NJ's House - Teaching Journey

NJ's House, a subsidiary of Headstart School, is a Candidate, for the Primary Years Programme, pursuing authorization as an IB World School. 
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One morning in Nursery, S was feeling tired, and possibly homesick. All the children were out by the water wall but S didn’t feel like going. She found some nice blocks and made herself a bed in the middle of the carpet, then she took off her slippers and lay down with her classroom friend, Squirrel.

The teacher wanted to engage S, but also wished to respect her space. She couldn’t tell if S was really tired or if this was part of the game S had created. Very carefully, the teacher brought two cushions, one by one, and placed them next to the mattress, like a small wall. S sat up immediately and looked at the cushion blocks laid out neatly in the corner. This was the teacher’s cue to withdraw to the playdough table, where she could work with other children and keep an eye on S.

S worked with determination and focus; she built a boundary, and a place for her shoes and friends. Then she sat in her house and thought about other improvements. The teacher came by and showed her how the curved blocks come apart, she pulled out the smallest circle shaped one, and put it back silently; then she moved away again. S noticed this suggestion; she pulled apart the arched blocks and moved them to her boundary. She created a doorway and windows, and a neat little living space. She carried out several repairs while the house lasted.

Having fulfilled her nesting itch for the morning, S was ready after some time to join the other children at circle time. She cleaned away her house, returned things neatly to their place, and carried on.


After learning to count aloud in sequence, students must be able to associate the written numeral for each ‘number’ with its name. Gradually they grow to understand that in a set of objects, each item must only be counted once and must only be given one number; this is known as one-to-one correspondence. It’s a critical concept that with age becomes magically easier for toddlers, who just a few months ago, were pointing willy nilly as they counted off.

Numbers indicate quantity, but also sequence. All around us are numbers used almost as matter of identity; whether it’s your street number, your car’s license plate, your child’s age, “I’m three”, or a Kung Fu Panda episode about the furious five, chances are your child is already consuming numerals and numbers from their environment.

Asking students to use counters to “show” their understanding of quantity allows us a clear window on their thinking when it comes to number sense. Are they able to create each number? If not, what is the gap between their understanding of how much 6 is, and the correct answer.

We are also, through this Montessori-derived work, asking students to concentrate on their task, despite the attention they are receiving from classmates; to work neatly and with dexterity; to use the counters respectfully, even when returning them; to begin a task and then finish it, a powerful experience at this age; and more. For other students; they learn to wait their turn, and by displaying their interest in the activity, betray to the teacher, their own readiness for that lesson.

Once this presentation is accomplished a few times with the aid of a teacher, the student must be free to take it out and repeat it himself. Further variations of this same activity include an introduction to odd and even numbers, and other lessons.

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.
Emily Dickinson (via shortstoriesanalyzed)

(via andimtheteacher)

First introductions with Coach Mohsin. Looking forward to a semester filled with athletics and sportsmanship.


"The insects are climbing in the branches," said F to the grasshopper. "You like some help, Mr. grasshopper?" "You haf to say pweeease."


 yúyīn 餘音 / 余音

(via amandaonwriting)

Japan’s Own IB Initiative

"…an initiative has emerged from within the Japanese government to make the IB a permanent fixture of Japanese secondary education, rather than an anomaly. In its report on a “global human resource development strategy” issued in June 2012, the prime minister’s Council on Promotion of Human Resource for Globalization Development recommends “increasing the number of schools where students can receive the IB diploma upon graduation, or receive a comparable education, to approximately 200 over the next five years.”

The emergence of such a strategy reflects a rising awareness within the private, public, and academic spheres that Japan must do a better job developing “global human resources ”—people capable of thinking independently and exercising leadership in a culturally diverse international environment—if it is to play a leading role in today’s globalized economy and society.”

Read the full article at www.nippon.com

Anyone visiting Karachi? This could be a very exciting exhibit to visit with kids.


This exhibition showcases historic maps and prints of the areas that make up Pakistan, along with the neighbouring territories of Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, India and China. The displays span five hundred years, from the date of the first printed map of the subcontinent in the 1480s, to the survey maps of the 1940s. 

The exhibition is presented in eleven sections and features over ninety rare and beautiful maps and prints, including the seminal Decima Asie Tabula, first published in 1486, and James Rennel’s 1788 Map of Hindoostan, or the Mogul Empire. In addition, there is documentary footage on the Silk Road and on the early mapmakers.


Chirya, Chu(n) Chu(n), aur Chappal

To build phonemic awareness, Farva invited Year 1 and Year 2 students to work with each Urdu alphabet and draft their own alliterations, i.e. sentences containing many words that begin with the same sound.

Here is M passing this exercise with flying colours for the sound /ch/.

Good news parents! The world is preparing to meet us half way!

Admissions officers from local colleges will give info and answer your questions about how to get into college without a traditional high school diploma. Hosted by Open Road Learning Community for Teens.

May 15 - May 16
May 15 at 7:00pm to May 16 at 9:00pm

5441 SE Belmont Street, Portland, Oregon 97215

We created a make-shift recording booth in a spare room at school, in order to record the songs we have been writing and also to create the Urdu podcasts we launched two months ago.

The recording booth was put together with the help of grade 2 students, using recycled and found materials that we had lying around. One day after school, we let R, who is just turning five, have a go at some playback singing; she is listening to the track we recorded through the headphones, and singing along.

Super cute!

Pens are telescopes. Sometimes they can can see far away things, even under water, sometimes they see what happened long ago.

Pens talk to their pen caps, they argue a lot about who is bigger. Both pens and caps enjoy hide and seek - ready or not,  here i come!

Pens are expert sleeve travelers. They sleep under pillows and inside toy trucks. 

Almond blossoms at the Headstart School, Kuri Campus