Posted on June 19, 2010
During the second week of summer school, I observed fun and exciting moments --
• Students programming the movements of their LegoRobot cars (speed, ability to turn and stop, ability to move up and down an incline) on the computers
• Little hands gently holding slender embroidery needles and making running stitches on quilt squares
• Small groups of students re-enacting a scene from a story they've just read
• Structures of toothpicks and gumdrops nearly as high as a foot!
• Kindergartners drawing their observations of plants
• Students plotting their dream house on chart paper to determine area measurements
• Preschoolers frolicking under water sprinklers, happily drenched
• Several groups of students building simple machines complete with gears and wheels
• Teacher, assistant, and a group of students discussing the elements of a video production
• Inventors developing prototypes of their first inventions
• Hand-clapping to rhythmic beats based on students' names, and then patterns copied to GarageBand
• A small circle of children singing a song in Mandarin about panda bears
• Sunflowers made with tissue paper, mosaic pieces, and tempera paint
• Students checking their stance before bolting across the playcourt in a timed race
For more descriptions and photos, go directly to the elementary page to read the teachers' updated blogs.
These images of summer school remind me of my own summer experiences as a child. I remember learning to sew on a sewing machine in a building at the foot of Bishop St. The large room was filled with rows and rows of tables with Singer sewing machines and girls like myself cutting fabric pieces with tissue-paper patterns attached with long pins. I still remember the whir of machines, thread strewn on the floor, and the smell of cotton, muslin, and polyester fabric. That summer I made three dresses. Each of the students was required to model one of their completed outfits at some evening event at the Hilton Hawaiian dome. (Am I dating myself?)
Then there was the summer with a theatre company. After all the activities of thinking, speaking, and moving in character -- many of these activities were solo demonstrations! -- I was cast as one of several clowns in a circus-themed play. I had to do cartwheels, juggle balls, and prance around the length of the stage at least three times. The final performance was at the Waikiki Shell, and I still remember feeling very tired after such a robust performance! Another summer I took art classes from the Academy of Arts and my elementary art teacher. That was a productive summer of still life's, clay work, collage, oil painting, and charcoal sketches.
All of this is to say that summer school provides many refreshing, memorable experiences. Our students are taught by talented teachers, many who are not regular faculty but who have returned to teach at MPI summer school for a change in pace or are new to our summer school and have something just as valuable as the other faculty to contribute to our program. Students who attend summer school have steep learning curves in the sense that they are challenged to make new friends in a short time or work at developing positive relationships with their teachers. Our students also interact with the teacher aides who are from our MPI middle school, high school, or college students. Our children are learning how to build relationships with their peers, adults, and the environment, as well as learning content and skills in their various sessions. I'd say this is a lot for any child to navigate through the day!
This Thursday and Friday, June 24-25, the Money Doesn't Grow on Trees class is sponsoring a snack sale, proceeds to go to charity. There are posters around the campus advertising the sale (e.g., brownies, musubi, fruit roll-ups, etc.). If you'd like you child to purchase a snack, I think $1 to $2 is a sufficient amount to give your child. You're also invited to the Friday assembly in the dining room at 8:30am when several classes will be sharing some of the things they've been learning in our summer program.
Happy Fathers' Day to dads, granddads, uncles, hanai uncles, and godfathers! You are all much loved and appreciated.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey