Keeping Fit and Healthy - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Keeping Fit and Healthy

Posted on October 19, 2006

by Scott Yoshinaga on October 19, 2006

Keeping fit and healthy has taken on a new dimension on our campus! Our P.E. teacher, Pam Jenkins, has organized a healthy activity for our children in grades K-5 when they’re dropped off in the morning. As an extension and application of their P.E. curriculum, students may choose to run laps in the morning in the lane behind the multiage 3-4 classes, which is safely gated. A complete “lap” is equivalent to one-tenth of a mile and earns one plastic counter. The children record the number of counters on their individual charts, which easily integrates math skills. Children in K-2 simply count the number of stars they’ve recorded for each plastic counter, and they know that ten recorded stars makes one mile. The students in grades 3-5 keep track of their laps using counters, then convert the distances into decimals. I understand several children have run 2-3 miles since Monday. Not all the children participate, but it’s an excellent before-school activity to help rev up their day!

Preschool parents had a potluck dinner in the dining room last Friday, followed by teacher presentations in the classrooms. We learned about the children’s inquiry projects and their learning processes, which we value and honor by scheduling lots of classroom time to explore, discuss, negotiate, enact, and reflect on their learning. Much of their learning is documented in classroom displays or panels, which the teachers update to illustrate the children’s learning over time.

The MPI Development Office wishes to thank the preschool and elementary `Ohana for their generosity and support of Moon Over Manoa. Over 400 friends of MPI attended the silent auction and dinner event, which raised over $140,000 to support capital improvement projects on the entire campus.

Erica Lann-Clark, one of the storytellers who were featured in the storytelling festival at McCoy Pavilion this past weekend, treated the children to several stories. Ms. Lann-Clark shared a Mexican tale about young Pepito’s adventures in his attempt to hide from his father, and two Halloween-type stories. The children and faculty were caught up in the storyteller’s amazing web of characters and plots. Before leaving the dining room where we were all gathered, the storyteller invited the children to share their own stories with her and to keep telling stories.

Parents, I appreciate your cooperation with the drop-off and pick-up procedures mentioned in my last letter. There’s been a remarkable improvement. Thanks for also passing the information to other persons you’ve authorized to pick up or drop off your children.

We’ve always had a supportive relationship with the University of Hawaii, Chaminade University, and Honolulu Community College by allowing their pre-service teachers (students who are enrolled in a teacher education program) to observe our teachers or student teach. Through the years we’ve had the pleasure of working with cohorts of college students who are always grateful for the enriching experiences. These pre-service teachers are able to observe the application of educational theory in different contexts. They sometimes work with individual students or small groups, always under the supervision and guidance of the mentor teacher. We invite them to our faculty meetings. Of course, I’m entirely grateful to our faculty who assume the added responsibility of working with a student teacher and serve as inspiring mentors.

Some of you have been asking about how to get your child’s photo on the walls in Wilcox. This Children First capital campaign fundraising opportunity will be mailed to our parents in December.

Finally, how are your child’s table manners at home? Napkins on the lap? Pleasant table conversation? Please and thank yous? Elbows off the table? Wiping the mouth neatly with the napkin? Hope they’re practicing their etiquette at home and in school!

For our children.

Edna L. Hussey