Teaching and Learning

Jan
11

When your light goes out

Weekly, the Opal School elementary community starts its day with a community gathering. It’s a time when all four classes, along with many family members, come together in the theater to sing some songs and hear about what new ideas are sparking. The Cottonwood Community of kindergartners and first-graders led this week’s gathering. They sang […]

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Dec
20

Setting the Table: Winter vacation edition

All of us at Opal School wish you a restful and restorative end of 2019. Since September, we’ve been sharing short videos exploring the power of materials in connection, expression, and understanding – with the hope of strengthening your ability to engage that power in your setting. These videos have been briefly available for streaming […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
18

Setting the Table: Small World

The space Opal School children refer to as a Small World is more than space for them to find and tell stories. Small worlds offer children the possibility to take on new perspectives, challenge their assumptions, and invent new ways to be together.  Opal School Online Sustaining Members can view all the videos from this […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
17

Right In The Middle of It

I am an educator, but I am also a Portlander. I love my city and always make sure to pay attention to what is happening around town for personal reasons, but also look for events, exhibits, and occurrences that connects to what our learning community is working with at that moment in time. It is […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
14

Book Club: Inventology, Parts 3 & 4

I hope that you’ve been enjoying reading Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World – and that the Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness has been helpful in connecting the ideas Kennedy is exploring to the school experience. I proposed a flow for our conversations here. The entry for Introduction and Parts One and […]

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Dec
11

Setting the Table: Clay

“Everyone can speak the clay language: they just have to take a risk and try it.” Lois, age 11 Clay becomes a tool that students can use to find and express their ideas through playful manipulation and exploration. This video allows you to listen in as a group of fifth-grade students reflect on their relationship […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
10

The Danger of The Guillotine

For the second year in a row, Opal School hosted a “Rising Educators Study Tour” for high school students who study approaches to early childhood education and apply that learning in a school-based center.  It’s a rare treat for us to learn with people at that stage of life. As we often do, we spent part […]

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Dec
06

Discussing a Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness

A group of educators from around the world gathered in a Zoom room with Mara Krechevsky, Ben Mardell, Susan MacKay, and me to explore the resources we recently published. You can view the full conversation here. During the conversation (and in the chat box), many suggested how they might apply the framework elements (Principles, Practices, […]

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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. Opal School Online […]

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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