Gung Hee Fat Choy! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Gung Hee Fat Choy!

Posted on January 26, 2006

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 26, 2006

Thank you to our many parents and grandparents who’ve been sharing their cultural celebration of the Chinese New Year. Several classes have learned about traditional foods such as gau and rice noodles, customs like receiving li see (the red paper envelopes containing money), and dragon dances. Happy Year of the Dog!

In case you’ve been wondering how we’ve been faring in school with the blustery winds laden with intermittent rain — recess and physical education have been mostly affected by the weather. The children don’t seem to mind an indoor recess because the classrooms are spacious and comfortable. They can play board games, or settle into a reading corner, andthe older students can tap into computer programs.

Our p.e. teacher, Pam Jenkins, is a creative genius. During inclement weather, she sometimes uses the stage or dining room. On several occasions, Diane Koshi (music) and Pam Jenkins collaborate to combine the teaching of musical concepts with p.e. skills, e.g., dribbling a ball while keeping to a rhythm. Since last week, the fifth graders, like the rest of the school, have been creating some unique jump rope routines that will be demonstrated at our Jump Rope for Heart assembly in February. However, they’re also working on an original music composition using Garage Band, a computer program that enables the learner to set their own music to their own jump rope routines.

So how are the children and faculty adapting to rain-kissed Manoa? As best as we can, thanks!

In my last letter, I mentioned the possibility of yet another afterschool enrichment program — strings (violin)! Due to the fact that most of you have already enrolled your children in an enrichment program, we’ve decided to wait until the next school year. It just makes my heart sing to hear the piano-tinkling of beginning pianists in the music room or to observe the preschoolers explore musical concepts via different instruments (e.g., chimes, wood blocks, tambourines, etc.). It’s exciting to see (and hear) our afterschool enrichment program grow.

We’re taking important first steps in bridging the elementary and middle school curricula so that students experience a cohesive learning program. Four of our elementary faculty representing the grade levels and six middle school teachers met last week and will continue their discussions today at the Chew Technology Center. At the first session, all the teachers explained their respective curricula. It was encouraging to recognize many shared concepts and underlying beliefs about learning. Today the group worked more analytically to identify recurring themes and the use of resources. We’re excited to learn more about a K-12 model for teaching about different cultures and a resource for teaching mathematics. In addition to these curriculum-planning sessions, interested middle and elementary school faculty have met on two weekends to discuss ways to “build bridges” between the preschool- elementary and middle school. These discussions have been truly enlightening for both faculties. We intend to extend these discussions to the high school.

Finally, thanks for your support of your children and our schoolwide “Pennies for Aloha” fundraiser for the Aloha United Way. One preschooler walked in this morning with a plastic baggie and two five-dollar bills. He collected aluminum cans, took the cans to a recycling center, and brought in his contribution. All the jars (they are heavy!) are in the office. I’m looking for 2-3 parent volunteers who can help us count up the total. Please call the main office, 441-3800, if you can help. I’ll report the grand total next week.

Hoping we see blue skies soon!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey

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