to find and express their ideas through playful manipulation and exploration. This video allows you to listen in as a group of fifth-grade students reflect on their relationship […]
School is oftentimes a place where certainty reigns – but it can be a place where people develop comfort with uncertainty. New experiences with the arts can play an important role in building that relationship. In this video, a group of fourth and fifth graders reflect on their first experiences exploring graphite.
Opal School has a long relationship with Alise Shafer Ivey and Pedagogical Institute of Los Angeles. We’ve admired and contributed to the important work that they’ve led with teachers in Los Angeles and Nest centers serving young refugees in Greece, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and, now, the US/Mexico border. Here, we offer insights […]
Periodically, Opal School’s community of staff, parents, and children come together. Recently, the community tended to its outdoor space as the sun came out of hibernation. The children moved like a team over mounds of dirt and bark chips, fully engaged in their work. Inspired by the beauty of this moment, I stopped and pulled out […]
JK was engaged at the light table. He seemed unaware of what was happening around him. His full attention was on his creation. He had carefully chosen a yellow dot from the many colors of dots and one of the small transparent figures presented on the table. His eyes were fixed on the figure as he […]
As we aim to create a school founded in a strong image of the child, we need to constantly consider our image of childhood and its relationship to adulthood. What might it mean to create curriculum based around the unique gifts of childhood? How can we embrace children’s capacity to see beyond the limits of the […]