Opal School Online

Mar
20

How might cardboard foster connections?

In the start of the school year, it is my practice to offer experiences that might build relationships between children and materials in order to build relationship between children. Knowing that, I need to both be open to the inevitable surprises and the unexpected, while being intentional about what materials I offer. This year, I thought about materials that might demonstrate […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
DETAIL
Mar
07

What does it mean to take a stance?

The children in the Magnolia Room are exploring and playing with the idea of being an author and the purpose and intentions that go along with that prestigious title.  Authors have many intentions as they share their voices, imaginations, lives and experiences.  In their experience as both readers and writers, the children discovered that all authors work […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
DETAIL
Mar
02

Constructing Identity

Because it’s Opal 4, we knew we would deeply explore the complexities of perspective this year. Because it was a presidential election year, we knew we would be thinking together about the issues and the process. Because 4th and 5th graders have a right to know their state’s history, we knew we would focus on […]

DETAIL
Feb
26

Dear Future School

It’s that time of year when our oldest students start seriously thinking about the schools they’ll go to next. These transitions are always bittersweet. It’s so hard to go, and at the same time, everyone is eager to know what’s in store. We always wonder what the children will take with them into the world. And […]

DETAIL
Feb
15

Sometimes We Feel…

Emotions and feelings exist inside all of us as a type of energy that has potential to be expressed, utilized, and shared outside of us and into our worlds.           Our learning community puts in great effort to share and make visible our different emotions.  When we label and discuss them, we normalize […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
DETAIL
Feb
15

Getting the lights right for dancing

At Visitation Days, we explored this definition of Playful Inquiry with educators from across the United States and Canada – and we’ve been chewing on it here ever since.  There is so much to unpack, as every clause crawls with meaning, opening the door to vital (and complicated) questions: Who is this community? How is […]

DETAIL
Feb
14

Culture Makers + Word Breakers

The language we choose in our teaching changes the worlds children inhabit now and those they will build in the future. — Peter Johnston, Opening Minds At Opal School, the words we choose matter to us, and they are noticed as being distinctive by others. During a recent Q&A session with educators from another school district, […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
DETAIL
Feb
08

Our 100 Days Plan

With January’s fickle weather, it felt like we were never going to settle back into our regular school and home routines. After the winter break, in the spattered days we attended school, I could see the children trying to reconnect to established friendships, trying to rekindle the bridges they had been growing in their new relationships – […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
DETAIL
Jan
30

An act of freedom

It’s been a stunning, bewildering, shocking ten days. I’ve heard people across the political spectrum call the rapid-fire developments chaotic and confusing.  It’s hard to know how to respond. Today I listened to an interview with a musician born in Syria who has been living in America for sixteen years.  Out of the country to perform […]

DETAIL
Jan
20

Boys Only Ice Cream

“Boys only ice cream! Boys only ice cream!” a child called out. Ice cream shops are part of outside play for Opal Beginning School. One of our outside destinations is a beautiful woven twig sculpture with lots of little windows that turn into many things – but most commonly it transforms into an ice cream […]
To access this content, you must purchase Opal School Online Membership. Already a member? Sign in and enjoy!
By Amy Gannon | Beginning
DETAIL