Posted on February 3, 2013
Preschoolers and elementary students were treated to a visit from the MPI boys' varsity basketball team this past Friday. The entire team and their coach, Jason Hopkins, sat among the students in the dining room, preschool, and kindergarten to have lunch together. What's lunch conversation like with the basketball team? Posed by our children: "When did you start playing basketball? How tall are you? How many games did you win? What do you have for lunch? How many points have you scored? What's the best team (among the ILH teams)? How long do you practice? How high can you jump? Do you dunk?" The varsity team moved over to the playcourt where they seemed to enjoy some free play with the students. Mr. Black tried to get the elementary students to sit down so everyone could watch some exhibition playing by the basketball team, but Mr. Black could read their reluctance to stand by and watch. When he asked, "Do you want to watch them or do you want to play (with them)?," what do you think was their resounding response?
This past week the faculty and I have resumed our voluntary weekly lunch meetings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. This is our third year of gathering together in small groups to share classroom stories and student work, ask for feedback, plan, try out apps, discuss some readings, and enjoy the good company and good conversation. We've worked out a schedule where teachers from different grade levels and specialties can cross-fertilize ideas at our meetings. Last week teachers brought samples of student work from the current inquiries in process in their respective grade levels. What was most amazing to me as I listened to their discussions was just how excited the TEACHERS are about their own learning and their students' learning. And I do mean excited! Our student teachers also participate in these meetings so that they can experience more fully the life of the teaching professional. One of our school goals, particularly in the preschool and elementary, has been to create a culture of thinking, and I think we're taking the right steps forward to support an inquiry mindset among students and teachers. The evidence of thinking is evident in our students' questions, the documentation of their thinking, and the products of learning. Now and then the teachers' blog entries provide windows of learning into the classroom.
Returning to the opening paragraph of my parent letter --
All families are invited to the boys' varsity basketball game Senior Aloha Night on February 8, this Friday, 4:30pm, in the gym. Prizes will be given away throughout the game. Students should bring the basketball card distributed on Friday to the game to receive an extra prize. Go, Owls!
So what do you think was our students' resounding response to Mr. Black's question on the playcourt?
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey