Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodbye Kindergarten, Hello First Grade

Aloha  Parents,
Mahalo nui loa for the many thoughtful gifts you shared with me at the end of this school year. The memory book is a delight to read and will be forever cherished.  The  cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company  will be a part of my snacks for a long time and the generous gift card is greatly appreciated.

I would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in me as your child's teacher.  My Kindergarten experience  this year is what every educator I know hopes to encounter-cooperation between parents and teacher to ensure that  their child has success at HMS.

I sincerely enjoyed the the school year with all the keiki and know that great things can be accomplished when parents and I work together for the best interest of the child.

A hui hou,
Mrs. Lee

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Fantastic Kindergarten Year Part 2

Aloha Parents,

Before you know it, your children will soon become First Graders!!It is hard to believe the year has flown by so quickly.  I'd like to share some final thoughts before we turn the page.
  • Continue to encourage reading and writing throughout the summer. A few tips about this was offered in the hard copy newsletter sent home with their free writes and trimester samples.
  • Mahalo nui loa to all of you who supported K-1 throughout the year. We are especially grateful to Mrs. Nagamine, our Room Parent, who  helped to develop a strong collaborative relationship between K-1 parents and  the school staff at HMS.
  • Through her efforts, she contributed to the richness of the classroom and school experience for all of our  keiki.   She  spent countless hours assisting with field trips and the HMS Fair game. She also provided effective support for me so that I had more time to focus on other aspects of teaching and learning.  Her services were invaluable!!!!
  • Your time was greatly appreciated as you tuned in to our class blog.  K-1 Happy Talk has become an significant  part of enhancing your involvement with your child's learning experiences. You followed the journey as your child  grew academically, socially, and mentally. May you have many more blogging experiences!
  Here are some final thoughts on a Fantastic Kindergarten Year:
I give you back your children, the same children you confidently
entrusted to my care last summer.
I give them back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser,
more responsible, and more mature then they were then.
Although they would have attained their growth in spite of me,
it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch their personality
unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.
I give them back reluctantly, for having spent ten months together
in the narrow confines of a classroom,
we have grown close, have become a part of each other,
and we shall always retain a little of each other.
We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned,
and enriched our lives together this year.
I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give them back I must.
Take care of them, for they are precious.
Remember that I shall always be interested in your children and their destiny, wherever they go, whatever they do, whoever they become.
Their joys and sorrows I will always be happy to share.
Wishing everyone the best in the future.  Have a safe and fun-filled summer.

A Fantastic Kindergarten Year, Part 1

Listen to the  keiki reflecting on their experiences of the past  school year. We should all be extremely proud  of their growth in writing, reading, and especially their oral presentation from August until  now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author Share

Just a reminder about the events for the week:

Tuesday, May 24:
11:00-11:40 - Snow Day on the Basketball Court
11:45-12:15 - Hot Dog, Drink, Vegetables, Chips, and Cookie Lunch
12:30-1:30 - Free Swim

Wednesday, May 25:
The students should come dressed to school in the outfits they were asked to wear for their play “Caps For Sale". The three Kindergarten plays will be performed in the Dojo from 10:00-11:00am. Consider arriving early so you’ll have a good spot to sit down. After the plays, the students will return to their classroom. Dismissal will follow. Final report cards will be mailed.
The children wrote a short description and used watercolors to illustrate their favorite Honolulu Zoo animal. Wonderful work!!!! Cody picked a number at random, which was closest to a number I was secretly thinking about. Therefore he was selected to have his author share videoed for this post.

Untitled from Wendy Lee on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Picture Book Maker

Computer  has been a popular resource class for the students.  Because of their interest and since they are tech natives, an additional  period has been a part of their schedule since February.  A few sites introduced in the K-1 class and subsequently  engaged in at the Computer Lab were: Kerpoof,,  Picture Book Maker , etc.
Everyone focused on creating an online picture book today. Please enjoy some of the student's creations: (click on the highlighted title)
Jennifer: The Armadillo and The Gorilla That Got Lost
Karli: My Home
Reise: The Penguin Family
Mari: Two Gorillas
Michael: The Penguin
Sydney: The Friends and Family
Mimi: Winter Day

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coming Attractions

It is amazing that the end of the school year is just around the corner. But before we say aloha, we have several exciting events planned.  Here's a heads up on the action so you can help your child  be prepared.

Tuesday, May 24th:
  • 11:00-11:40 -Our weather forecast is for snow at Hongwanji.  Please pack the appropriate clothing for your child as they'll be playing in the 'white stuff'! They should dress in t-shirts and shorts when they arrive  in the morning.
  • 11:45-12:15 - Lunch
  • 12:30-1:30- Free Swim for the Kindergarten classes. Swimwear and towels needed.
  • Distribution of goodie bags, (optional)
Wednesday, May 25th:
  • 10:00 - 11:00 -Stories at Sunrise in the Dojo I
  • 11:30 - Dismissal
Children are always curious about their parents' responses to certain questions, which is a good sign.  They have posed a question to each of you and  are quite anxious to read your responses. Please post your comments on this blog.  Be assured, all comments are moderated before being published.

