Author: Lauren Adams

Oct
23

The Importance of Documentation and Reflection in Building Community

In the Cottonwood community, one of our main focuses in the beginning of the school year is community building – which is foundational to all of our other curricular work. With each new group of children, we try to make visible to them our complex process of becoming a “we”. As teachers, we know that […]

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Sep
12

Intentions: The we that I am

“A child’s most sought after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others parts of himself.” -Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia Dear Primary Community families, At Opal School, we see all children as competent, creative, curious, and courageous. We believe they come to school full of experience […]

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May
09

How do conflicts, oopsies, and the strategies we use to work through them help support a community over time?

“It is important to practice problem solving strategies so we can use them solving our problems. We get better and better the more we practice! We might not even have to think about it next time.” -Ben, age 6 I strongly believe that all children hope to bring the best person they can be to even the toughest […]

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Mar
20

How might cardboard foster connections?

In the start of the school year, it is my practice to offer experiences that might build relationships between children and materials in order to build relationship between children. Knowing that, I need to both be open to the inevitable surprises and the unexpected, while being intentional about what materials I offer. This year, I thought about materials that might demonstrate […]

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Feb
08

Our 100 Days Plan

With January’s fickle weather, it felt like we were never going to settle back into our regular school and home routines. After the winter break, in the spattered days we attended school, I could see the children trying to reconnect to established friendships, trying to rekindle the bridges they had been growing in their new relationships – […]

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Sep
29

Seeing Ourselves in Clay

As you know from our recent blog post that included our letter of intention to families, the Primary Community is focusing on research into the “self” this year. As an artist and educator who works with materials, I know that thinking about oneself involves paying attention to ourselves, asking questions, and even deconstructing ourselves in […]

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Oct
12

Children and Teachers: Co-Researchers of Literacy

At Opal School we are discovering that literacy development is strongest when a learner has rich and varied experiences.  Literacy is how we interpret our relationship to the world; how we read the world and share it back. As teacher-researchers, we listen and invite children to share their experiences and ideas through the creative use […]

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Sep
15

Connection with the Natural World: Intentions as we start our year together

“If we want children to flourish, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it.”  -David Sobel      In recent decades, research has examined and emphasized the importance of play within natural settings. Richard Louv, David Sobel, Cheryl Charles, Ann Pelo among other educators and thinkers […]

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Story Workshop

In the recent weeks we have begun having Story Workshop in Preschool. Story Workshop is a structure we continue to develp at Opal School that supports both children's literacy and social emotional development. Through playing with various materials such as, collage, tempra paint, small world dioramas, cardboard, or blocks, a story might pop-up or they […]

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Dec
20

Story Workshop – beginning in Beginning School

In the recent weeks we have begun having Story Workshop in Preschool. Story Workshop is a structure we continue to develp at Opal School that supports both children’s literacy and social emotional development. Through playing with various materials such as, collage, tempra paint, small world dioramas, cardboard, or blocks, a story might pop-up or they […]

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