Author: Levia Friedman


The Gift of the Atecocolli

We are excited to have Alfredo Quiahuitl Villegas here for Summer Symposium 2016. This post, originally written in February of 2013, captures a memory of his original visit to Opal School. Thank you, Quiahuitl, for your collaboration! On Friday, Levia shared a sneak peek at Morning Meeting. Levia:  A person from the Visitation Day yesterday found […]


Supporting each other to make faux leather historical journals

What happens when the children become the experts and they support each other in the creation of a special aritifact? And 28 children can work on their creation in a room at the same time knowing that they can turn to a peer for support with each step in the process yet do all of the […]


Friday Update – The Week in Pictures 03.14.14

Here are the Highlights and Ask Me Abouts for this week. Highlights Removing the tape from our newly painted walls to reveal the "old blue tape murals." Improv Work – We have been playing a lot of drama improv games in the classroom for the last couple of weeks. These games are supporting our work in dramatic play, […]


It looks like it’s in the past now

 What will happen if we paint over our blue tape murals and then pull off the tape?                             "It looks like a cloud, like in a dream in a comic book."  -NT "It seems more permanent now."  -EL  "It looks like it's […]


Thinking About the Role of Provocation

I am writing this blog post from an airplane at 35,000 feet, on my way to New York City for a three day visit with family.  What a stark contrast to the traveling we have been reenacting in our classroom this week!  On Wednesday morning, the students of Opal 4 were all passengers on a […]


Making Sense of Transitions in US History

Transitioning from reenacting King Philip’s War to understanding the colonial period in US History or How does a deep dive into a time, place and story give fourth and fifth graders the knowledge, understanding and experience to predict what European colonists and defeated Indians will do next? As I am sure anyone with any connection […]


Negotiating Treaties, Negotiating Curriculum

The Separatists from England, via Leiden, Holland, finally took their very well known journey on the Mayflower, which, by the way, was exactly this long (see photo above). It was an eventful journey, full of storms, broken beams on the ship, hunger, seasickness, and the birth of a baby, who was appropriately named, Oceanus. Landing (possibly) […]


The Culture of the Atelier – Connecting minds, hands, rationality and emotions

In my last blog post, I talked about the Hundred Languages, the many ways of knowing and expressing that belong to children.  The schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy have given us what Vea Vecchi, who was the atelierista at the Diana Municipal Preschool in Reggio Emilia for 30 years, calls, “The Culture of the Atelier” […]


What role do the Hundred Languages play in 4th and 5th grade?

The following poem has helped me shape and deepen my understanding of teaching practices inspired by the early childhood centers in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  It also helps to keep me humble in my understanding that while the children I work with have (at least) these hundred languages, I may not, and it is my job […]


What is the view through a window into Opal 4 this week?

Some images, captions, and quotes from a little over a week in the Opal 4 classroom.   What languages and materials are supporting our work as community builders, meaning makers, and co-creators of curriculum in our classroom?  How does who we are as individuals inform who we are as a group and how we spend […]