Making Friends With Conflict

Jul
07

Making Friends With Conflict

Introduction This presentation was given as a general session during the afternoon of June 16, 2016. Prior to this session, participants had explored the Opal School classroom environments, and enjoyed presentations from Ben Mardell and Mara Krechevsky of Harvard’s Project Zero, and their choice of breakout presentations. We began by considering the dissonance we might […]

By Susan Harris MacKay | Uncategorized
DETAIL

What do we mean by literacy?

The most common definition of literacy that I have found is, “the ability to read and write.” While I don’t particularly love that definition because it feels lacking and insufficient, I do believe that within our society, reading and writing are considered to be the most critical pieces of children’s literacy development. No matter what […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
DETAIL

Pillars, Principles, and Intentions

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your visions. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” –Neil Gaiman, author Story Workshop is a classroom structure we are developing at Opal School to support language and […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
DETAIL
Mar
26

Constructing the Conditions That Support and Sustain Playful Inquiry: Stories from Opal School Classrooms

On Thursday, February 2, 2017, we spent the afternoon cracking open our understanding of the conditions which sustain playful inquiry through listening to stories from Opal School classrooms.  We started in Opal 4 (Opal’s oldest children, ages 9-11) and moved our way down through the grade levels to the Beginning School (Opal’s youngest children, ages 3-5).This […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Uncategorized
DETAIL

Preparing for Story Workshop

“As experienced teachers well know, the surest road to hell in a classroom is to stick to the lesson plan no matter what.”   -Elliot Eisner I love this quote from Elliot Eisner because I think it speaks to the importance of listening to the children we work with. I don’t think he writes this to […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
DETAIL

The Role of the Studio in Supporting a Pedagogy of Play

The second morning was dedicated to considering the role of the studio in developing a pedagogy of play throughout a school.  The presentation included varied voices from distinct settings: Jesús Oviedo described how young children and senior citizens engaged in clay and letters at Chicago Commons; Alfredo Quiahuitl Villegas brought music to the room in recounting the […]

By Matt Karlsen | Uncategorized
DETAIL
Mar
26

Playful Inquiry at Opal School: Classroom Visitations

OPAL SCHOOL VISITATION DAYS 2017 Investigating the Conditions that Support Playful Inquiry WELCOME In Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, Jamie Holmes writes, “Today’s puzzle is to figure out what to do –
 in our jobs, relationships, and everyday lives –
 when we have no idea what to do.” Founded in 2001, Opal School is […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Uncategorized
DETAIL

What is the role of play and the arts in supporting literacy development?

“When people play their memories and ideas and stories come pouring out into the world.”  –River, age 8 This one sentence uttered by River as he reflected on the role of play in learning eloquently describes what happens when a community is engaged in Playful Literacy. Last week I defined Playful Literacy as an approach […]

By Kerry Salazar | Uncategorized
DETAIL

How Are Children Benefited by a Pedagogy of Play?

The following presentation brings together perspectives on a pedagogy of play from Opal School’s oldest and youngest learning communities.  It was delivered by Cedar Classroom teachers Tara Papandrew and Caroline Wolfe and Opal 4 teachers Kerry Salazar and Hannah Chandler. We want to begin with this bold idea: School is a place for children and adults […]

By Tara Papandrew | Uncategorized
DETAIL
Mar
26

Playful Inquiry at Opal School: A Time of Playful Reflection

 How do you go about making meaning of your experiences? What does it mean to understand? What shifts when we see reflection as a condition to sustain Playful Inquiry? Take some time to engage in the process of exploring and examining your Visitation Days experiences.  Give yourself the permission to practice the Habits of Mind of […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Uncategorized
DETAIL