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Writing Agreements

It is late November. The children have gotten to know each other well. They have played with or worked with everyone in their class. They have begun to know one another as more than people who share a classroom space – they are starting to know one another's likes and dislikes, strengths and challenges, who […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Uncategorized
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Story Workshop

In the recent weeks we have begun having Story Workshop in Preschool. Story Workshop is a structure we continue to develp at Opal School that supports both children's literacy and social emotional development. Through playing with various materials such as, collage, tempra paint, small world dioramas, cardboard, or blocks, a story might pop-up or they […]

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Creating new memories of what is possible

It's the last day before winter break, and I spend a chunk of the morning dropping into classrooms. Exciting worlds are being created amongst children, teachers, and parents. In the preschool, Story Workshop is in full force. A group of children spin stories with the observation drawings they've rendered from photos taken during their trip to […]

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Keeping the Work Whole

So often in our society we view learning in pieces. Teaching and learning are viewed separately, as though somehow isolated from each other. Curriculum is broken into discrepant lesson plans to a degree that it obscures connections – across disciplines and between the classroom and the larger world. But the connections are there. They are there […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
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Today’s Citizens: Children’s Role in Creating Children’s Museum Exhibits

We know that children are full of capabilities and ideas the world needs. They are today’s citizens – not tomorrow’s.  How can children’s museums be a place where this is highlighted and discussed? How can we make children’s thinking visible in a way that strengthens our environments? The Portland Children’s Museum is currently creating two […]

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Teaching and Learning: A Reciprocal Exchange

One day last week, we invited the children to capture in their journals some sneak peeks from the stories in their lives they had been sharing.  As we invited one child to capture his story about climbing a ladder with his dad at home, he hesitated, "But I don't know how to draw a ladder."  […]

By Kimie Fukuda | Uncategorized
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Playing with Ideas

A “science talk” is a structure we use at Opal School to invite the children to play with ideas. It is intended to provoke thinking and to build shared understanding of a scientific question that we think the children might have some theories about. This structure is one of the ways we encourage children to […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
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On Documentation

Documentation greets visitors the moment they arrive to Reggio Emilia On the eve of Thanksgiving, one of the many things I’m thankful for is my work at Opal School and the Museum Center for Learning. One of the many things I appreciate about this work is the way it has led me to investigate the […]

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Collaborating with Artist Mauricio Robalino

Mauricio Robalino, an artist from Tacoma Washington, drove down to spend Thursday afternoon with us. He will be working with Opal 1 to make a mural for the new Outdoor Adventure exhibit the museum is working on. The students were so excited to meet him and he felt very welcomed by us. We went to […]

By Marcy Berkowitz | Uncategorized
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Increasing Visibility

I write this post from Reggio Emilia, where four of us from the Portland Children’s Museum (Beginning School Lead Teacher and one of Opal School’s founders Caroline Wolfe, Opal School Director Tara Papandrew, and PCM Executive Director Ruth Shelly) are participating in a study group. One of the three themes identified by the facilitators, museum […]

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