Learn more about what a typical day for a TK students looks like!
A recent interview with Tracy Kimball (TK Teacher):
What is your favorite thing about Caliber: Beta Academy?
"Beta’s students are what make it special. We have some pretty amazing scholars who demonstrate kindness, advocate for the needs of others, and show perseverance. I feel fortunate to get to spend my day with such a joyful group of kiddos."
Tell me more about the Transitional Kinder program that launched this year?
"Meaningful play is a key aspect of Beta’s TK program. We use play to teach valuable social-emotional and academic skills. Students learn how to share, ask questions, test a hypothesis, and use vocabulary in context. Bonus — they have a ton of fun! That said, learning is serious business in TK. On a typical day we read a story, paint, build, conduct science experiments, draw a plan of what we will do in the pretend-play area, practice counting, race one another on the playground, recite a poem, sing the ABCs, write letters, and eat lunch — all before 11:30. At Caliber TK, we ensure all students are prepared academically and socially to enter Kindergarten as leaders and role models."
What has been the most memorable thing that has happened in the classroom?
"We’ve been learning about our community and individuals that help our community stay safe. As a part of this unit, we studied firefighters. When the firefighters visited us at school, each student had an opportunity to pretend to save the day by spraying water out of a real fire hose! We had so much fun!"
Learn more about how 6th grade and TK is partnering to read!
A recent interview with Ms. Cox (TK) and Ms. Barlow (6th grade):
What is your favorite thing about Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy?
Ms.Cox: " That I can come to work as my true authentic self!"
Ms. Barlow: "My favorite thing about ChangeMakers is that teachers have the opportunity to connect with kids on different levels and focus on other things that are not academics . We get to look at the whole child and get to be on their journey of growing into kind humans! The middle school team rocks!
Tell me more about the Reading Buddies program?
Ms. Cox: “ So the reading buddies program is allowing my TK babies to partner with a 6th grade reading buddy on a monthly basis.”
Ms. Barlow: “The reading buddies is an opportunity for our 6th graders to be leaders and give the transitional kindergartners an opportunity to look up to middle school leaders and learn the importance of reading!”
Why do you think it’s important for students to engage in this?
Ms. Cox: “ I think it's important for TK to participate in this because as we are learning to read and learn the foundational things needed, they get to experience the end goal with 6th grade! They get to see it happening as they are still learning.”
Ms. Barlow: “ I think it is important for students to engage in this because it helps build relationships with one another and learn from each other. It is important to foster a love of reading for all our students this is one opportunity that they look forward to."
Tell me something memorable that happened during reading buddies?
Ms.Cox: “I have some students hide behind me, but when we got settled, it was nice seeing them intensively listening and being comfortable. One of them didn't want to do it and wanted to pair with his brother, but he got paired with two buddies and got to read in both Spanish and English!”
Ms. Barlow: “A favorite memory from this year is a Tk baby was scared and wanted to converse in his home language. We found a 6th grader that spoke the same language and matched them together. Both were so happy to find something in common and were able to read together in their language. It was an opportunity for both kids to exhibit a part of who they are. The 6th grader has talked about his buddy everyday since!"
Learn more about Ms. Murray (right) and Ms. Williams (left)!
A few words from their colleagues:
"I attended the new teacher orientation alongside Alesha and I knew it was going to be a great middle school year ahead. Her positive attitude and "go get 'em" attitude was contagious had me excited to learn and teach new things! I was very impressed with Ranai's ability to make students feel valued and respected. She makes time to meet with students outside of class to make sure they have a full understanding of the math material and offered engaging activities and tools to sharpen their skills. If there's an open seat in her class, count me in to take it!" - Joyce A.
"I could not be more thrilled to have Alesha and Ranai on our Middle School Team! I had the pleasure of interviewing both of them and was immediately struck at home much they loved, cared and believed in students. I knew they would fit right in with our exceptional team. I want to thank them both for bringing their talents to CMA and joining the middle school family."- Asha C.
