Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free. To learn more visit teachingpreschoolpartners.org.

Gifts to the Community

    Today the following message came to me in an email
from an Opal 1 parent regarding the recent work we have been doing around
children's gifts to the community.  It's always such a gift to hear the
meaning children are making of this work in their lives outside of school.  Thank you Opal 1 Families, your reflections are an important influence on our work:

       IMG_3281 "We were reading The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss at bedtime; upon
completion of 
the story we were discussing the social problems the Sneetches
were having. Ella says "My gift is problem-solving, so I know what I would do!  I would go
talk to those Sneetches," and she points to a pack of star-bellied
Sneetches, "Then, I would go get Lilly, because her gift is 'Inviting.'
And, she could invite those Sneetches," (she points to the   group of
plain-bellied Sneetches) to come play with us!"  She sits back and
smiles wide.  


010I am thinking how nice it is that she has been taking
ownership of the gift she was encouraged to recognize in herself- the gift of
problem solving- and she's now expanding on that gift by including her Opal
community, considering their gifts, and finding one that will help with this
problem.  This type of  thinking is what I most wanted in my daughter's
educational experience, and it is so strongly encouraged and nurtured in Opal
  Thank you to the Opal Community!"


Gifts to the Community

As a way to continue to deepen and explore our relationships with one another and the community, throughout December and January, we asked the children to reflect on and share who they are as members of the community, including what they like and don't like and what they think they are experts at.  

With this groundwork in place
IMG_3279, we then asked them what they considered to be a gift that they are enjoying sharing or would like to share that helps our community.  We read many books to support this work such as, Honey I Love, I Like the Way You Are, Anansi the Spider; Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon and many others.
While we hope their gifts inspire one another, we will continue to work on relationships by practicing many other strategies, such as making agreements for how we want to be together; how we want to treat our materials; and how to solve problems–such as asking questions instead of making assumptions; getting a teacher for help; giving gentle reminders and clear messages; and more.