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Taking math outside the classroom

Math is everywhere in nature, from the spirals on a nautilus to the symmetry of a sunflower. Help your students study math and other STEM concepts in the great outdoors with Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface.

  • Javier Aguilar has a passion for computer science. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Aguilar shares his love of the field with elementary-age students at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy in Fort Worth, Texas.

    “I get to teach computer science to students year-round,” he says. “I love seeing the joy they receive from keyboarding exercises, robotics, and coding.”

    Aguilar measures his personal success in terms of his students’ success. “For me, achievement is looking into the eyes of my students and seeing that they understand, and that they know they can be successful in their learning.”

    That’s why he’s always on the lookout for the best education tools he can find. “Good ideas can always be implemented in an educational environment, so long as you use the right tools at the right time,” Aguilar notes.

  • Math + nature = learning success

    In keeping with the tenets of Montessori education, the academy offers several unique and inspiring outdoor learning gardens. But until recently, Aguilar and his students couldn’t take full advantage of the spaces.

    “The students were using glass windows to work on math and coding problems in the classroom,” he says. While the windows allowed students space to write — a powerful way to aid knowledge retention — the windows kept them tied to the building.

    When Aguilar discovered Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Sheets, he immediately saw their potential for getting students out of the classroom and into the woods. “The sheets allow for creativity to happen anywhere in the school, including our outside learning environments,” he says. “They’re also a great tool for reinforcing the learning process. Students can practice on the dry erase surface and be as creative as their minds allow.”

    Aguilar, a visual learner himself, uses Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Sheets for a range of topics, including coding. “With my struggling students, I use the sheets to draw the cardinal points: north, south, east, and west. This is how I teach the basic concepts of coding, which are moving forward, turning left, turning right, and moving backwards.”

  • A model equation

    Whether he’s teaching indoors or out, Aguilar is committed to improving his students’ lives by working with his fellow teachers. “I want to be a role model for other teachers and our students, and that starts with collaboration. I truly believe collaboration is fundamental to any organization’s success. Working together toward the same objective — educating and preparing our students for the future — is a priority we educators always need to keep in mind.”

  • Javier Aguilar

    Javier Aguilar is a technology teacher to pre-K through fifth-grade students at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy in Fort Worth, Texas. He lives with his wife and two daughters, and is working toward a master’s in education technology.

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