A small girl with a BIG personality is featured in Juniper Tree’s first online classroom video.
It’s nine seconds long so be sure to hear what she has to say!
On a sunny Thursday afternoon we took a few more minutes toying around with black rubber bands from our I Love Math bags. Every Juniper berry has this bag which includes a set of 20 something stretchy bands that help them recreate the designs displayed in their Math workbooks.
During our Math lessons, students are exposed to a range of activities like matching, counting, and following patterns on page maps. On this exact page students’ are expected to repeat the same designs from their page to the grid board. (See pictures above).
Juniper students were free to create ANY design on their blue boards. I did not monitor them. I did not draw up any ideas on the board. I did not tell them how to do it. Everything pictured here is from the student’s imagination.
I see a clock.
I see the letter “Y”.
I see a sunflower.
What do you see on the students’ boards?
Though all foreign teachers were told this ahead of time I don’t think I had expected nor prepared to deal with changes in my students’ behaviors who were mostly energetic and hyperactive when their parent (or anyone’s parent) came.
Unofficial classroom rule: Sit on the yellow line.
Down, up, down, up.
All students’ had been instructed to put one finger in the air and follow this motion: down, up, down, and up. I encourage learners who are new speakers of the English language to use this method to help practice recognition, memorization, and pronunciation of all 26 English alphabet letters.
In my K3 (Kindergarten, level 3) class, we average around three Phonics lessons per week. Two of the materials I used that are supplied by the school include Big Phonics Book and Finger Phonics Book. One book is big. The other is small. Which means the size is an advantage and dictates how we use them during our lessons. If you have noticed the picture above then you can infer our letter of the week is ”
If you have noticed the picture above then you can infer our letter of the week is “Ww.”
“A W is written like this…”, I say, “down and up and again.”
This exercise works well with learners’ who gain several benefits from revisiting the sound and shape of the letter of the week several times throughout the week.
Our Big Phonics Book (not pictured here) contains two-sentence stories, visuals, and a hand motion exercise for every letter and letter blend (two letters together that make one sound) in the English language. The pages are large enough to be displayed in front of everyone which makes Read Aloud sessions capable for me and all teachers. The Finger Phonics Book is more personal because the students’ are encouraged to trace their finger over the letter in a repetitive motion.
J stands for Jean and Jasmine who have personalities that are sometimes opposite of each other. Jean is outwardly playful while Jasmine likes to cover her mouth and hide her face every time she laughs. I love them (and every Juniper berry) the same.
U stands for one of our weather-related words “umbrella“. It was one of the first words in English that everyone learned to say in their first semester at Oak Tree!
N stands for ‘no’ which is a magical two-letter word that quiets Juniper down when they’re hyper. I say ‘no’ and put my hand up to signal them to stop talking and (sometimes) it works!
I stands for “I love you” which the students’ learned to say to me in their first semester every time one of them drew or (saw a heart being drawn by someone else) in the classroom during our down time. Nearly every CTP worksheet is filled with houses and hearts on the back.
P stands for paper and pencil and Phonics [book] — three out of seven classroom items passed out and collected by three different students every week. (They like being called “line leaders” and “little helpers”.)
E stands for English which some of the students’ in Juniper Tree began learning before they entered our classroom last September. I’m proud to say they ALL speak English today 🙂
R stands for reading which is one of my favorite hobbies. Teacher Alula (that’s me!) likes to pull out books from the library corner near our classroom and open up the book to read to everyone patiently waiting for their classmates to finish drinking water while sitting on the yellow line. I encourage you to read to your child every day!
To most people five months isn’t a very long time. To me, it’s enough to learn how to roll a mat. In 2016, I worked with children ages 3 to 6 years old in a private school that specialized in Montessori education.
In 2016, I worked with children ages 3 to 6 years old in a private Montessori school.
The students’ bedazzled their square nail boards in an impromptu craft lesson on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.
Using rubber bands supplied in their “I Love Math” tool box, they were able to spell their names all on their own! One student started and others quickly followed. Prior to this, the students’ had been using popsicle sticks borrowed from the Montessori corner to spell their name. That exercise inspired them to take on a more hands-on, self-led class project.
Not only have the students mastered spelling their names this semester, but they are able to read and call out the names of their peers each week while distributing classroom materials. Each week we have a new set of helpers, or “little teachers” as I like to call them.
It has been an honor to work with fourteen creative minds in Oak Tree’s newest K3 classroom, Juniper Tree.