Intermediate

Oct
09

What is a Teacher-Researcher, Anyway?

  The teacher is the chief learner in the classroom. Donald Graves (quoted in Nonfiction Matters)   When I was in my first (and second, third, and fourth!) year at Opal School, I wondered what it meant to be a teacher-researcher. For me, the term evoked images of data collection and analysis, statistics and percentages. […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Oct
05

Nudging toward rhythm

As a teacher, I am continuously reflecting upon decisions to nudge students, whether nudging them to try something new, to take a deeper dive into something familiar, or to lift the quality of their work.  We’ve been nudging students in the Sitka classroom to grow their writing muscles and stamina as they begin using writer’s […]
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By MaryGage Davis | Intermediate
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Sep
18

The Writing Kind of Life

“A writer’s notebook is like a ditch – an empty space you dig in your busy life, a space that will fill up with all sorts of fascinating little creatures.  If you dig it, they will come.  You’ll be amazed by what you catch there.” -Ralph Fletcher, A Writer’s Notebook Receiving a writer’s notebook has […]
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By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Intermediate
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Sep
12

Intentions: Interdependence and perspective taking

Dear Intermediate Community families, At Opal School, we see all children as competent citizens with rights.  We see them driven to connect, eager to empathize and be understood. We know that the arts are powerful pathways to develop understandings of ourselves, each other, and complex ideas. We value increasing proficiency with the conventions of communication […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Jun
08

What are the children teaching me?

As a student teacher in Opal 3 this year, I continually find moments where my own growth parallels, intersects, is inspired by, and connects with the children’s growth. One instance where I experienced this was when the children began to unpack what it means to “listen to understand” vs. “listen to reply.” As a community […]
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By Sarah Simonds | Intermediate
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May
30

What kind of community do you want to be in?

Many schools spend the first six weeks of school building community in order to establish a foundation that will support learning through the rest of the year. I can relate to the hope ofl developing caring relationships and problem-solving strategies that will keep us away from conflict. As a person who would inherently prefer to […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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May
11

It’s not about the spelling…

  Recently in Opal 3, we were sitting together in a circle with our writing notebooks, a not uncommon scene for our third grade community. We had just watched a short video (How Wolves Change Rivers). I had asked the students to write to capture their thinking about the film and, perhaps through writing, to […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Mar
31

Materials as Metaphors

My recent post, Say What You Mean, began as this post — but I got so tangled up in thinking about the relationship between knowledge and meaning and learning and relationship and power and vulnerability that I realized I’d better split these posts in two. In this post, I’ll share the experience I had recently […]
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Jan
12

Finding a Path to Productive Disagreement: Reflecting on our Response to Uncertainty and Confusion

  When I think about the Opal 3 community, I find and feel evidence of tremendous growth as a community: we are more cohesive and connected than we were early in the fall; we have absorbed many rhythms and routines that help make our days run more smoothly; we know each other better so we […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Dec
13

Children will tell you what they want. If you listen, they might show you what they need

In my last blog post, I reflected on Opal’s 3’s experience of getting their writer’s notebooks, a process which I hoped would help them see themselves as writers. Pivotal to this experience was our work with two quotations from writers Julia Alvarez and Philip C. Stead. A writing life is a life with all the windows […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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