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About Learning for Real

As a teacher with 28 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the... Read more

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Introducing Take Off the Mask Kids Opera Company   YouTube

Take Off the Mask (VIDEO)

We are Take Off the Mask Kids Opera Company.  On the first day of school when the class was presented with the mask and I asked, “How will the mask help in our learning this year?” Jasmine G suggested a powerful metaphor that has informed our instruction and our decisions as a company ever since. In thinking about who we are and whom we represent, Jasmine also offered a new word she had encountered in song lyrics.

The word . . . invincible. This led us back to the mask. How can we be invincible if we don’t take off the mask? In the process of determining our company name, students generated other metaphors and possible names that would help us present ourselves to the world. But, when company members broke into small groups to defend the name they thought absolutely best to represent us as a group, Take Off the Mask was the obvious choice.

Defending the company name…

Andrew’s reflection after determining company name.
Andrew Writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing the company…

Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 28 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families. Fifteen years ago she had an experience that changed her life and altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, spent nine intense days living the process of creating an original opera and learned how to replicate the experience with her students. She then began creating opera with her students and using the process of creating the opera as a vehicle through which to teach curriculum and life skills. The authentic purpose for learning coupled with the arts provided the perfect stage on which to construct a love for life-long learning. She currently teaches at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is creating another original opera with her third grade students. Read more of Mary Ruth's blog Learning for Real.

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