Posted on April 15, 2012
The tell-tale signs of a fast-approaching summer: The sun rises earlier each morning, so that by the time autoline is in motion, the day is warmer, and the sun brighter. Sunsets are later and more intense. When I lock the doors behind me at the end of the day, it's still light outside. Aside from the obvious changes in temperature and length of day, teaching and learning continue without interruption. New inquiry units have just begun in some classrooms like the multiage first and second grades where physical science topics such as magnetism, sound, light, gravity and matter are in full swing and explored through many science experiments. Fifth graders are making sense of geometry through basic algebraic equations and doing an extensive inquiry into immigration. Kindergartners are taking their hand-drawn theories of the human body and its functions from sketching to manipulating clay to further develop their ideas. Multiage 3rd and 4th graders are analyzing the changes in the relationship of the ancient Hawaiians to the ahupua`a in the past and in the future. And our preschoolers are becoming experts on outdoor environments and the messages inherent in these settings. How can you find out more about any of these classrooms? Check the teachers' blogs! You will be amazed and inspired.
The transparency of our preschool and elementary program is unique. School tours for admission purposes can be scheduled through the Office of Admissions. Not only are weekly blogs posted by the elementary faculty, but photo galleries also contain further documentation of classroom learning. Our own MPI parents are sometimes invited into classrooms to assist with inquiry reading or to share their expertise with students. We frequently receive visitors from other schools who are interested in the preschool, multiage classes, our integration of technology, or the inquiry-based curriculum. Now and then we receive requests from college professors in early childhood education to bring over their students to observe our Reggio-inspired classrooms. And you already know about the UH cohort of teacher candidates and student teachers from other institutions who are learning about pedagogy from many of our teachers.
There are really no secrets except to say that the faculty are innovators, collaborators, learners, risk-takers, writers, readers, artists, inquirers and thinkers who truly enjoy teaching children. In next week's faculty blog entries, you can expect to read more about how the teachers are creating the necessary conditions for not just rich, but fun learning.
Don't miss the opening night of Reframe: MPI's Media Arts Festival, this coming Friday, April 20, 6:00-8:00pm in Bakken Auditorium. The screening of the best work in photography, animation, digital art,and short film by our Kindergartners and students in other grade levels through high school will be featured. Then the art work moves to Ong King Art Center May 4 at 184 North King Street, for a First Friday event, 6:30-10:00pm.
Perhaps we'll see some of you this Friday, April 20, at Kite Day, beginning at 10:35am on the MPI football field. Yes, you, too, can fly a kite! Let the child in you soar.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey