Maple

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
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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Feb
15

Sometimes We Feel…

Emotions and feelings exist inside all of us as a type of energy that has potential to be expressed, utilized, and shared outside of us and into our worlds. Our learning community puts in great effort to share and make visible our different emotions.  When we label and discuss them, we normalize their existence and welcome everyone […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Sep
26

The Expectation of Kindergarteners

September, for teachers, is a time for new.  It is a time where things begin and a new start is planned, imagined and anticipated.  For me, as a teacher of kindergartners, September can be a time when the anticipation of a new school year fills my head during all parts of my day with a […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Jan
06

Seeing By Feels

 “When I did turn to untangle my curls, I saw a silken cradle in a hazel branch. I have thinks that the wind did just tangle my curls so I would have seeing of that cradle. It was cream, with a hazel leaf halfway round it. I put it to my ear, and I did […]

By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Jan
20

Sharing what matters

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr. In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we’ve had a long weekend.  Much of Dr. King’s encouragement and inspiration ultimately challenges us all to speak up with, as our friend Vicki Vinton has written, with […]

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Nov
16

Playful Literacy

At Opal School, we have spent years asking ourselves– What is the relationship between play and language? In Reggio Emilia a decade ago I heard Jerome Bruner state that we learn the syntax of our language to tell stories. I’m sure we are born driven to do this: to connect, express, relate, inquire, research, discover, […]

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