literacy

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 […]

By MaryGage Davis | Intermediate
DETAIL
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 […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Intermediate
DETAIL
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 […]

By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
DETAIL
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
DETAIL
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 […]

DETAIL
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
DETAIL
Nov
27

Scared and Brave at the Same Time

This year, in the Primary Group, we are thinking deeper into the idea of “self.”  As stated in our Letter of Intention to parents at the beginning of the year, we are particularly curious about the children’s growing understanding of themselves.  We believe understanding of self is foundational to all relationships – relationship to one another, to the environment, […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
DETAIL
Nov
10

Growing and Celebrating Writers

A writing life is a life  with all the windows and doors open * * * * * * * -Julia Alvarez  Ideas are all around -Philip C. Stead  These two quotations were an instrumental part of launching writing work in Opal 3 this year. We wanted to dispel the idea that the writers we […]

By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
DETAIL
Oct
28

Learning to Walk and Talk (and Write)

When I first began as an assistant teacher long ago, I attended a parent meeting at the school on the topic of young children and writing.  I remember someone sharing that their 4 year old child didn’t write but scribbled.  The teacher shared that scribbling (and other mark-making) IS writing — a necessary stepping stone […]

DETAIL
Oct
26

Putting Himself in the Dot

JK was engaged at the light table. He seemed unaware of what was happening around him. His full attention was on his creation.  He had carefully chosen a yellow dot from the many colors of dots and one of the small transparent figures presented on the table.  His eyes were fixed on the figure as he […]

By Kathryn Ann Myers | Teaching and Learning
DETAIL