Grand Conversations - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Grand Conversations

Posted on February 17, 2014

by Dr. Edna Hussey on February 17, 2014

IMG_3091.JPGElementary PE teacher Bruce Black and high school science teacher Liz King were one of many teachers in MPIʻs professional development gathering last Friday to learn more about the art of assessment. Teachers practiced the process of articulating criteria specific to a goal or learning outcome that they would be doing with their students. Assessment experts Anne Davies and Sandra Herbst, who recently worked with the K-12 faculty, call this process "co-constructing criteria." Other teachers who had some experience with co-constructing criteria met in similar disciplines for grand conversation to de-construct the process and analyze the implications for teaching and learning. These all-school professional development days twice a year, with some Wednesday all-school faculty meetings, have contributed significantly to not only strengthening our professional community, but also improving studentsʻ learning experiences. We anticipate continuing these professional development opportunities for our faculty. The conversations around the table only get richer!

High school World Languages teachers collaborate on criteria for assessing classroom discussion.

IMG_3055.JPGJust the other day, students in grades 3-5 donned protective helmets and began their bike education, which focuses on bike safety. This is one of the studentsʻ favorite p.e. units. Bike Ed Hawaii, a non-profit whose mission is to promote bicycling for health, recreation and transportation, offers education to students in public and private schools, in addition to advocacy and events. After instruction on bike safety, students took to our campus roads to practice what they had just learned. Bike Ed Hawaii will return next week to work with more students.

I couldnʻt resist including these two photos from one of my visits to preschool. Three children are at sandplay in the classroom. Imagine the stories they invent as they build with sand! Endless possibilities.

IMG_3064.JPG Two young children delighted in taking photos of one another using iPods. Digital natives -- this generation of children -- are completely at ease with tech tools. In preschool, these tools are available to the children as they help to document learning. On field trips, groups of children are sometimes given cameras and IPods so that we can see from their perspective what they deem important or interesting. What better way to understand how our students learn than seeing through their eyes!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey