Opal School Blog

Oct
16

Setting the Table: Loose Parts

How might materials support young authors and thinkers? Teacher-researchers Lauren Adams and Kathryn Ann Myers explore how processes of growing and and revising big ideas are catalyzed by working with loose parts collage. Sustaining Members can view these previous episodes the Setting the Table series: Setting the Table with Watercolor Black Line Drawing and Perspective-Taking […]

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Oct
10

Setting Intentions to Guide Our Learning

Last week, Opal School staff came together to revisit our thinking about teacher-research. We cracked open “teacher-research” to unpack the varied meanings the idea holds to us (the photo shows the dry erase board by meeting’s end. We (re-)visited a piece of writing our colleague Hannah Chandler wrote about the practice two years ago this […]

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Oct
09

Setting the Table: Tempera Paint

What does tempera paint do? So many investigations of a material start with a question just like this. This time is essential for developing the relationship they’ll depend on as they use it as a tool for thinking down the line. As children explore a new tool, they’re discovering its qualities. It’s a question that […]

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Oct
03

Join our book club?

We believe that educators—like children—have a vast capacity for deep dives of mind, heart, and spirit. Their thoughts are “ample and greedy”; they seek substantive questions and complexity. Their work is challenging and exhilarating, and demands their full intellectual and emotional attention. Educators deserve—and are sustained by—professional learning that strengthens their development as thinkers, researchers, […]

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Oct
02

Setting the Table: Not just filling the space

We design for beauty because we know that helps people slow down and notice. Listen in as teacher-researcher Nicole Simpson-Tanner reflects on the choices she makes as she sets up her classroom studio at the beginning of the year. How do the choices Nicole makes in preparing for work with nine- and ten-year-olds in Portland […]

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Sep
28

Blocks (and unblocking)

This year, the Primary Team is framing their intentions through a study of self. During the first week of school, teachers set intentions and committed to processes of observation, documentation, and reflection to open new questions and possibilities. During the first week of school, teachers wondered what provocations they might offer early on in the […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
25

Blackline Drawing and Perspective-Taking

We enter the school year filled with assumptions – about each other, about ourselves, and about the world. How might the arts help us bring those assumptions forward – and to begin reimagining those possibilities? In this short video, Nicole Simpson-Tanner talks with Kathryn Myers about how she is using observational drawing to introduce perspective-taking […]

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Sep
21

Exploring The Nest

“Children are not cherished but detained at national borders, treated not as radiant beacons of our shared future but as criminals. To any conscionable human, witnessing such inhumanity is at once utterly infuriating and utterly helpless-making — a devastating syncopation of feelings.“ Maria Popova, Borderless Lullabies The Nest stands resolutely against the inhumanity Popova describes, […]

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Sep
18

Setting the Table with Watercolor

Following last week’s workshop in Hong Kong, I received this message over Twitter from @LewisNewman12: I don’t think I have ever attended a PD with so many engaging speakers, wonderful provocations, big questions being explored, that also provided so many real life examples of best practice and tangible takeaways. I simply love the idea of […]

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Sep
13

Glimpses into the first week

When people come to visit Opal School, we often hear the question, “What does all of this look like in the beginning of the year? How do you start?” And really, that can feel tricky to respond to, because it never looks just the same as it did before. New children, new families, new teachers, […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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