Showing posts from May, 2013

Last Day of School Goodbyes

Today was the last day of school-- we departed in a cloud of copper-grey dust and skin-parching heat. The long-suffering principals chummed the waters and had last-day-of-school cake and ice-cream, instantly melting onto the kids' laps, running down their forearms, then printed with dust in the ensuing sugar frenzy.  As the last of the kids cleared out, peeling off one by one with grandparents and moms, sweating workmen bashed the porches off of the portable buildings, dismantling steps from under the kids' feet, throwing 2x4s into banging piles.

The elementary school classrooms have been packing up and clearing out: the portables are being hauled away this afternoon. So the kids, in the growing voggy heat, have been rattling around empty rooms-- smears of kid-high hand grime revealed, posters curled on the floor, kids sitting below empty backpack hooks and sweating, sweating, sweating. Kids disgorged from the school bus without backpacks or lunches, then left sitting on grimy…

How to Raise Kids Who Will Be Readers

By the time I meet my students in the 7th grade, they are already either readers or non-readers. It's easy to tell them apart. When I tell the class they can borrow any of my books, any time, the readers go goggle eyed and attack the shelves. The flip through books, they critically examine the covers, they find favorite and familiar authors, and read the blurb on the back. They recognize books from movies, and they have no problem finding a stack to check out.

The non-readers aren't sure how books work. They will read a word or two on the cover and maybe look at the picture. They don't open the books, or read the back or the subtitles. They are stumped. They cannot operate books-- they don't understand the technology.

What's the difference between these readers and non-readers? What happens in their lives before the point they enter my English classroom? It's nothing big, or hard, or expensive. It requires no expertise or tutoring or grueling work to shape thes…

Keia Makahiki! This Year!

He Pilikia Na'u

Ho'okahi mea pa'akiki loa loa'a na'u.

Ma mua i keia la, ua makemake wau e ho'oikaika keia kula.  Ua hana wau. I ka hopena pule. I ka po. I ka manawa no ko'u ohana. Ua no'ono'o wau no ka'u haumana, no ka'u kula. I na ninau ia'u o kanaka eia'e, pane wau, "Ae, maika'i keia kula. Oluolu loa."

Hopohopo ko'u mau hua'aloha a'ole po'e Hawai'i. "I na haole au, hiki ke komo kela kula?" "Ae, ae!" O ka'u pane. "E komo mai, na keiki a pau! He ohana keia kula. Pono e ola ka olelo Hawai'i, ma na pua o Hawai'i a pau, a'ale pili i ka koko."

Ma hope keia la, oko'a loa ka'u pane.

No ka mea, e ho'opuka ana ka'u mau huamana.

Eha keiki wale ke puka nei keia makahika. U'i loa keia mau opio. Ikaika na kino, loa'a lakou he mau alanui-- hiki lakou ke hana na mea a pau ma ka honua aku.

Ua hana nui makou na kumu i keia makahiki.  Ua kanu wau he anoano li'ili&…