Posted on October 28, 2017
Arachnids have taken up temporary residence in the dining room. Spooktivity is Tuesday, October 31, and hopefully your children have their costumes, or youʻre piecing together a costume right now. Whatʻs the buzz among the children? Costumes, of course! I remember making my childrenʻs costumes when they were in preschool and elementary . . . Superman. Rocketeer. Astronaut. Robin Hood. (How I was able to manage creating a handmade costume for each child while teaching full time was pure adrenalin.) Many thanks to the parent committee who helped children make decorations, set up the dining room, collect treat items, and sort items for Treat Street. The preschool costume parade begins at 9:00am and the elementary parade at 12:45. If youʻre joining the celebration, get into the spirit with your costume! Heads up about parking: itʻll be challenging if it rains. Arrive early and follow securityʻs parking directions. The countdown to Spooktivity is on . . . !
This will be the first in over 20 years that Iʻll be missing Spooktivity! Iʻve accepted an invitation to attend the opening of a preschool/kindergarten in China and to prepare a presentation on our early learning education at Mid-Pacific. An administrative group from SunPro International in Shunde, Foshan, in the Guangdong Province, spent a day on our campus last February, with most of their time in the preschool and kindergarten and in long conversations with some of our faculty. The visitors, who toured other schools in California, Colorado, and Washington, were impressed with our Reggio-inspired efforts in the preschool and elementary. Iʻm honored to share our teaching philosophy and to represent Hawaiʻi. Iʻll return to campus November 8 with lots to share about Chinaʻs efforts in expanding early learning.
I am proud to report that our preschool and elementary were well represented by our faculty presenters at the 9th annual Schools of the Future conference, an HAIS (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools) and DOE (Department of Eduaction) collaboration. Over 1900 public and private school participants attended the conference at the Hawaii Convention Center. Leslie Gleim, Robynne Migita, and Jordan Guillory spoke about developing an inquiry mindset among early learners through project work. Jen Matsumoto, Abbey Day, Audrey Oserow, Torry Montes, Pam Jenkins, and I explained how the practice of documenting student learning is critical for deepening our understanding of teaching and learning. Both sessions were well attended with requests to visit our school. While Mid-Pacificʻs long-term strategic goal is to become a 21st century center of teaching and learning, we are already there in many ways! Itʻs not unusual to have groups of teachers visiting our classrooms each month to learn about different aspects of our program, from project work and an inquiry approach to documenting learning to multiage settings to assessment.
Preschool faculty presenters Leslie Gleim, Robynne Migita, and Jordan Guillory at the 2017 Schools of the Future Conference.
Elementary faculty Abbey Day, Audrey Oserow, Jen Matsumoto, Pam Jenkins, and Torry Montes explained documenting as a practice for capturing the processes and products of learning in order to deepen our understanding of learning and teaching.
Enjoy the photos of the UNICEF sale in the accompanying slide show. The third and fourth graders planned the entire sale, from idea generation to pricing and marketing structure to the actual sale. In addition to putting math skills to work, the students gained a better understanding of how a community responds to the human crisis in countries crippled by economic strife and emergency health conditions.
One last image of the week: Check out Ms. Balubarʻs studentsʻ poems, which emerged from their research observations in Kamanele Park. Each one is a keen analysis poetically rendered.
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.