Sharing Best Practices - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Sharing Best Practices

Posted on October 18, 2015

by Dr. Edna Hussey on October 18, 2015

Professional learning for our faculty, which you've been hearing about at Mid-Pacific, extends into our community. Research shows that one of the most important factors that contribute to improving the quality of student learning is quality professional development. The preschool is hosting four early learning workshops in a series entitled Documentation: What It Is and Why It Matters, October 17, January 20, March 5, and April 23. Participants from the public and private sectors began their year-long journey with us this past weekend. Pedagogista Leslie Gleim is the main presenter for the series.

Through this series of workshops, participants will begin to shift their understanding of themselves from documenters or record-keepers to teacher-researchers in constructing documentation that reveals the children's thinking. Participants will have hands-on experiences with digital stills and video in constructing meaningful documentation that moves toward teaching narratives to be shared with parents and other audiences. We are committed to raising public awareness about the kinds of learning our youngest learners should have a right to experience.

One of my favorite inquiries is the multiage first and second grade social studies unit, which begins with an exploration of the world map and land forms and develops into a study of world cultures via the students' family origins. Family members have been sharing their travel "albums" with the children or sharing cultural celebrations or practices to help the children better understand the concept of culture. The family trees displayed in the multiage 1-2 classroom windows are fascinating! The learning then further expands into the Flat Stanley Project. The Flat Stanley is a paper doll drawn by each student and mailed off to a friend or family member in another country or in the U.S. The recipient takes a photo of the paper doll (which the children draw as a self-image) in different sites and well-known landmarks. Sometimes the doll is forwarded to another friend or relative. Eventually the dolls will make their journey back to Mid-Pacific in December. The world maps will be on classroom walls to track the places these dolls have traveled! Just imagine how the world seems within their reach when the students read the stories that come back with their paper dolls. In December, it will indeed be a gift to receive the packages from afar.

Parents, the next early-release day is this Friday, October 23. Students should be picked up at 12:30pm or you might have already signed up your child to remain in school. The faculty schoolwide is looking forward to continue discussion on student assessment that began September 9.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.