arts

Oct
20

I can help

How might the process of creating, imagining, or inventing support the children’s sense of purpose and belonging in a community? This is one of the questions we included in our letter of intention. Playing with materials (and each other!) offers lots of opportunities for the children to make sense of the idea of community. We […]

By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
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Oct
15

An Oopsidental Moment

Right now, as teachers, we are working to find ways to explore the intentions we set at the beginning of the year in a way that builds upon what this particular group of children already know and what they are interested in and curious about. This is a delicate dance that Loris Malaguzzi has referred […]

By Heather Scerba | Primary
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Sep
23

Partner Explore

  “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 We’re only in our third week of school, and the Dogwood community has been spending a lot of time thinking together about […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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May
23

Everyone plays a role

The fourth- and fifth-graders in Opal 4 have been stretching out, finding ways that their gifts can address the world’s needs.  Many of their stories will be told at next month’s Symposium.  Here, eleven-year-old Chase shares her project – and invites you to contribute. A couple months ago, my teacher, Susan, asked my class how […]

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May
18

Play, the arts, and education for democracy?

Next month, Opal School will host it’s 16th Summer Symposium.  We determined the theme, Play, The Arts, and Education for Democracy, a year ago.  Knowing that it was an election year, we figured that questions of democracy would find their way into classrooms.  Little did we know how forceful that impulse would be. As we inch […]

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Apr
26

I Felt Brave

I am a teacher, and it seems (and I know I am not alone in this ) that my teacher brain does not turn off when I leave the school grounds.  I am constantly thinking, wondering, and exploring as I search for connections, knowledge, and all the nuggets and gems that I can explore myself – […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Mar
31

Materials as Metaphors

My recent post, Say What You Mean, began as this post — but I got so tangled up in thinking about the relationship between knowledge and meaning and learning and relationship and power and vulnerability that I realized I’d better split these posts in two. In this post, I’ll share the experience I had recently […]

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Mar
20

How might cardboard foster connections?

In the start of the school year, it is my practice to offer experiences that might build relationships between children and materials in order to build relationship between children. Knowing that, I need to both be open to the inevitable surprises and the unexpected, while being intentional about what materials I offer. This year, I thought about materials that might demonstrate […]

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Mar
07

What does it mean to take a stance?

The children in the Magnolia Room are exploring and playing with the idea of being an author and the purpose and intentions that go along with that prestigious title.  Authors have many intentions as they share their voices, imaginations, lives and experiences.  In their experience as both readers and writers, the children discovered that all authors work […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Feb
08

Our 100 Days Plan

With January’s fickle weather, it felt like we were never going to settle back into our regular school and home routines. After the winter break, in the spattered days we attended school, I could see the children trying to reconnect to established friendships, trying to rekindle the bridges they had been growing in their new relationships – […]

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