Posted on September 29, 2013
We celebrate learning every chance we get! At our monthly assemblies, which parents are invited to attend, two to three classes explain something they've been learning. It might be a unit of inquiry students are in the middle of exploring, a math concept, final pieces of writing, a choir piece, or artistic process. The curriculum sharing is always well received.
This past Thursday, Ms. Leventhal's first and second graders shared a class poem consisting of one-line statements written by each student, beginning with "I am the one who..." Click here to read the poem.
Each poetic line read aloud at the assembly brought smiles to our faces. One could say that our students' intrapersonal intelligence -- knowledge of self, one's strengths, areas of need, hopes, and dreams -- is especially keen.
Not to be outdone by the first and second graders, the fifth graders shared a noteworthy revision process for selecting and refining iconic images that required collaboration in the best sense. As we develop a digital citizenship curriculum appropriate for elementary students, the fifth graders were charged with designing icons for each of
the four major curricular areas -- digital footprint, ethics, ownership, and creative credit. We learned that each student actually came up with a design for a particular area, that is, over 40 possible designs. Using criteria the students developed as a class, they narrowed the designs to a few that were further combined through an extensive discussion process. The four final designs, which you can view on Ms. Field's blog (http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/5F/2013/09/digital-citizen.php) is actually a composite design taking in the best features from other designs. The entire process is exactly the kind of critical thinking and collaboration that 21st century learners ought to be engaged in daily! Just think of a professional design team's process, and it's happening right here among ten-year-olds.
Another group of fifth graders, guided by Ms. Jenkins, shared a range of final pieces following a few weeks of inquiry learning on photosynthesis. From diorama and poster board to Keynote and iMovie, each of these projects, shaped by the medium, conveyed students' understanding about the process that plants use to convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy used to fuel plants' activities. The fifth graders are especially interested in plants because they maintain a sustainable garden just outside their classroom, fueled not only by sunlight but also energy from a wind turbine and a solar panel.
In addition to these curriculum presentations, we acknowledge the birthdays of students and staff the month of the assembly. Students celebrating birthdays also share the titles of books they are donating to their class library. At this recent assembly, we applauded Ms. Holzman, member of Team Bradley, the best all-women canoe paddling team in Hawai`i, earning first place in the annual Moloka`i-to-O`ahu race. Each monthly assembly is unique. And each assembly celebrates the individuals who are Mid-Pacific -- students, faculty, and staff. Join us for the next one, October 24, 8:15am.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey