Story Workshop

Oct
05

Finding stories; finding each other

About once a week in the Alder community of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds, we split the group in two, carefully considering friendships we want to support or stretch. We affectionately call this structure “half-sies.” The smaller groups  give each person (children and adults) a chance to see, hear, and know one another in new ways. […]

By Tara Papandrew | 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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Mar
23

Love, Play, and Mail

“In play, children begin with their own set of premises and learn to follow through, step-by-step, scene by scene in the complex process of creating a logical and literary dramatic project of their own.” – Vivian Paley, The Importance of Fantasy, Fairness, and Friendship in Children’s Play The Cottonwood community of kindergarteners and first-graders has […]

By Sarah MacPherson | Teaching and Learning
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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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Nov
07

The Possibilities of Loose Parts

When you enter the classrooms of Opal School you will be met with familiar materials that you might expect to see in a lot of Early Childhood and Primary classrooms.  You will most likely see blocks for building, colored pencils and markers for drawing, tempera paint and watercolors for painting, and costumes and dishes for dramatic play […]
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By Nicole Simpson-Tanner | Primary
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Jan
25

It Starts with a Seed

As teacher-researchers, we feel strongly about nurturing children’s connection to nature through playing, making, and sharing. Stories are one way we play and share with one another, seeking understanding and connection, and further developing empathy.  How might we, through playful inquiry, consider the stories that nature has to tell?  What stories might we uncover within […]
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Oct
12

Children and Teachers: Co-Researchers of Literacy

At Opal School we are discovering that literacy development is strongest when a learner has rich and varied experiences.  Literacy is how we interpret our relationship to the world; how we read the world and share it back. As teacher-researchers, we listen and invite children to share their experiences and ideas through the creative use […]
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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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