Elementary School Principal's Blog

Words! Ideas! Language!

Posted on September 19, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 19, 2008

Words! Ideas! Imagination! Our September assembly was immersed in language literacy, from vocabulary found in students' book clubs or a spelling list to a sign language demonstration.  Students in Ms. Byrne's class explained the learning process for vocabulary: find the definition(s), indicate the part of speech, use the word in a sentence, illustrate the meaning of the word, dramatize the meaning of the word in context, and use the word in a sentence.  Sometimes students use a number of vocabulary words in a writing piece (e.g., short story, song, poem, etc.), challenging their ability to compose sentences that are relevant to one another. The most entertaining part of their presentation was, of course, their dramatization.  Based on the theory that sensory and visual learning enhance understanding, dramatization is sometimes used as an effective instructional strategy.  How effective?  Let's see.  The assembly was yesterday morning, and I am still able to remember four out of five words -- isolated, antics, baffle, and implement.

The next principal word we learned about was migration.  The fifth graders presented a theory of migration, which they are learning about in social studies, explaining the migrations of the earliest people living in North Africa (Mesopotamia) to Europe, Asia, North and South America.  They explained how this theory appears to be supported through DNA testing. The students illustrated the migration patterns by placing map outlines of continents and island groups and the corresponding groups of people in their appropriate places on a large sheet of paper. The point they were making was that all people, regardless of skin color, cultural heritage, and homeland are a family of races that can be traced to an origin. The fifth graders have a foundational beginning for understanding how Native American Indians arrived in North America.  There are wonderful connections the first and second graders can make to this migration presentation because they are currently learning about prehistoric times long before human beings entered onto the timeline of creation.

Leslie Gleim, the preschool teacher for 3-year-olds, shared a language in which she is a fluent speaker -- sign language.  Having taught in an early childhood setting with children having special needs, she communicated frequently with her students using sign language.  At the assembly, she taught us the sign language for over twenty words, from everyday greetings to gestures for some fruits, vegetables, and children's favorite foods.  Ask your children if they remember any sign language from this week's assembly.  (They are also learning sign language for the alphabet in music class!)

We are so proud of our fifth and sixth grade boys who are playing basketball in the Christian Schools Athletic League and proudly representing MPI.  The CSAL league is composed of seventeen schools, each school playing in either the east or west division.  MPI plays in the west division with seven other schools.  To date, MPI has won every game!  The scores and opponents are:  MPI vs. Kamehameha, 30-10; vs. Christian Academy, 40-13; vs. Saint Elizabeth's, 36-12; vs. Lanakila Baptist, 68-11. There are two games remaining and a fellowship tournament, which will include our fourth graders on the team.  Go, Owls! Go, Pueo!

Even though high school may be several years away for your child, you might think about attending the next coffee hour on October 21 with Principal Richard Schaffer at 7:30am, followed by the Parent Community Association meeting at 8:00am and guest speaker, Mark Hines, Director of Educational Technology at MPI.  The coffee hour and meeting will be in Scudder Faculty Lounge.  

Ms. Koshi's request for parent volunteers to clean and sanitize the musical instruments received such an enthusiastic response that the next two cleaning sessions are cancelled!  Job all pau!  Many thanks to Nicole Chung, Alana Dean, Tammy Ishibashi, Monica Pang, and Kim Soares.  They even had time to spare, so they touched up the Epiphany Conference Room and principal's display modules.  Angels with dust cloths!

The recycling drop-off begins next Friday, September 26, and runs through the weekend. Please look for the large blue bin that will be stationed just at the entrance to the elementary school. Plastic, glass, and paper -- help us with our "Living Green" efforts and the yearbook project.

The Annual School Barbecue for our preschool and elementary families is Saturday, September 20, 2:00-5:00pm.  Join us for hot dogs, chili, barbecued chicken (yes, grilled to perfection), salads, and desserts.  There's also shaved ice, popcorn, lots of fruit, and games.  Three cheers and pueo hoots for the Fifth Grade parents and students who are responsible for the campus picnic, especially Nicole Chung who has single-handedly organized this event.  See you tomorrow!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey