Posted on August 22, 2015
It's about balance, yes? Observing third and fourth graders build their own balance bars of varying heights reminded me that navigating "school" is just that -- seeking balance. In the transition from summer vacation to school, and for several students a transition from one school to Mid-Pacific and all the cultural shifts, our children are learning how to balance all the activity in their week. Parents and teachers toss challenges and expectations -- chores, homework, taking care of a younger sibling, afterschool activities such as soccer, swimming, tennis, dance, perhaps tutoring (a topic for another blog) -- and our children must learn how to balance these responsibilities with determination. Caring adults will show young learners how to achieve equilibrium by holding them to reasonable schedules and having an abundant attitude of patience while modeling balance in their own adult life. Sometimes we forget what it is like to be a child.
See our kindergartners here? It would appear that they are writing. Yes, but they're really experimenting with pens having different tip shapes and observing the widths and substance of lines created by the movement of pen over different paper textures. They are learning the "language" of these writing instruments so that they can select the appropriate tool when drawing. This exploration will extend over a few days as the children write/draw. Different tools will convey different messages, the nuance of meaning determined by the pen tip, stroke, and surface texture.
At our August assembly, an astronomer and navigator tickled our imagination. Dr. Heyer, a visiting astronomer specializing as a space data analyst, has been working with art specialist Jill Johnson to explain the wonders of the universe captured in photos taken by the Hubble. During this school year, Ms. Johnson and some of the grade-level teachers will be teaching the underlying principles of light, systems, and communication in the context of the stars and planets.
Dr. Heyerʻs inspiring presentation was followed by an equally inspiring talk by PE specialist Bruce Black and crew member of the Hōkūleʻa. He donned his sailing gear and shared highlights of his incredible voyage from New Zealand to Australia in May. He explained how the crew navigated the Pacific using the stars to chart their course. The connections between astronomy and navigation were fascinating for all of us at the assembly, including the notion that as part of the mystery of creation, we are all stardust. You are welcome to view the amazing Hubble photos on display over the next two weeks in Wilcox hallway(office building) and to leave a written comment.
Picture-taking takes on a life of its own. Leave it to this group of students awaiting their turn with the photographer. Say cheese with lots of hamming it up!
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.