Author: Marcy Berkowitz

Thinking about drawing in new ways

"Drawing belongs to our species as a desire to leave traces." -Vea Vecchi Last June at the NAREA conference in Portland, I was deeply inspired hearing Vea Vecchi talk about drawing. I am paraphrasing here because I am not sure I caught every word exactly, but she began by saying… 'Drawing is done all the […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Uncategorized
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Learning to Nurture

What does it mean for a child of 4 or 5, who is constantly immersed in being cared for, to have the responsibility of caring for something else? What does it look like to practice empathy and perspective-taking? Four and five year olds are still very ego-centric, but they are at that exciting point where […]

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Ah, Fall…

We toss the bright leaves in the air: oranges, yellows, golds, and reds. We dance together as they fall. Leaf hats settle on our heads. We clap with joy. We love the leaves! We rake a glowing, golden heap. Then, holding hands, we jump into a pile of colors, three feet deep.                             (excerpts from Leaf […]

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Inspired by Chagall

Being housed in the Portland Children's Museum has many more benefits and opportunities than playing in the great exhibits and studios after school. One such opportunity came our way already this year with the opening of the Chagall for Kids exhibit. We were invited by the museum to play with the ideas Chagall exhibits in […]

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The Power of a Name

We are very intentional at Opal about building community within each classroom. In  Early K, one of the ways we begin is through learning each other's names. There is something about knowing someone's name and feeling comfortable using it, saying it aloud; there is power in that. Our meeting time in the morning is a […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Uncategorized
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Wonder, Surprise and Joy

In these first few weeks of school, children are experiencing so many things. As teachers, we strive to set up possibilities – materials, and environments where children feel excited and challenged, yet capable; where they will likely experience curiosity, wonder, surprise and joy. This can be the excitement of showing a friend who has never seen a […]

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The Ever Expanding Image of the Child

This story started many weeks ago when a student went to painting one day and, with some input from a friend, ended up with a painting where her characters were up in the sky upside down. Nicole challenged her to have a go at writing the story that went with this painting. For the first […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Teaching and Learning
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Learning about Painting

I have always had tempera paints in my classroom from my first year of teaching many years ago in a sixth grade classroom and all the way down to three year olds. I have offered paints, encouraged the use of them, taught care for the materials, and listened as the children painted. This was good, […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Teaching and Learning
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Sometimes there is loss

We got to help plant a tree. It was a very special occasion; in early December we were invited by a few folks who work for the Arboretum to help plant some trees. This came about because one of our favorite trees for many years now (we named her Lily) was cut down and we […]

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Zero and one, studying numerals

In math workshop a few months back, RS asked an intriguing and puzzling question…  Why are the numbers always in the same order?  A few days later,  JL asked a related question,  Why does 10 not ever show up in larger numbers?  It took me a while to understand what they were asking. As JL […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Uncategorized
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