Learning Walk with Ted Dintersmith - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Learning Walk with Ted Dintersmith

Posted on February 25, 2017

by Dr. Edna Hussey on February 25, 2017

Dr. Ted Dintersmith, co-author with Dr. Tony Wagner of the film Most Likely to Succeed and proponent of progressive education, visited Mid-Pacific again to take a closer look at teaching and learning in our classrooms (he last visited in Spring 2016). He also met with faculty, students, and administration. Some of you may have participated in the student-led discussions following the screening of segments from the film on February 21. Ted (not to be confused with TED, the three principals Tom, Edna, Dee) seemed to enjoy his observations in three elementary classrooms.

First stop on his learning walk was Kindergarten where Ted talked with a small group of kinders working with atelerista Ms. Jordan. As part of their inquiry process, these kinders were viewing photos of their recent trip to one of the mansions, speculating on who might have lived in this house. (Kinders have been making keen observations for several weeks about the area surrounding the mansion, discussing clues from artifacts in the environment about the people who lived in the house.) Ted wondered along with them how old this house might be and asked them how they might find out. The children threw out some very big numbers into the billions, which tells us the children think the house is VERY old.

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Next stop was a multiage third-fourth grade where students had been thinking about what should go into their construction of a wetland area in their classroom. Ted loves to talk to students, so he spent more time asking students what they had been learning. Before heading to the middle school to continue his learning walk, Ted visited the fifth graders in small group discussions. Students were explaining their capstone inquiry question(s) while others asked probing questions to prompt deeper thinking about the inquiry under discussion. Later in the afternoon among a small group of faculty and administrators and after a full day at Mid-Pacific, Ted admitted that if he had school-aged children, he would have certainly sent them to Mid-Pacific! We are encouraged by Ted's affirmations about the work we've been doing as one school and will continue in our Aspirations 2020 Strategic Plan towards becoming a center of teaching and learning. (See the photo of Ted getting his head 3-D scanned for a 3-D print.)

In the accompanying slideshow are photos from our February assembly. Robotics faculty member and Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dote congratulated E. Iwamoto and B. Yap for winning the honors in the State VEX IQ Tournament to advance to the World Tournament to be held in Kentucky later this year. Students from Michele Leblanc's multiage first-second grade shared their inquiry on wolves, lynxes, and mighty cobras. And students in grades 3-5 did amazing jump rope tricks and expert basketball handling. Such well coordinated, athletic skills! The middle school Kindness Club spent aternoon playing board games and making cards with some of our afterschool students. And just what are all the parents doing in the Tech Lab? Hint: March 3.

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Check out the Wall of Kindness in the dining room. About 2 weeks ago, President Turnbull spoke to students about kindness and invited students to write or draw examples of kindness or share messages of kindness. The wall has grown and may continue growing! You're invited to come add your message to the Wall of Kindness. Post-its and pens are in a basket near the flatscreen.

I'm in Kamuela on the Big Island to chair a visiting committee for a school and will be eager to return Thursday to campus.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.

Principal