Opal 4

Feb
26

Dear Future School

It’s that time of year when our oldest students start seriously thinking about the schools they’ll go to next. These transitions are always bittersweet. It’s so hard to go, and at the same time, everyone is eager to know what’s in store. We always wonder what the children will take with them into the world. And […]

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Oct
14

Pressing the Reset Button

As teachers we are continuously reflecting upon promoting healthy and productive classroom cultures.  In designing experiences for children, we consider what we know about optimal learning conditions; those that are high challenge and low risk, those that invite students to experience a state of relaxed alertness. Often times at Opal School, we find that working […]

By MaryGage Davis | Intermediate
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Apr
12

What brine do you soak in?

Students in Opal 4 have been working to seek connections between some of their experiences in Opal 4 this year, the questions we’ve been exploring around perspective taking, and Opal School’s goals and expectations (which we first wrote about here). Because we know that the use of materials supports students to seek these connections and […]

By Kerry Salazar | Intermediate
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Jan
24

Early Fraction Math Work: Math Congress

To launch our work with fractions, students were told a story about another class of fourth graders who were going on a small group field trips around New York City. They were sent with submarine sandwiches for lunch. Because the sandwiches were so big, they did not bring a whole sandwich for each child. Below […]

By Hannah Chandler | Intermediate
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Dec
16

Exploring Opal School’s Goals and Expectations for Students: Part 1

One important document that lives inside the family handbook that goes home at the beginning of each year is Opal School’s goals and expectations for students. As teachers, this document is a critical piece of our work. We use it as a resource for planning, reflecting and assessing. It serves as a guiding document that […]

By Kerry Salazar | Intermediate
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May
07

Supporting each other to make faux leather historical journals

What happens when the children become the experts and they support each other in the creation of a special aritifact? And 28 children can work on their creation in a room at the same time knowing that they can turn to a peer for support with each step in the process yet do all of the […]

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Dec
11

Negotiating Treaties, Negotiating Curriculum

The Separatists from England, via Leiden, Holland, finally took their very well known journey on the Mayflower, which, by the way, was exactly this long (see photo above). It was an eventful journey, full of storms, broken beams on the ship, hunger, seasickness, and the birth of a baby, who was appropriately named, Oceanus. Landing (possibly) […]

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Nov
18

The Culture of the Atelier – Connecting minds, hands, rationality and emotions

In my last blog post, I talked about the Hundred Languages, the many ways of knowing and expressing that belong to children.  The schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy have given us what Vea Vecchi, who was the atelierista at the Diana Municipal Preschool in Reggio Emilia for 30 years, calls, “The Culture of the Atelier” […]

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May
31

Synthesis Thinking, Materials Work, and the penultimate week of school!

This was a four day week, but so much is happening in Opal 4, I had to share. Practicing our songs for graduation with Carrington (above) Making sense of the text of the Declaration of Independence… who were those men and what did they declare? Working with Judy H:  Stand on the line to show […]

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May
18

Friday Update – May 17, 2013

Sometimes “Highlights” and “Ask Me About” just can’t capture the week.  We need pictures! Historically Accurate Play in Opal 4 has moved – geographically and chronologically.  We are now in the city of Boston in the year 1775.  The first invitation into this new time and place was a map study of a few historical […]

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