curriculum

May
09

How do conflicts, oopsies, and the strategies we use to work through them help support a community over time?

“It is important to practice problem solving strategies so we can use them solving our problems. We get better and better the more we practice! We might not even have to think about it next time.” -Ben, age 6 I strongly believe that all children hope to bring the best person they can be to even the toughest […]

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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
31

Say What you Mean

We’ve been infected with this kind of pathological impatience that makes us want to have the knowledge but not do the work of claiming it. I mean, the true material of knowledge is meaning. … And the only way to glean knowledge is contemplation. And the road to that is time. There’s nothing else. It’s […]

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Dec
13

Children will tell you what they want. If you listen, they might show you what they need

In my last blog post, I reflected on Opal’s 3’s experience of getting their writer’s notebooks, a process which I hoped would help them see themselves as writers. Pivotal to this experience was our work with two quotations from writers Julia Alvarez and Philip C. Stead. A writing life is a life with all the windows […]

By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Sep
10

Focusing our intentions

Don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense. -Ludwig Wittgenstein As Opal School staff reconvened last week to launch the new school year, we were inspired by and found connections in two essays.  In Zadie Smith’s Speaking in Tongues, we saw our drive to support children […]

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Sep
10

Setting Intentions for Our Year Together – Intermediate Team

Opal School has two intermediate classrooms, Opal 3 & 4, which include third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders.  In many ways, the teachers from the two classrooms function as a team.  As a first collaborative effort, the Intermediate Team composed and sent this letter to parents before the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.  We’d love to hear the reflections of Opal […]

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Sep
10

Articulating our intentions

Opal School has two primary classrooms, Maple and Magnolia, which include kindergartners, first graders, and second graders.  The teachers from the two classrooms function as a team.  As a first collaborative effort, the Primary Team composed and sent this letter to parents before the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.  We’d love to hear the reflections of Opal […]

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Sep
10

A Sneak-Peek Into Our Intentions

The Beginning School Team sent this letter to parents before the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.  We’d love to hear the reflections of Opal School Online members: What do you notice?  What do you wonder about? How do you imagine the process of composing this letter will influence the work of this group of teachers? […]

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Mar
10

Listening to children listening to trees

As we aim to create a school founded in a strong image of the child, we need to constantly consider our image of childhood and its relationship to adulthood.  What might it mean to create curriculum based around the unique gifts of childhood?  How can we embrace children’s capacity to see beyond the limits of the […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Primary
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Mar
10

Partnering with Families – Sharing resources for shared meaning-making

What is possible when we invite parents and teachers together to create shared meaning of our goals and expectations for children?  What connections, stories and perspectives will emerge through this shared process? What might happen if we offer parents the assessment tools and resources used by the teachers when paying attention to children?   How […]

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