We have been good friends and colleagues with Opal School educators for over fifteen years. We knew founder, Judy Graves when Opal School was still a dream of hers and her colleagues. Now, Opal School, a program of Portland Children’s Museum, is a fee-based preschool and a K-5 Portland Public Charter School. We travel to be with Opal colleagues whenever we can; we collaborate on learning initiatives and workshops and we are always grateful for their partnership in the journey to create meaningful, artful learning communities where we all become active and positive participants and contributors to the world around us.
Every year, as a part of the mission as a public charter school, Opal offers many exciting learning opportunities. Below please find a list of possibilities. This year Opal is working with many dynamic and well known authors and thinkers in education! We recommend traveling to Opal. We believe that learning alongside Opal educators and the colleagues who they invite to work with them will enrich your experience as an educator immeasurably.
You can easily register on line by going here.
" With Opal’s civilized pace and tie to nature, your inviting classrooms and strong communities, you have managed to do something wondrous—you have created a school safe for dreaming.”
Kirsten Truman • Teacher-Librarian • Portland Public Schools
• NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR READERS
with Vicki Vinton
December 9, 2014 • 6:30pm–8:30pm; December 10, 2014 • 8:30am–3:30pm
How do Opal School communities embrace the written word? How does a focus on “reading the world” help children “read the word”? Through stories collected in Opal School classrooms, we’ll look at how preschool and elementary readers authentically encounter text. Vicki Vinton—author of What Readers Really Do, The Power of Grammar, and the always engaging blog To Make a Prairie—joins us to discuss her work with children and teachers and will model some of those approaches with Opal students.
• OPAL SCHOOL VISITATION DAYS— EXTENDING OUR IMAGE OF CHILDREN:
NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR
COMMUNITIES OF LEARNERS
January 28, 2015 • 6:30pm–8:30pm; January 29–30, 2015 • 8:30am–4:00pm
Designed to immerse participants in Opal School practice, this multi-day workshop supports educators’ application of approaches to playful inquiry through negotiated curriculum. Visit Opal School classrooms in session to observe, analyze, and reflect on inquiry-based learning through the tools of the arts and sciences. Talk with teachers about the joys and challenges of a practice that holds a strong image of children as thinkers, planners, and contributors to the community. Mara Krechevsky and Ben Mardell, whose research with Harvard’s Project Zero has inspired Opal School’s approaches, will provide commentary as honored guests.
University credit available.
• EXTENDING OUR IMAGE OF CHILDREN: NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR WRITERS
with Matt Glover
April 9, 2015 • 6:30pm–8:30pm; April 10, 2015 • 8:30am–3:30pm
What is the relationship between literacy and the arts? We’ll examine approaches developed at Opal School— including Story Workshop and Literacy Studio—and consider the growth of Opal students. Matt Glover, author of Already Ready, Projecting Possibilities for Writers, and Engaging Young Writers, will link his influential work with children and teachers around the world to what he observes at Opal School.
• OPAL SCHOOL SUMMER • • SYMPOSIUM— EXTENDING OUR IMAGE OF CHILDREN: CONNECTING LITERACY, CREATIVITY, AND SUSTAINABILITY
with Ann Pelo
$600 • $500 Early Bird price through 12/31/14!
June 18–20, 2015
Every summer, hundreds of educators committed to recognizing, celebrating, and extending the creative and cognitive capacities of children join Opal School teacher-researchers for three full days of renewal through synthesis, dialogue, materials exploration, and reflection. This year’s theme examines the ways in which literacy and the arts build upon each other—a theme which resonates deeply in Opal School practices and connects the year’s workshops. Our time together is enhanced through the involvement of Ann Pelo, author of The Goodness of Rain, Rethinking Early Childhood Education, and The Language of Art.
University credit available.
Opal School, the Museum Center for Learning, and Portland Children’s Museum strengthen public education by provoking fresh ideas regarding conditions, environments, and relationships where creativity, curiosity, and the wonder of learning thrive. At each of the following offerings, Opal School teacher-researchers and invited guests will reflect with you on ongoing practice-based research with the intention of improving practice, advancing teacher professionalism, and transforming ideas about what is possible when working with children.
• OPAL SCHOOL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
October 2014–June 2015
The Mentorship Program supports a small group of teachers seeking an in-depth experience of observation and reflection in Opal School’s preschool through fifth grade classrooms. The program allows participants to flexibly design a series of visitations to Opal classrooms
in session throughout the school year. This provides an opportunity for extended exposure to inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning through the tools
of the arts and sciences. The program includes registration in Center workshops, the Summer Symposium, online offerings, and an ongoing discussion platform. Registration is limited. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• OPAL SCHOOL ONLINE OFFERINGS
The Museum Center for Learning offers online modules and eBooks to support, connect, and extend inquiry around the world. Visit portlandcm.org to learn more today!
• CUSTOMIZED CONSULTATIONS
Responding to your needs!
Contact us for scheduling and fees.
The Museum Center for Learning will bring the research
of Opal School and Portland Children’s Museum to your organization. If your team of any size desires to expand its approaches, contact us to arrange an experience designed to meet your distinct needs, interests, and schedule.
Customized Opal Workshops can be held at your worksite, at Portland Children's Museum and Opal School, online,
or a combination of the three. Museum Center for Learning staff will support your investigation of a wide variety of topics. Duration of workshops can range from a few hours to long-term studies.
Email email@example.com to start a conversation about how we can work together to nurture growth.