Opal School Online

Jun
17

On the edge of Symposium, thinking without bannisters

Opal School’s Summer Symposium begins Wednesday.  It’s a frenetic time around the building: having said goodbye to students last week, teachers are setting up their classrooms for visitors, creating documentation panels, and writing presentations (not to mention annual academic reports).  It’s a time of long days and nights consumed by deep reflection and meaning-making – of […]

DETAIL
Jun
13

What school should be like

Fourth-graders gave these cookies to the graduates “to remind you to always find a third door and to not ignore that there are third doors all around you.” Friday, another group of students said goodbye to Opal School, moving on to middle schools around the city.  I think the annual graduation ceremony is made beautiful […]

DETAIL
Jun
08

What are the children teaching me?

As a student teacher in Opal 3 this year, I continually find moments where my own growth parallels, intersects, is inspired by, and connects with the children’s growth. One instance where I experienced this was when the children began to unpack what it means to “listen to understand” vs. “listen to reply.” As a community […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Sarah Simonds | Intermediate
DETAIL
May
30

What kind of community do you want to be in?

Many schools spend the first six weeks of school building community in order to establish a foundation that will support learning through the rest of the year. I can relate to the hope ofl developing caring relationships and problem-solving strategies that will keep us away from conflict. As a person who would inherently prefer to […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
DETAIL
May
23

Everyone plays a role

The fourth- and fifth-graders in Opal 4 have been stretching out, finding ways that their gifts can address the world’s needs.  Many of their stories will be told at next month’s Symposium.  Here, eleven-year-old Chase shares her project – and invites you to contribute. A couple months ago, my teacher, Susan, asked my class how […]

DETAIL
May
18

Play, the arts, and education for democracy?

Next month, Opal School will host it’s 16th Summer Symposium.  We determined the theme, Play, The Arts, and Education for Democracy, a year ago.  Knowing that it was an election year, we figured that questions of democracy would find their way into classrooms.  Little did we know how forceful that impulse would be. As we inch […]

DETAIL
May
11

It’s not about the spelling…

  Recently in Opal 3, we were sitting together in a circle with our writing notebooks, a not uncommon scene for our third grade community. We had just watched a short video (How Wolves Change Rivers). I had asked the students to write to capture their thinking about the film and, perhaps through writing, to […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
DETAIL
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 […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
DETAIL
May
08

We are influencing our own play. Yes!

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 […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
DETAIL
Apr
26

I Felt Brave

I am a teacher, and it seems (and I know I am not alone in this ) that my teacher brain does not turn off when I leave the school grounds.  I am constantly thinking, wondering, and exploring as I search for connections, knowledge, and all the nuggets and gems that I can explore myself – […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
DETAIL