Reise - What was your favorite place to go when you were young?
Sydney - What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Karli - What TV show do you like to watch?
Jake L. What was your favorite food when you were my age?
Michael - What did you like to play when you were little?
Jennifer - Can we go to Japan to visit Yukiko and Shoko's house?
Cody - What was your favorite outside game when you were young?
Mari - What was your favorite movie when you were young?
Shoh - Can we go back to Japan so I can play with my friends?
Jaden - Can I go to swimming lessons at the YMCA next year?
Mimi - What is you favorite movie?
Austin - What was your favorite book to read?
Ransen - What did you like to draw when you were in Kindergarten?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Fun Day at Honolulu Zoo

The Kindergarten classes had the opportunity to visit the Honolulu Zoo and enjoy an upclose and personal encounter with the animals. Although they have been studying different aspects of animals through videos and picture books, it was an educational experience  to observe the wide variety of animals and  their behavior. This  experience gave them a deeper understanding of the lessons they studied.  The best part of the field trip was when a Zoo volunteer gave the students   a brief speech about some animals skulls.  This gentleman, not only allowed everyone to touch these animal skulls, but a piece of zebra skin and a stuffed reptile. 

Please don't forget:
Monday, May 16th -  All Library books are due.
Tuesday, May 17th -  Gotane Service at the Temple.  Please dress appropriately.
Tuesday, May 24 - Snow Day. Please dress in warm winter clothes.
Wednesday, May 25th - Stories at Sunrise, 10:00 in Dojo I.  Dismissal at 11:30.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A hui hou kakou (until we meet again)

On Tuesday, our keiki held their final conversation with Mrs. Poulin and our Skype pals from Massachusetts.  Seeing the students' faces beam as we established the connection was priceless. Mrs. Poulin's Kindergarten class started by sharing an energetic song and dance routine, 'Knees Stop, Mother Brown'. After watching a short demonstration, Austin led a single file of our children as they hopped, pranced, and twirled around the room. After a brief rest, our students enthusiastically sang one of their favorite songs, 'I Come a Zimba, Zimba Zio' with hand motions.  Once again, they used their beautiful voices to perform 'May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii'. Later, while our students spoke individually of their summer plans in front of our webcam, their Massachusetts pal stood in front of their webcam so there was a 1-1 connection.  Besides Skyping, our students have partnered with their 'pal' through exchanges of winter and summer adventures stories and illustrations.

Our final 'Aloha' was a long one.  Neither group wanted to end their connection and friendship.  Needless to say, both classes have always  done an awesome job in terms of listening and speaking with confidence to  each other.

We have been fortunate to take advantage of the power of Skype in our classroom for the entire Kindergarten year.  Skype has brought a new dimension in learning.  We had the opportunity to chat and open up our class with 5-6 year old students to a state way beyond our campus.  They learned from their pals, connected with different cultures, and expanded their knowledge in many ways.  This kind of experience is unforgettable. Mrs. Poulin and I will continue making connections with new Kindergarteners next year.  We want them to enjoy the adventures too.

Seeing our students in action proved how important it is to bring the real world into our classroom.  Amazing things can happen when we make global connections with students' learning. This tool (Skype)  helped them break down the classroom walls and become a global learner.

To Mrs. Poulin and her keikikanes and kaikamahines - Mahalo, a hui hou malama pono (thank you, take care until we meet again)

Friday, May 6, 2011

To all the special Moms in K-1

To the Moms in K-1,
Enjoy the day to relax and have fun.  Hope you enjoy the little surprises your children made for you.

Swimming class have concluded.  P.E. classes will resume on Thursday, May 12, in the gym.  HMS    t-shirt and shorts should be worn.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Tribute to the K-1 Mothers for Mother's Day

To all the special moms out there! This is a special poem and video just for you.

M is for the blueberry muffins she makes me
O is for the oranges she cuts for me
T is for trying hard to make my bed
H is for being helpful
E is for the scrambled eggs that I love
R is for the roses she picks for me.
Put them together, they spell 'Mother',
A word that means the world to me!

Untitled from Wendy Lee on Vimeo.

Important Reminders:
Swimming classes are finished.  P.E. classes resume on Thursdays May 12th and 19th.  HMS t-shirt and shorts should be worn.
Wednesday, May 11 - Tikki Tikki Tembo play in the Social Hall
Friday, May 13 - Honolulu Zoo Field Trip
Monday, May 16 - All Library books due
Tuesday, May 17 - Gotane Service in the Temple. Please dress appropriately.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stories at Sunrise

Stories at Sunrise, a collection of skits by the Kindergarten classes will be proudly presented on Wednesday, May 25th in Dojo I. Beginning at 10:00am, the order of performances are: K-3, K-1, and K-2.
K-1 has been diligently practicing “Caps for Sale” for the past few months. And now, the play will be ready to enjoy soon! We have only 3 rehearsals left so it is time to decide on the children’s attire. Please refer to the list below for their ‘costumes”.

Narrators: Jennifer, Jake K., Sydney, Austin, Cody    Attire: Blue Kindergarten t-shirts and blue jeans pants, shorts, or skirt
Peddler: Jake Lee      Attire: Short sleeve shirt and shorts 
Monkeys: Michael, Mari, Jaden, Reise, Ransen, and Karli    Attire: Brown t-shirts and brown pants, shorts, or skirt
Trees: Mimi and Shohtaro   Attire: Green shirt and brown pants, shorts, or skirt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Thank you for your prompt attention.  Let me know if you have any questions.