"Alesha- has a warm nurturing soul and pours positive energy into our students and staff. She is an amazing Asset to our Middle School team and a delight to work with. It feels as if she has been part of the team from year one." Ranai-Very kind and caring person and a team player. I really her ability to adapt to the team needs and courage to learn what is needed to be an effective teacher as we'll build positive healthy relationships with her students."- Nick B.
"Ranai jumped right into being the 7th grade math teacher and I could not be more excited for our students! Ranai shows she cares about students through her interactions with them and how she has created a safe and positive learning environment this early in the school year. Ranai, I have so much gratitude for you and we are grateful to have you apart of the 7th grade team! Alesha has such a positive "can do" attitude and I admire the way she shows up for our 8th graders each day. Alesha, welcome to the team of teachers of English!"- Lauren K.
What is your favorite thing about Caliber?
Ranai: “I would say it's a very collaborative environment and the kids have a positive attitude around working hard.”
Alesha: “The leadership and admin team are super supportive and understanding. I like that we do SEL for our students and I love the students too.”
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
Ranai: “P.E because I loved to be active!”
Alesha: “History because I liked learning about the past. I also liked English because I love writing.”
What is something you are excited to teach this year?
Ranai: “I’m excited to teach math because I have never taught math at the upper grades, so I am learning it alongside them.”
Alesha: ”If Asha is good with this.. I want the last novel of the year to be “The Hate You Give”. It’s relevant for the students today, most of them have seen the movie and I am excited for them to dive in and analyze it.”
What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area (or specifically Vallejo)
Ranai: “I just moved here 3 weeks ago, but so far I love the weather.”
Alesha: ”The cultural diversity! It’s super diverse and overall the Bay Area has an acceptance of everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are accepted and safe out here!”
What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
Ranai: “In school, I am very time oriented, but outside I am late to everything by significant amounts of time!”
Alesha: “I have been to the horn of Africa (Djibouti)”
Learn more about Dragon Day @ Beta Upper School.
All about Dragon Day @Caliber: Beta Academy
Beta Upper took part in the first annual Dragon Day. Eighth grade students participated in Challenge Day, a program designed to break down barriers, confront bullying, and intentionally design the peer community that will carry students through their final year at Beta before high school. In planning for the 8th graders experience, Coach Kisha was hit with a great idea - we should replicate a similar experience for 6th and 7th grade too! So, students in those grades will rotate through their normal class schedule, but each teacher will conduct a lesson on a different SEL competency such as conflict resolution, positive peer relationships, and self regulation. It is sure to be a HEARTfelt day.
- Ashlee Gutierrez- School Leader @ Beta Upper School
A recent interview with Daniel Lopez (8th grade student):
What is your favorite thing about Caliber: Beta Academy?
"The uniform policy gets to me, but I like that they have a great support system and will support you with whatever obstacles you are facing. They guide you and they don’t give up on you even when you want to give up on yourself."
Tell me more about Challenge Day at Beta Upper School?
"Dragon Day was a different experience. It was unexpected, but some people cried because they learned about the people around them and what they were facing. You got to hear all about everyones differences. It gave me different perspective about my life. Everyone is facing something, and we don’t talk about it. Everyone is the same, maybe we go through different things, but we all feel the same emotions. I learned to not judge people, to understand others around you and be the best person you can be."
Tell me about your favorite part of the day?
"I liked the whole day, but I especially liked how we got to express ourselves without anyone judging you. We learned that everyone should have someone to talk to and listen to you. We all started with a circle, then we closed our eyes to think about who we are and how we see things in life. After this, we went around talking about our thoughts and I was able to share and listen to others as well. I learned about a lot of things we don't talk about with my friend group."
Why do you think it’s important for students to engage in these discussions?
"It's important because it allows us to make space where we can share our feelings and thoughts. A lot of students don’t have a way to express these and we learned how we can do this .We learned how I can better support my friends when they are going through something."
What is a fun fact that nobody knows about you?
“I like to watch National Geographic and learn about animals!”