My students are all English second language learners! They are American citizens having been born and raised in their remote Yup’ik village of 300! They spend half of their day in Yup’ik instruction - learning to read and write in their first language - and the other half of the day doing the same in English! My students amaze me with their easy transition from one language to the other! They are enthusiastic and joyful throughout the day and never miss a chance to do their very best.
My students come from homes where there is very little personal space. They arrive at a school which also provides very little personal space for them. Just the simple addition of a ‘cushion’ to call their own during storytime or floor work will make them sit up taller and know they are cared for. We ask the littlest ones to spend a lot of time on the floor. Our school has no foundation - it is up on pilings, or stilts. The cold Alaskan air seeps right through our thin floor and aged carpet. With the addition of comfortable seating, their little bodies will relax, and their minds will be freed, to listen attentively.
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