Posted on February 9, 2014
The preschoolersʻ year-long inquiry of the "fantastical," which has taken them into explorations of light and shadow and onward to multiple layers of narrative, continues in a fantastical journey of learning into kindergarten. Parents gathered Wednesday evening with kindergarten faculty Jen Matsumoto and Kelley Hitomi for a peek into life in kindergarten. Preschool faculty Leslie Gleim and Jordan Guillory joined them to explain that the experiences in preschool to develop dispositions of learning prepare the children well for kindergarten. For example, drawing daily plans lays the foundation for literacy through the childrenʻs symbolic representations of their ideas. Manipulating their own symbols gets children ready for manipulating alphabetic symbols. Kinder teachers will continue to provide many opportunities for children to develop an ability to work collaboratively with peers, one of those enduring learning expectations at every grade through high school. Three parents, whose children began in preschool and are currently in kindergarten and upper elementary, provided personal anecdotes to reassure kinder parents that their children will transition smoothly into kindergarten. Now, Iʻm sure if we asked the preschoolers about kindergarten, theyʻd say, "When do we start?"
(photo courtesy of Leslie Gleim)
First and second graders learned about guilds in their inquiry project this week, one of many experiences theyʻll be having as they learn about the medieval period. I visited each of the guilds and learned how to embroider, weave, illuminate a manuscript, and make candles! They even learned how to play medieval games in P.E. and quaint dances in music. The level of engagement was so high, they barely noticed I was in the room. Theyʻll continue their research through websites, video clips, books, building models, and hearing from experts on the time period. In a few weeks, the dining room will be transformed into a great dining hall, and weʻll see maidens, peasants, lords and ladies strolling on campus. Even Principal Robin Hood in the autoline.
This weekʻs highlight for students and faculty has to be Jump Rope for Heart. How do I know? By the studentsʻ laughter, smiles, high energy, and total fun! Preschoolers took over the playcourt in the morning hopping, jumping, and hula-hooping their way through several rotations of activity. Elementary students held the event in the gym -- all 230+ of them. P.E. teacher Bruce Black, who organized the event, called out rotations to different "stations" of long jump ropes, hula hoops, short ropes, and Chinese ropes (rubber band ropes) where small groups of mixed grade levels never once hesitated to get into high action. Of course, it wasnʻt hard because music teacher Sarahlea Kekuna played upbeat music from her playlist. We ended with a line dance getting everyone in motion. Imagine the entire gym floor rockinʻ and rollinʻ with happy, healthy, sweaty children.
Looking forward to another week of learning --
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey