School Showcase

It started and ended with money. What is it, how do we use it, why do we have it, and how can we get it? The second and third-graders in Ms. Robyn’s class began setting up shop – literally. Desks were pushed into corners and signs announced merchandise and pricing. Pencils, erasers, school newsletters and paper airplanes for sale littered […]
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Spring at PPOS is an exciting time. Snowy banks melt into muddy puddles, indoor planting turns to plans for outdoor planting, and memories of ski days become anticipation for farm days. Last Monday Mrs. Bruno’s first and second-graders headed to the downtown grow dome – as they have every week – with a specific intent on planning for the season. […]
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At the beginning of February, Pagosa Peak Open School ventured to Sonlight Camp for an educational exploration of snow science hosted by Audubon Rockies to learn how snow affects our mountain community. In addition to snowshoeing and animal tracking, our students used scientific tools such as magnifying glasses and thermometers to compare temperatures, crystal shapes and layers of snow. After […]
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Our food theme continues at PPOS, as students in the second/third-grade class bring this theme beyond their classroom walls and into their homes. Reviews of recipes, extensive draft writing of such recipes, collaborative cooking projects, and food documentaries have influenced student meal making at night. Students experimented with pasta making and sushi rice during the school day in groups, sharing […]
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  Thirty pounds of carrots and forty pounds of potatoes sat in our fridge. Baskets of onions lined the shelves. These were the rewards of hard planting and harvesting work. And now what? Discussions about our intentions began. This is a school that shares nutritious food with students and the food bank. It is also a school that sells produce […]
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They were excited to be chosen to participate in a new Project, despite not knowing what their role would be, or what the project entailed. This was not how the process typically began. We prefer a more organic and emergent way of starting Projects and involving students. It was our standard of practice to follow the interests of students and […]
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  Pagosa Peak Open School has a new focus this year. Along with their place-based, project-based model, they have taken on food security as a priority. This lens has given staff a chance to look at our programs at school, our resources in the county, and the needs of our students. This shift has offered us opportunities to narrow our […]
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He leaned his face down toward a corn plant standing before him, gently holding the leaves with both hands. “You are so beautiful, you know that?” he said. “You keep growing and growing, you beautiful thing.” Other children gathered around him, some of them singing quiet songs to the plants while others gently brushed the corn silk hanging before them. […]
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The school year has ended on an upswing at Pagosa Peak Open School, with drama camp, song writing, hikes, cooking, gardening and water play. The fourth- and fifth-graders worked together during the three weeks of the June session to write their own songs, which they composed and sang with Cora Rose, a professional musician and James Lewicki’s daughter. After hearing […]
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Gardens, spiralizers, hikes, bugs, games, art and music filled our summer afternoons this June. Our typically mixed-age groups became even more mixed-age as children abandoned their homerooms and sorted themselves into four groups: Columbine, Pagosa Skyrocket, Larkspur and Indian Paintbrush. Each of these groups had students from each homeroom; allowing siblings to work together, kindergartners to mingle with second-graders, and […]
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During the past two weeks, students have worked with Mrs. Bruno on building garden boxes, shoveling dirt and planting...
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After noticing the disappearance of the kindergarten Roxaboxen area, Ms. Polly made a plan. “How do you feel about my group working to fix this space up?” she suggested. She had a group of first and second-graders looking for a project. The kindergarten space had been dismantled, and disappointed 5- and 6-year-olds were wistfully reminiscent about their outdoor town. When […]
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“I think we should try shame. Shame, shame shame on you! We can make them feel bad and then maybe people won’t litter,” Bella said. “I prefer to call it ‘educational guilt-tripping’,” Carlo said. “We could say, ‘If you ever want to see a cat again, don’t litter,'” Sandero added, telling his story about a cat choking on trash. They […]
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“Look at this!” Blake said, holding up a pine cone and a book. The cone he found looked exactly like the picture he was attempting to point out. “This is a blue spruce tree we’re sitting under!” Until this moment we were calling it the “fort tree,” since the impressive 60-foot evergreen had long enough boughs to hide us all. […]
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