literacy

Nov
23

Sharing Gratitude

On Friday morning, Opal School children, families, and teachers gathered together for our weekly school-wide gathering. This week, it was the Dogwood community of first and second grader’s turn to lead. They decided to spend that time sharing about what they are grateful for and then giving the audience a chance to do the same. […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Sep
13

What do you rely on?

In her last post, Susan shared stories about getting started with Story Workshop. She wrote that educators interested in Story Workshop often ask us, How do you get started? She told you that we often answer, It depends. Which is true. It depends on many things – on our intentions for individuals and for the group, our relationship […]

By Kerry Salazar | Teaching and Learning
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Apr
30

Confronting the disimagination machine

Friday, a frustrated colleague texted me this worksheet that a teacher in her school had given to the kindergarteners she works with on an “accountable walk” that day.  My colleague wrote, “This is what the testing craze has done. Kids can’t even go for a walk without a worksheet! At my school, a ‘failing’ one, […]

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Feb
12

Why Put Our Ideas Into the World?

The Cottonwood Community of kindergartners and first-graders has spent the last several weeks preparing to publish small moment stories that children have written from their lives. The children have taken care to slow down and zoom in on the small details inside these moments. After writing a first draft, the children received their first editing […]
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By Sarah MacPherson | Primary
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Jan
13

Exploring the “We That I Am” Through Character

“A child’s most sought after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others parts of himself.” -Loris Malaguzzi At the beginning of the school year, the primary team identified the overarching idea of our work to be exploration of “the we that I am.” Lauren and I have continued to observe […]
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By Sarah MacPherson | Primary
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Dec
01

Making 1 from 20

This year, the Dogwood Community was invited to write the story for a school-wide community celebration, the Lantern Walk. The Lantern Walk is held each year when the days grow shorter as winter sets in. The message below, sent to families each year, captures the intentions of this tradition. The idea behind the Lantern Walk […]
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By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Oct
05

Nudging toward rhythm

As a teacher, I am continuously reflecting upon decisions to nudge students, whether nudging them to try something new, to take a deeper dive into something familiar, or to lift the quality of their work.  We’ve been nudging students in the Sitka classroom to grow their writing muscles and stamina as they begin using writer’s […]
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By MaryGage Davis | Intermediate
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Sep
18

The Writing Kind of Life

“A writer’s notebook is like a ditch – an empty space you dig in your busy life, a space that will fill up with all sorts of fascinating little creatures.  If you dig it, they will come.  You’ll be amazed by what you catch there.” -Ralph Fletcher, A Writer’s Notebook Receiving a writer’s notebook has […]
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By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Intermediate
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May
11

It’s not about the spelling…

  Recently in Opal 3, we were sitting together in a circle with our writing notebooks, a not uncommon scene for our third grade community. We had just watched a short video (How Wolves Change Rivers). I had asked the students to write to capture their thinking about the film and, perhaps through writing, to […]
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By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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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 – […]
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By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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