Teaching and Learning

Feb
05

Sharing Our Stories: Reflecting together on teaching and learning in a pandemic

The current health pandemic has brought about feelings of incredible uncertainty, fear, and vulnerability for teachers, families, and students across the world. Here at Opal School, like for so many others, this year has felt like we’ve faced unimaginable challenge after unimaginable challenge. For me personally and professionally, it’s been a real struggle. I think […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Jan
12

What face am I making?

Stepping into this school year, opening in November after many weeks of percolating and gestating, I felt a great deal of concern over how we would all be able to communicate, emote, and thrive in classroom life while wearing masks. I did not even consider supporting a classroom without a mask, but I did experience […]

By Rachael Gannon | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
20

Phantom Limbs and Shooting Stars

One of the hard things about this COVID time is a licensing rule that prohibits preschool families from entering the building. Saying goodbye to families at the main entrance feels so unnatural. The absence of the families in the school reminds me of a phantom limb: I experience sensations as I walk past spots where […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
16

What’s a parent to do?

 I wrote earlier this year about my desire to step in as a parent when my child is at home doing online learning and my struggle to step back and let him navigate things without me doing it for him. That impulse to intervene continues to be strong even as I tell myself that his […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
12

Staying Close

Through Opal School’s courses, I’ve been in conversations with teachers whose learning communities are impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic in the full range of manners: Some, like Opal’s Beginning School, are meeting in person, navigating the challenges of temperature checks and sterilization; others, like Opal’s elementary school, are striving for playful connection in online […]

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Dec
08

Announcing Story Workshop: New Possibilities for Young Writers

It is with great excitement that we share the cover of our forthcoming book — Story Workshop: New Possibilities for Young Writers— available for pre-order from Heinemann next month! This book is the result of big questions, years of research, layers and layers of collaboration with colleagues, with children, and with families, and the imagination […]

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Nov
06

Story Workshop: A confluence of meaning-making, play, and the arts

We hope you enjoy this presentation, offered as part of The Early Childhood Assembly’s Virtual Day of Early Childhood. We’re honored to be a part of the event. For those of you interested in diving more deeply into Story Workshop, we encourage you to explore Developing Your Story Workshop course, view the Equity and Access […]

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Oct
28

The election, politics, and young children

In this election season, many of us are energized to deepen both our political advocacy and our pedagogy. I believe that we all need to be highly politically involved right now, whether that involvement is inspired by our commitment to children’s present and their future, or our responsibility as Americans, or our understanding that Black […]

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Oct
07

What if?

I like to wake up before the sun and head to the hills to walk on trails called Dogwood and Wild Cherry and Aspen. I steep my senses in the earthiness — the rhythmic bird songs, the snappy feel of cold air in my nose — the whole collection of early morning messages from the […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Oct
03

Growing Independence And Collaboration

I used to picture my five-year-old son starting kindergarten as an experience that I expected would be full of nervous excitement, joy, laughter, and new friends. My son loved preschool. His experience with school prior to kindergarten led him to hold a strong image of what it means to go to school and to learn–an […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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