Opal School Blog

Dec
04

Setting the Table: Graphite

School is oftentimes a place where certainty reigns – but it can be a place where people develop comfort with uncertainty. New experiences with the arts can play an important role in building that relationship. In this video, a group of fourth and fifth graders reflect on their first experiences exploring graphite.

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Intermediate . Teaching and Learning
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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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Nov
20

Inspiring Agents of Change

If we do organize the study of serendipity, it will always be a whimsical undertaking, given that the phenomenon is difficult to define, amazingly variable and hard to capture in data. The clues will no doubt emerge where we least expect them, perhaps in the fungi clinging to the walls of parking garages or the […]

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Nov
09

Setting the Table: Big World

The “Setting the Table” series explores ways to engage the arts as languages for thinking and expression. This episode considers how dramatic play invites children to imaginatively interpret their experiences.

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Nov
09

How can we step out of our comfort zones to think critically about stories of injustice?

In the Willow Community of fourth- and fifth-graders this year, one big question we are chewing on is: How might we raise a generation of citizens that know how to sustain a healthy democracy and a healthy planet? We are exploring this question through the lens of American history as we pay attention to the interdependent […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Teaching and Learning
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Nov
07

From Teaching to Thinking: Book Club Conversation

Opal School hosted a conversation about the book From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work with readers and authors Ann Pelo and Margie Carter on November 5, 2019. Enjoy!

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Oct
31

Developing Norms for Ambiguity and Complexity

This presentation, provided by Kerry Salazar at our October 2019 professional development retreat, is available to watch here.

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Oct
23

Human Knots and Tangles

The Sitka Community‚Äôs year started in a unique position: all of the students and the teacher had a history of being together. Although this group knew each other well, I wondered: How will we make space for each of us to continue to grow and evolve our stories of who we are? How could we […]

By Heather Scerba | Teaching and Learning
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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. Setting the Table with Watercolor Black Line Drawing and Perspective-Taking Not Just Filling the Space Tempera Paint

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