Teaching and Learning

Sep
19

Engaging Families as Partners

This past week, we welcomed families to Opal School for its 17th year. And, as is true so often, we also welcomed change. For new families, the change is transition to this new community, transition in families as their children grow, new routines, new relationships. For returning families, the change is a bump in expectations. […]

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Sep
12

Focusing Our Intentions for a New Year

It’s a time of reconnection at Opal School.  A little more than two weeks ago, Opal School staff reconvened.  Last week, students returned.  Tonight, we welcome parents for Back to School Night. Back to School Night holds different schema for all of us.  As a parent, I’ve felt inspired and connected by some – and […]

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Sep
08

Setting Expectations

As I stepped into the first Day of school in our Cottonwood classroom (children ages 5-7 years), Lauren was just introducing a surprising material to the children, who sat expectantly hoping for their own opportunity to play. It was just masking tape. But it clearly held a kind of excitement as far as the children […]

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Sep
05

Coming together anew

To be open to others means to have the courage to come into the room and say, “I hope to be different when I leave.” – Carlina Rinaldi Opal School families returned today, encountering spaces full of life. They found invitations to form new connections and communities with each other, with ideas, and with the […]

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Jun
17

On the edge of Symposium, thinking without bannisters

Opal School’s Summer Symposium begins Wednesday.  It’s a frenetic time around the building: having said goodbye to students last week, teachers are setting up their classrooms for visitors, creating documentation panels, and writing presentations (not to mention annual academic reports).  It’s a time of long days and nights consumed by deep reflection and meaning-making – of […]

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Jun
13

What school should be like

Fourth-graders gave these cookies to the graduates “to remind you to always find a third door and to not ignore that there are third doors all around you.” Friday, another group of students said goodbye to Opal School, moving on to middle schools around the city.  I think the annual graduation ceremony is made beautiful […]

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May
23

Everyone plays a role

The fourth- and fifth-graders in Opal 4 have been stretching out, finding ways that their gifts can address the world’s needs.  Many of their stories will be told at next month’s Symposium.  Here, eleven-year-old Chase shares her project – and invites you to contribute. A couple months ago, my teacher, Susan, asked my class how […]

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May
18

Play, the arts, and education for democracy?

Next month, Opal School will host it’s 16th Summer Symposium.  We determined the theme, Play, The Arts, and Education for Democracy, a year ago.  Knowing that it was an election year, we figured that questions of democracy would find their way into classrooms.  Little did we know how forceful that impulse would be. As we inch […]

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May
08

We are influencing our own play. Yes!

Periodically, Opal School’s community of staff, parents, and children come together. Recently, the community tended to its outdoor space as the sun came out of hibernation.  The children moved like a team over mounds of dirt and bark chips, fully engaged in their work. Inspired by the beauty of this moment, I stopped and pulled out […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Apr
19

Reading the World 2017: Literacy, Creativity, Sustainability, and the Principles of Engagement

In order to read the world, we must be moved by what we see. In order to create, we must have a strong desire to examine what has moved us. In order to sustain this world we have made and seen and read, we must understand why we were moved. We cannot be moved without […]

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