A Full Moon Experience - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

A Full Moon Experience

Posted on September 19, 2010

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 19, 2010

While for the rest of the world the September 18, 2010 moon phase was waxing gibbous at 91% full, the MPI event at the Sheraton Waikiki was peaking at 100% fun and excitement. The eighth annual Moon Over Manoa, a silent auction and dinner to raise funds for capital expenses, is one of the school's major events. The MPI choir, directed by choral director Diane Koshi, and the Pupukahi hula halau, led by kumu hula Lanakila Casupang, opened the event with a performance par excellence. Over 500 guests enjoyed pupus and cocktails, followed by an elegant four-course dinner. Throughout the evening, participants bid on a wide range of items, from a chocolate brown Tahitian pearl necklace and other fine jewelry to hotel-restaurant packages and themed gift baskets. The evening included a Las Vegas raffle and dancing to a live band. We are deeply grateful to the Steering Committee, auction donors, and the 500+ guests who continue to support MPI's student-centered vision and mission. Truly a "full Moon" experience!

It's hard to believe we are already entering our seventh week of school. In no time the Halloween pumpkins will be pulled from the patches, and we'll be rounding the corner into the holidays. In my recent classroom visits, I observed a number of noteworthy happenings. In one class, first and second grade students conducted an experiment reminiscent of the BP oil spill. They observed the effects of just one capful of motor oil poured into an aluminum pan filled with some sand and water. Can you predict what happened?

In another class, fourth graders students measured each others' height to create data graphs on the smartboard. And in yet another class, third and fourth graders attempted to sort through the questions that came up as they were researching volcanoes as questions that can be easily answered through a Google search versus questions that require deep research in multiple resources, sometimes leading to even further questions (this is the "stuff" of worthwhile inquiry). In a class of three-and-four-year-olds, the children discussed the kinds of bubbles they observed on a recent excursion to the beach, and then attempted to describe with their hands the bubbles' popping action.

Notice the absence of worksheets? In every classroom on any given day, the learning is rich, deep, complex -- and fun. Students are fully engaged, animated, and often begging for more: "Could we stay longer?" "Please, let's finish the experiment!" "Class is over already?" Reading the teachers' weekly blogs is often inspiring to me as a principal. I can trust the teachers to plan their students' learning experiences with careful thought, relevance, and age-appropriateness. I look forward to my classroom visits this week!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey