Ever since the Fall of 2013, when I happened upon an NCTE session in which several teachers from the Opal School shared the incredible work they did with students in grades Pre-K-5, I was enamored. Their guiding principles, which were (and continue to be) influenced by the early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, grounded… Continue reading Come Learn With Me at the 2019 Opal School Summer Symposium!
Over the past several weeks, my colleague and I have engaged our fifth and sixth grade students in an inquiry about "single stories" and stereotypes with a particular focus on race, gender, and ability. This isn't our first time facilitating such an inquiry; earlier in the year, she and I engaged a different group of… Continue reading These Lessons Are Good. But They’re Not Enough.
[REPOSTED from http://blog.stenhouse.com/] We continue our podcast series with Stenhouse author Shawna Coppola and kindergarten teacher Laura, who is in her first year of teaching. In this episode, they tackle behavior charts and social-emotional learning. Mentoring New Teachers Podcast – Episode II: Social-Emotional Learning By Shawna Coppola In the first episode of our podcast focusing on mentoring new… Continue reading [REPOST]: Mentoring New Teachers Podcast–Episode 2
[REPOSTED from http://blog.stenhouse.com/] Mentoring New Teachers Podcast-Episode 1 By Shawna Coppola When Stenhouse asked me if I wanted to mentor a new teacher through her first year and record the experience for posterity, I barely took a breath before saying yes. As someone who has taught for nearly two decades, I still feel the desire to… Continue reading [REPOST]: Mentoring New Teachers Podcast-Episode 1
I'll never forget the day I was told never to speak the word dyslexia by a colleague with whom I was about to endure a particularly difficult parent meeting. Our student*, a sixth grader, was experiencing an enormous amount of difficulty reading and writing the sorts of things the majority of his classmates were breezing… Continue reading The Problem with Dyslexia (It’s Bigger Than You Think)
In many primary classrooms I've visited, the Question of the Day (QoD) is as much a part of the daily routine as is morning meeting, read aloud, and unabashed nose-picking. (I kid. Not really.) On websites such as Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers, the QoD is as benign and as devoid of substance as a… Continue reading The Question of the Day: Not Just for Primary Classrooms
If you, like me, have ever clicked on a social media post with a headline that reads, "5 Reasons Your Eyes Are Puffy," "10 Ways to Look Less Like a Frumpy Mom" or "50 Times Judge Judy Proved She's Our Bae," you've engaged with a form of writing that can be found virtually everywhere these… Continue reading Your New Favorite Form of Writing, Revealed
Here's a quick exercise for you. Take a few minutes to write, sketch, doodle, or jot your answer to the question, "What does it mean to write?" Think about what we mean--what we really mean--when we refer to this act of writing. Next, take a moment to jot down the writing units you teach, have taught in… Continue reading What It Means to “Write”–and What We Teach Students
Chances are you've heard of Teresa Danks, the Oklahoma teacher who recently resorted to panhandling at a local gas station near her home in order to buy needed supplies for her third grade classroom. After collecting approximately $50 in cash and then posting a meme of herself on Facebook, Teresa caught the attention of a… Continue reading #EvaluateThat: The Hidden Cost of Teaching
When my Rollinsford Grade School colleagues and I visited the Opal School in June for their annual Summer Symposium, we had barely had a chance to take a deep, cleansing breath before flying from New Hampshire to Portland, Oregon for three full days of professional learning. So much was nipping at our collective heels as… Continue reading Make It Shine: A Reflection on the Opal School’s 2017 Summer Symposium