- Our teachers are exploring how to implement project-based learning through one of their units and what started as a first grade project about wants and needs became a school-wide effort to help out a classroom that was impacted by Hurricane Harvey. (Link to HAW article) During this PBL, third graders helped their first grade buddies to edit and revise their letters to the classroom in Houston, and they made posters together to put around campus to publicize the drive. Fourth graders shared information they learned about hurricanes and flooding as part of their slow and fast processes unit. Students are learning what it feels like to make a difference and to have empathy for others.
- All elementary schools in our complex are implementing social-emotional learning through Second Step. Our teachers are sharing that the time spent on the lessons are making a difference in the classroom, and reminding students about what was learned/discussed has paid dividends. The lessons are broken up into Skills for Learning, Empathy, Emotion Management, and Problem-Solving. In today's world, we all can use a reminder about these important life skills.
- For the past few years, our students have participated in the Cardboard Challenge. Inspired by the film "Caine's Arcade," our CC has evolved from a "make whatever you want out of cardboard" to a game design process using cardboard. During the last hour of the day last Friday, the whole school came out to share their game or to play other students' games. The game design process is not just for technology; it can be for the kinds of games that come from students' minds with rules, strategies, and originality. Problem-solving and communication skills were evident throughout the process, and the game designers enticed us to play. Perhaps most important, our students were empowered to create something on their own and they were engaged when playing other students' games. I even heard some of them giving suggestions to the game designer; I was impressed with the students' creativity and their positive comments.
- Yesterday, two DKIES teachers and I attended a Code.org training with other staff from our complex area. In an earlier blog, "Continuing the #Hour of Code," I shared my concerns about the lack of coding in our schools. After my two-day Altino training and when observing some of our students coding so confidently, I am even more convinced that we need to make time in our school day for these types of activities. All students need to be exposed to coding, and it cannot be just an after school or enrichment activity for a select few. Our Trainer Shane Asselstine asked us to share about the session in 5 words. Here are my 5 words: "Inspiring, committed, challenging, collaborative, FUN!" Code.org's vision is "Every school. Every student. Every opportunity." I agree; now we must implement this vision at DKIES.
Every year, I am inspired by our teachers who are so willing to try new ideas and our students who share their excitement about what they are learning. As a principal, there is no greater reward than to see such exemplary teaching and learning going on in our classrooms!
|A parent shared this on our FB page after reading the article in the Hawaii Army Weekly:|
"This makes my heart sing and my eyes water knowing that these kids, my kid, is learning selflessness and compassion and incorporating it with wants and needs.
|This was such a cool game. The student in green drew the creatures on cards. The objective was to blow the ball through the tube to knock down one of the cards. Kids were waiting in line to try it.|
|Students waited their turn to play this board game. Who says kids only want to play video games?|