Opal School Blog

Mar
17

Get Out

As Opal School’s Outdoor Education Specialist, I am lucky enough to spend lots of time outside every day. I believe that fresh air and time outside on trails helps me stay healthy. Science seems to confirm that belief. In The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, Florence Williams studies the […]

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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
20

Setting the Table: Winter vacation edition

All of us at Opal School wish you a restful and restorative end of 2019. Since September, we’ve been sharing short videos exploring the power of materials in connection, expression, and understanding – with the hope of strengthening your ability to engage that power in your setting. These videos have been briefly available for streaming […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
18

Setting the Table: Small World

The space Opal School children refer to as a Small World is more than space for them to find and tell stories. Small worlds offer children the possibility to take on new perspectives, challenge their assumptions, and invent new ways to be together.  Opal School Online Sustaining Members can view all the videos from this […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
17

Right In The Middle of It

I am an educator, but I am also a Portlander. I love my city and always make sure to pay attention to what is happening around town for personal reasons, but also look for events, exhibits, and occurrences that connects to what our learning community is working with at that moment in time. It is […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Teaching and Learning
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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
11

Setting the Table: Clay

“Everyone can speak the clay language: they just have to take a risk and try it.” Lois, age 11 Clay becomes a tool that students can use to find and express their ideas through playful manipulation and exploration. This video allows you to listen in as a group of fifth-grade students reflect on their relationship […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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