Posted on May 1, 2011
What happens when 265 children, each with a kite, converge on a football field to fly their kites? It's the perfect recipe for Kite Glee! Yes, there were tangled strings and mangled kites, but, oh, squeals of laughter, so many parents and children tugging at strings, and kites soaring free! During our annual Kite Day celebration, the children were joined by students in the middle school and high school who also tried their skills at kite flying. Thanks to some helpful pointers from their teachers and parents, the children were able to problem-solve some of their kite challenges. It was a warm mid-morning with just enough Manoa tradewinds to whisk many hand-made kites into the air, even for some fleeting moments.
And we've come to the month of May, the last month of school year 2010-2011, and your children already nearing the end of a fast-paced school year. When I think of May, the lovely scent of plumeria lei comes to mind along with images of May Day programs and high school graduations. If you've been on campus recently, you may have seen the children practicing on the courtyard lawn.
This year's May Day performance finds its origin in the inquiry of the multiage third and fourth graders (see Tiffany Byrne's blog; she is one of the teachers of this grade level). The answers to students' questions about where Hawaiians came from, how they traveled to the islands of Hawaii, and many other multi-layered questions will be shared this Friday, May 6, 12:30pm, in the gymnasium. The theme, Voyaging through Polynesia, will come to life through the songs and dances performed by all the children. If you remember the opera Kahalaopuna performed two years ago by the students of MPI, you will be once again impressed by the pageantry.
During the past four weeks and weekends, I have enjoyed hearing the laughter and voices of parents in the Tech Lab as they sew costumes and craft pieces for the performances. Just the costuming alone is amazing! Music specialist Diane Koshi has been preparing the children for the performance, along with the help of community members who've been coming in to help teach some dances. Parking will be available on the football field. We'll send an intranet reminder to all parents about logistics.
This Monday evening we welcome a few early childhood educators to the preschool who are also participants in the World Forum, an international gathering to be held at the Sheraton Waikiki. They've expressed strong interest in our Reggio Emilia-inspired program. We've also had a number of teachers from other independent schools who are interested in multiage learning and have met with us and visited classrooms.
Just a quick update on the faculty discussions regarding an electronic portfolio process to be implemented next school year: We have a few more meetings to determine the specific artifacts of learning. A smaller committee will convene during the summer to work on details. The teachers and I have been working closely with MPI Education Technology Director Mark Hines to develop an electronic portfolio process that will meet the goals we've determined for our students and that support our philosophy about teaching and learning. This will be an e-portfolio unique to MPI.
Don't forget your digital cameras or recorders to document this upcoming May Day memory!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey