Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Brain Buddies

What are the benefits of collaboration?   Children’s perspectives

Opal students know they are part of a larger project.  They know people visit their classrooms
and are curious about their work. 
We often share with them information about upcoming events and the
topics for discussion. 

In this context, Judy Graves, founder of Opal School, spoke with a group of Opal
School students, ages 8-11, about their experiences with learning with and from others.  She started out by using the term, "friends of your mind"– people who
you relate to well and who help learning come alive for you.  When she mentioned the word mentor,  she was quickly interrupted by Micah
who said, “Oh, you’re talking about BRAIN BUDDIES.”  As it turned out, they had a few things to say about that.

We’re going to share some of their reflections with
you.  We’re going to suggest that you
to do some reflecting of your own. What follows is a simple protocol you can use to crack open the sometimes surprising differences in observations people make when they think they are listening to and looking at the same thing. If you have a partner handy, try this together. Another good way to share is to join the forum or leave a comment below.

Listening, Observing, Noticing Multiple

1.  Listen to
the children’s reflections

2. Jot down a few things that had meaning for you. 

3. Jot down anything that may have surprised you.

4. Take turns sharing your observations

5. Take note of the similarities and differences in what
people noticed. Did any two people notice the same things?

6. In what ways does this exercise help you act as a "Brain Buddy" with a colleague?

Download Brain buddies movie FINAL H.264 6.27.12.mov (181578.8K) 

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