Dear 5-14 families,
I hope you were able to stop by the Festival of Art on Thursday evening and take a walk through our school gallery! If you missed it, be sure to visit the photo gallery to see a picture of your child's beautiful mixed media art work and writing! The pieces will be on display in the classroom for awhile, but I'll make sure to send them home for memory-keeping later on.
Just to give you all some background into our project, all semester long we have been learning about environmental problems Hawai'i is facing today. These learning activities, guest speakers, and field trips centered on invasive species takeovers of our local streams, native bird population decline, and the spread of Rapid 'Ohi'a Death that is killing off our 'Ohi'a forests and harming many living things who depend on the trees for food and habitat. For Festival of Art, each student was tasked with researching an endangered or threatened native/endemic species (plant, animal, or insect - and yes, some were not so glamorous!) and writing an informational paragraph and poem that gave the public insight into their organism's importance and the threats it faces today. Our goal was to educate everyone, practice our research skills, and of course express our creativity! The only confines for the art work were to 1. Make it colorful and 2. Use as many types of artistic media as possible. I think the results are fabulous and well worth all the weeks of hard work!
When we return from winter break, we'll be continuing with this theme by learning about Little Fire Ants, invasive algae, and the impact of marine debris on our coasts in second semester! I hope you all enjoy your weekend!
Hello 5-14 Families!
Sitting down to write this entry, I did a double-take when I realized we're only 1 week into second quarter! In just six days of school we've managed to fit A LOT in, from field trips and Tiger Trek to all our regular in-school lessons as well. To recap...
That's all for now, but please check back in a couple of weeks to read more about our Sign of the Beaver writing/art projects that we're currently working on!
- Mrs. Secreto :)
The close of a quarter is an excellent time to reflect back at some of the themes we've covered this quarter. In language arts, we're just about finished with our class novel, The Sign of the Beaver, which dove into an unlikely friendship between a young Native American boy and the son of white settlers in rural Maine. Although the two main characters come from vastly different cultures, with different takes on education, knowledge, nature, integrity, and humans' relationship to a place, they manage to find common ground and develop a bond that neither initially expected. The book is a flawed, but valuable resource for students to get a deeper understanding of the effects of colonization, and one that kids of all backgrounds can relate to - as the theme of friendship despite differences is incredibly relevant today. In social studies, the class researched a specific North American indigenous group and looked at how the environment in which the people lived in affected all facets of their life-- from the foods they ate and clothes they wore, to the celebrations they threw and gods that were worshipped. In science, we've been studying how organisms depend greatly on their environment to survive, and had an incredible experience working with Na Wai Ekolu to help remove invasive species from Manoa stream in order to allow the native biodiversity to flourish.
Tying all these individual threads together results in a clear, distinct pattern that indicates humans across time have always greatly depended on the valuable resources from our environment for survival, and that in order for life itself to be possible many organisms must coexist and work together. As students prepare to become our future leaders, designers, innovators, and activists, both teachers and parents must continue to foster our kids' concept of appreciation and kuleana for the community, Hawai'i, and our planet. Together, we can enable our children to build their own brighter future.
'Til next time :)
- Mrs. Secreto
Aloha 5-14 Families!
Hoping this blog post finds you well... just wanted to keep everyone updated on some of the fun happenings in room 14. Today, we had a super fun first visit with our little buddies from Mrs. Villamin's first grade class. It was so sweet to see our AMAZING 5th graders be such poised, gentle, and helpful mentors for their little friends from 1-33. The kids spent time reading picture books together, discussing habits of good readers, and interviewing one another to find out more about our similarities and differences. Check out the pictures on the photo gallery page by clicking here: manoa14.weebly.com/photo-gallery.html
In social studies, the class has been gearing up for their big project due date tomorrow (Tuesday, September 17th). Students have been hard at work researching a specific Native American tribe and learning more about their culture and connection to the land. In addition, each child was tasked with creating a replica of a real Native American artifact similar to those we observed from the Honolulu Museum of Art.
In science this week, we'll be working on an ongoing experiment in which we're observing our plants (named Mike, Jeff, Emily, Edith, and Bob) after taking away one key resource that we've been taught is essential for plant growth. We're simultaneously talking about ecosystems and transfer of matter and energy among organisms, so today the kids were able to see first-hand what a food chain may look like by dissecting owl pellets (I'll let the kids clue in you in on where these little lumps of owl goodness come from :))
I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone's Native American presentations tomorrow, as well as our field trip with Na Wai Ekolu on Friday to help eradicate invasive species from our local stream ecosystem. Check back next week for more photos!
Until next time, take care and keep exploring!
Author: Mrs. Secreto
Lover of chocolate, trees, and humans
Author: Mrs. Secreto
lover of chocolate, trees, and humans
In this little corner, you'll be able to keep up with class happenings, field trips, and other fun stuff going on in room 14. Blog posts are added every 1-2 weeks and are authored by myself, Mrs. Secreto, as well as the kids.
I thought this would be the perfect place to introduce myself to those of you I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet. The 2019-2020 school year will be my fifth year teaching fifth grade at Manoa School. I grew up on the windward side of Oahu in rainy, beautiful Kahalu'u and currently reside in Kaimuki with my husband, daughter (Ava, 3), and pitbull-turned-teddy bear (Radly, 10). In my free time (a very rare time, indeed) you can find me curled up with a good book, listening to my favorite podcasts, at the beach with my family, or just enjoying the beautiful outdoors. I found my calling in education because I strongly believe that it's vital to address the social, emotional, and intellectual facets of a child through a balanced, positive, and supportive school experience. I strive to encourage kids to step outside their comfort zones, discover new passions, embrace their creative side, and push themselves to aim for excellence. I'm also a huge proponent of incorporating the concepts of mindfulness in the classroom - it's more than a passing trend, I promise!
I hope you'll follow along on our adventures this year, and I'm looking forward to getting acquainted with you all as the year begins.
Til next time!