risk-taking

Feb
26

Leaning in, Plunging Deeper: Going beyond Reading

I recently came across the following passage in The Sun: The less you are caught up in your own hopes and fears, the more you can see suffering straightforwardly. Accountability here means being honest, incredibly honest. You see that harm is being done: you see someone harming a child, an animal, another being. You see […]

By Hannah Chandler | Teaching and Learning
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Jan
26

Feeling Big

“The child is not a citizen of the future; he is a citizen from the very first moment of life and also the most important citizen because he represents and brings the ‘possible’…a bearer, here and now of rights, of values, of culture.” -Carlina Rinaldi, In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, Researching and Learning A […]

By Kerry Salazar | 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 […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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Nov
06

Courageous and Collaborative Communities: A report from the workshop

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. Brené Brown Last week, we hosted the first of this year’s Opal School Visitation Days workshops. This one brought together 70 educators from diverse contexts – pre-k and elementary, rural and urban, public and private, multilingual and […]

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Oct
23

The Importance of Documentation and Reflection in Building Community

In the Cottonwood community, one of our main focuses in the beginning of the school year is community building – which is foundational to all of our other curricular work. With each new group of children, we try to make visible to them our complex process of becoming a “we”. As teachers, we know that […]

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Oct
12

Sitting in the pocket of a rhythm

After I wrote this story, I felt like it was too personal. I wondered if, although supported my thinking, it might not be worth publishing. Then I had a moment of serendipity. Nassrin and I were talking about her first few weeks at our school, and she shared her reflection that when Caroline teaches, it’s […]

By Tara Papandrew | Beginning
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Sep
23

Partner Explore

  “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” –Brené Brown We’re only in our third week of school, and the Dogwood community has been spending a lot of time thinking together about […]

By Kerry Salazar | Primary
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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

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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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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