At the Assembly: Learning Unlimited! - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

At the Assembly: Learning Unlimited!

Posted on October 24, 2010

by Dr. Edna Hussey on October 24, 2010

Our October assembly highlighted the learning in two multiage third-and-fourth grade classrooms. Ms. Byrne's students, who have been studying volcanoes, performed an experiment right before our very eyes testing how gases are formed. Using a consistent measurement of baking soda added to different liquids, we watched the baking soda change from a light layer of bubbles to an explosive froth that nearly escaped from the jar. Imagine this kind of gaseous activity in a volcano! Ms. Sanders' class explained how they learn new vocabulary. Each week, students select new words from their read-aloud, then engage in some specific strategies to really learn the words in meaningful ways. They illustrate words, dramatize words, and use words in their writing. Ask your children if they remember at least one of the three words the students explained. I still remember the three words because the applications were so vivid! But wait -- there was more great learning at the assembly!

Ms. Jenkins, our p.e. teacher, fired up the students with an incentive to increase student participation in the morning walks/runs each morning. Using Google Earth, she showed students the distances that the total number of miles they have walked since the beginning of the school year could take them. Students have walked over 500 miles, so she began by anchoring one point of a line from MPI and stretching it to the North Shore -- only a mere 28 miles! Asking for audience feedback, she began again at MPI and moved the line across the Big Island -- just about 150 miles. Imagine the students' enthusiasm predicting where 500 miles could indeed take them. Ms. Jenkins held up a large plastic see-through container and invited students to write down the names of places or destinations that they would like to see the school walk using the accumulated miles walked or run each morning. Ms. Jenkins may be reporting back to the students at another assembly. Just makes you want to lace up your shoes and get on the track. Stay tuned.

Halloween, I discovered, is the one of the most celebrated holidays, second only to Christmas. An Epiphany School tradition and now very much a tradition at MPI preschool and elementary, Spooktivity will be celebrated this Friday. The Preschool event begins at 9:00am with the preschool costume parade through the elementary campus; the K-5 celebration begins at 12:45pm with the costume parade to the middle school. We've added another Halloween dance to our repertoire (besides the Hokey-Pokey), which will premiere on Friday on the quad. Parents, come in costume, if you dare. I'll be greeting the children in morning autoline dressed in my costume, as I've done since 1997. As I told your children at the assembly this past Thursday, it's as "bold" as I could manage.

Several Kindergarten parent volunteers were busy this weekend painting the Treat Street scenes and decorating the dining room. Scary can be beautiful! Come and see.

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey