Author: Matt Karlsen

May
17

An ecology of listening

“What’s the thing that most people miss above all? It’s just the chance to be gregarious, to be with other people. Human beings are socially evolved primates. It wasn’t that many generations ago that we were sitting on the floor of the Savannah picking lice out of each other’s fur. So, it’s hard to be […]

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Mar
16

The Max MacKay Rule: Decision-Making in the Time of COVID-19

These last days have come at us hard and fast. As we continue to respond and adapt, all of us at Opal School hope that we can continue to serve as a resource to your efforts to grow and thrive. Yesterday, I received this from our friend Ben Mardell. While it’s not the kind of […]

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Feb
27

Making biases visible

Last week, families gathered to discuss how work currently happening at Opal School supports knowledge and dispositions central to social justice and global citizenship. Families heard short stories from each of the classrooms to explore those connections.   As we continue to grow into this work, we feel it’s important to do so in conversation with parents […]

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Feb
12

Visitation Days 2020: New Models for Friendship

Last week, nearly 100 educators from around the world gathered at Opal School to uncover principles of Playful Inquiry and imagine greater opportunities for learning in their unique settings. You can get a hint of the experience in these participant voices: Amazing, insightful, inspiring, game changer. It has shown/taught/offered me a new way of being […]

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Jan
11

When your light goes out

Weekly, the Opal School elementary community starts its day with a community gathering. It’s a time when all four classes, along with many family members, come together in the theater to sing some songs and hear about what new ideas are sparking. The Cottonwood Community of kindergartners and first-graders led this week’s gathering. They sang […]

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Dec
14

Book Club: Inventology, Parts 3 & 4

I hope that you’ve been enjoying reading Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World – and that the Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness has been helpful in connecting the ideas Kennedy is exploring to the school experience. I proposed a flow for our conversations here. The entry for Introduction and Parts One and […]

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Dec
10

The Danger of The Guillotine

For the second year in a row, Opal School hosted a “Rising Educators Study Tour” for high school students who study approaches to early childhood education and apply that learning in a school-based center.  It’s a rare treat for us to learn with people at that stage of life. As we often do, we spent part […]

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Dec
06

Discussing a Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness

A group of educators from around the world gathered in a Zoom room with Mara Krechevsky, Ben Mardell, Susan MacKay, and me to explore the resources we recently published. You can view the full conversation here. During the conversation (and in the chat box), many suggested how they might apply the framework elements (Principles, Practices, […]

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Nov
30

Inventology: Book Club Discussion, Introduction and Parts 1 & 2

As indicated in the intro post, this round’s Opal School Book Club pick is Pagan Kennedy’s Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change The World. Thrillingly, Kennedy’s book isn’t about school and it’s not clear that she had educators in mind as readers. That’ makes it a really fun book to read with a […]

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Nov
22

Read With Us! Inventology

Recently, we invited folks from around the world to join us in an Opal School Book Club. We shared insights from Ann Pelo and Margie Carter’s From Teaching to Thinking on Facebook and Twitter and wrapped up with an online conversation with the authors. We found enough enthusiasm and energy to try again. This round, […]

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