Better than fireworks - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Better than fireworks

Posted on July 3, 2010

by Dr. Edna Hussey on July 3, 2010

While our students were reading, singing, counting, playing, writing, measuring, painting and having hours of fun this past week, I joined 20,000 other participants at the 2010 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Denver, Colorado. Representatives from 18 Hawaii independent and private schools involved in the Schools of the Future initiative as recipients of funding from the Castle Foundation also participated in the conference. (MPI is the only preschool through high school SOTF participant in Hawaii.) MPI's middle and high school principals and I attended a range of sessions -- lectures, hands-on sessions, labs, and presentations -- to learn more about how technology can be better used to support teaching and learning. I liked the focus of the ISTE conference on revolutionizing student learning by encouraging teachers to be innovative, creative, and passionate about teaching. There's an incredible expanse of tools for all ages of learners and for all content areas. I learned more about websites with primary sources and how students can gain multiple perspectives on historical events. Since my particular area of interest is writing, I was pleased to have learned about the National Gallery of Writing as a means to give student writers a worldwide audience for their writing. My colleagues were excited about ways to plan and implement an electronic portfolio process and system. Clearly, our teachers have amazing tools available to them to take their teaching to new heights.

The fifth and final week of our regular summer program at Mid-Pacific comes to a close this Friday, July 9. (An extended 2-week session continues until July 23.) I strongly encourage you to take some time this long weekend to peruse the updated blogs of our summer school faculty. You'll not only find descriptions of student learning but also photo images and even some aural recordings. When I read these blogs, I am amazed by the creative learning experiences all of your children are having. I think the word fun best describes their daily learning.

Take note of a summer session class for entering 5th and 6th graders, which just began this week -- Ocean/Island Explorations. Bruce Black has been teaching this popular session for eight years, and some students are taking this session again because it is so much fun. His blog appears under MPI Classroom Happenings, 5-Black, just below the Summer Session blogs.

You're invited to two assemblies, if you have time. Only July 9, the first assembly at 8:30am highlights some of the learning in our morning sessions. By this Friday, every student will have had an opportunity to showcase something they've learned at an assembly (our last assembly was two weeks ago). The second assembly will be at 1:00pm for students in the camp program (afternoon sessions). Both assemblies will be in the dining room. Students will also be taking home their last set of assessments.

The faculty and I will be posting one more summer session blog on the MPI website next weekend. FYI: July 5, Monday, is the observance of our nation's July 4th holiday.

As I look at the breadth of the Ko`olau and shimmering waters of Kane`ohe Bay, I'm mindful of the history of our nation and all that has already transpired so that I can gaze at this wondrous view every day. Better than fireworks. Happy Fourth of July!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey