Celebrating our learning December 2016 - Mid-Pacific Institute

Art - Guillory

Celebrating our learning December 2016

Posted on December 9, 2016

by Ms. Guillory on December 9, 2016

Attached is our final Booklet for the Fly House! Enjoy:

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PLEASE CLICK HERE: a house for a fly book Final.pdf

Our Preschool Community Learning story was sent via a link in the email:

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Lastly our Inquiry Summary that was placed before each child's drawings in Kindergarten:

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Overview:

A significant part of our work as teachers is to develop the dispositions of an inquirer who wonders, asks questions, observes and collects information, theorizes, reflects, collaborates, and co-constructs.

During the first semester (Fall 2016), the children have been researching a space on campus. Through our documentation and many provocations, we discovered that the children were trying to understand the identity of the place itself through artifacts around the space. The childrenʻs ideas, developed from different perspectives, have been captured with the camera, in their drawings, and through small and large group discussions. Many of the theories surrounding these ideas are encapsulated in their stories of the people who the children believe once inhabited the space.

One of the important strategies for understanding what and how children think and learn is drawing. Their sketches over time and successive re-visits to research sites reveal their focus and further thinking about the space. Unhampered by having to use conventional symbols (letters and numerals), students are adept with pen in hand to make visible their incredible thinking! In conversation with each child, their own drawings are rich, complex layered texts that provoke their storytelling and certainly provokes the adultʻs questions.

To help the children further develop this idea that complex stories and cherished memories are hidden and lovingly kept within treasured objects, and to help them understand that their stories are, in fact, helping to preserve history, we introduced another space in Mānoa. At the Mānoa Heritage Center, the children heard stories behind the artifacts and the home, as well as the history and stories of the people who lived there.

Most recently we asked the children to identify the most important "clue" that represents the identity (story or history) of the space and to draw that idea. We see through their drawings aspects of time, history, and culture that help them understand the space.

Individually, the children observe and theorize. In small groups, they co-construct ideas, sometimes revising their initial theories. In large groups, they share their thinking, thus opening up the possibility for even greater collaboration with others.

Below are examples of your child's thinking through this inquiry process. The teachers offer an analysis of the drawings and theories to provide an understanding of their work.

Individual artifacts and analysis

Our next step is to revisit the historical houses on campus. Like the Mānoa Heritage Center, they are rich with history, yet their stories have not been preserved. Our goal is that the children will create, or re-create, the history of the mansions on our campus, paying closer attention to the details in the artifacts they find and making connections to the stories of the Mānoa Heritage Center. As the children continue to develop a deeper understanding of history and the importance of its preservation, we may also research other places that perpetuate history.

As one child said, "So people can remember the old times. So they know what the people did and their story...so we don't forget the story." In addition, uncovering the history of the mansions could lead to opportunities for the children to share their learning with a larger community, perhaps moving beyond, raising awareness and leading to advocacy.