Teaching and Learning

Dec
20

Keeping space for creativity and inventiveness in PE

If developing creativity and inventiveness is a fundamental purpose of schooling, those dispositions need to be inspired throughout the day. In Story Workshop, children might be invited to use clay or collage materials to find their stories; in PE, we use movement and game systems. Children might have a basic game with one or two […]

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Dec
17

Listening With Intention to Go Big

The weeks leading up to Winter Break provide teachers with a unique opportunity to pause and reflect on the work that our learning communities have been so immersed in. Our recent staff meetings have been structured to support this processing. We have been exploring how we might support the children in our respective learning communities […]

By Sarah MacPherson | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
14

Changing shape; continuing to grow

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. Brené Brown How do young children demonstrate their deep sense of love and belonging? What are the many ways that they show us their capacity to […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Dec
13

Conditions that invite invention

As J engaged in Story Workshop, he identified a need in the world – and he saw that he had the power to respond to that need. What conditions invite, sustain, and expand children’s inventiveness?  Consider the attached framework.  Which of these conditions is visible in this short video?  Which are implied? Are some neither explicit nor […]

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Nov
26

Learning to Read the Research on Learning to Read

I have spent many hours during this holiday week in a rabbit hole. Late last week, several parents sent me notes asking for my opinion on recent flare-ups of one of mainstream media’s favorite topics: The Reading Wars. Fair enough, I thought. Why not take the opportunity to look for something I might have missed […]

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Nov
23

Sharing Gratitude

On Friday morning, Opal School children, families, and teachers gathered together for our weekly school-wide gathering. This week, it was the Dogwood community of first and second grader’s turn to lead. They decided to spend that time sharing about what they are grateful for and then giving the audience a chance to do the same. […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Nov
16

Fear can’t survive proximity

What happens when fear drives our actions – and how can we interrupt it? This is a story about four-year old Mason. He is a passionate person, full of ideas, questions, and working theories of the world that he readily shares with his community. He has a generous heart with everyone and his perspectives of […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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Nov
06

Political Work

Last week’s retreat focused on developing learning communities characterized by courage and collaboration. During the brief days of the workshop, we were rocked by the story of pipe bombs sent to many public figures and terrorist killings in a Louisville grocery store and a Pittsburgh synagogue.  These stories entered into our session – just like the […]

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Nov
01

Working Within Our Intentions

At the beginning of this year, we posted the intentions letter that we craft to focus our attention, activate our eyes and ears as the children play with new ideas, and offer opportunities insights towards next steps. As a teaching team, we worked to craft a big question that will serve us through our journey.  Taking […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Teaching and Learning
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Oct
30

Practicing strength by being vulnerable

Maintaining connection while feeling big emotions is something that we work hard on and practice a lot at this school. We want children to experience discomfort so they can practice being vulnerable and taking chances. When placing their idea into the world, like Bella did when she asked “are you still my friend?,  the children trust […]

By Tara Papandrew | Teaching and Learning
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