Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Discovery & Exploration

Discovery & Exploration


Clay discovery

Opal 4 students used a range of materials to uncover summer discoveries. Opal School views the arts as a way to explore complex ideas that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Listen in on this snippet of conversation from the first day of school that followed reading Martha Chall's Up North at the Cabin:

U: Even though she's been there before, she still thinks they're amazing.

W: Every time she comes back, she'll "re-discover" and everything will be fresh and amazing to her.

These words were as clearly related to the book as they were to the students' return to Opal School after a summer away.  They're excited to be here, surrounded by rich provocations and unimagined possibility.

I find myself inspired by the same themes of exploration and discovery that are guiding the Opal 4 (fifth grade) students. Before this year, my relationship with Opal School was familial (my daughter attended the school second through fifth grade) or professionally distanced (a middle school class I taught paired with an Opal class for a series of nature-based outings.)  Now, after many years of teaching young people and leading professional development efforts, I join the Museum's Center for Learning staff as Teacher-Researcher.  In that capacity, I'll collaborate with Opal teachers – especially in grades 3-5 – to support students, while at the same time applying my efforts toward Opal School's mission to strengthen public education through documentation and professional development related to the wonder of learning at Opal School.  

Readers: What unchartered waters has Opal School led you to? What voyages would you like to learn more about?

September 12, 2012